Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Most ironic blog post title of the year

The award goes to:

Bill "Ted Haggard of Information Theory" Dembski for his blog post titled -

When Arrogance and Stupidity Collide

Because I sort of thought arrogance and stupidity in combination are required of those taking part in the 'conversations' over at his blog and in all of his writings...
I mean, it seems pretty evidence if one actually reads any of the garbage those people write.

Davescot (David Springer) - hardcore Marine... well, sort of... not really...

I'm not a psychiatrist. Nor a psychologist. I did take about 12 credits worth of psychology classes in college, but I still don't think I have any special insights into the psyches and mental activities of those around me.

But you don't need to be a psychiatrist to see superiority complexes in action. Nor do you need to be a mental health therapist to see a hint of the similar megalomania in someone. Nor do you need to have a college degree in anything to see utter, rank hypocrisy in someone, or to observe any number of logical fallacies being ignorantly trotted out in support of one's position. Luckily for us, you can see all of these unsavory characteristics in a single specimen. Heck, you can see all four in a single one of Davescot's (David Springer) blog posts.

Ed Brayton and his commenters at "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" do a great job at dismantling the sheer stupidity and the aforementioned neuroses/psychoses/antisocial behaviors, so I will not belabor the details. I will simply make a few comments.

For those of you who lack the stomach to trudge through the histrionics and soliphistic nonsense at UncommonDescent (like me), I will sum up DaveScot's post thusly:

Jim Webb, freshman senator (who delivered the Democrastic response to the State of the Union address), Viet Nam combat Veteran (Marine Corps), is in no position to pass judgement on the "new" Bush policy in Iraq because he, Davescot, was a Marine (supposedly) without combat experience and he knows what is best in terms of combat. Further, he says that those without military experience should not comment on any of this stuff.

In true Davescot fashion, after a couple of highly insightful and devastating comments directed at and showing Davescot's ignorance, all commments were deleted (see reference to Mike Dunford's post at 'Dispatches...' link above) and comments are no longer allowed for that post.

Here is what gets me - if Springer is telling the truth and he was in the Marines in the mid 1970s, he's been out for about 30 years. GET OVER IT. If the Corps is so 'beloved' to him, as he so frequently writes, why serve the minimum time? Why not stay in for life? I find it a bit disturbing that someone that served that long ago STILL refers to himself as a Marine. I served as an army paratrooper from 1984-1988. I am proud of my service, and as an associate professor at a military college, I am authorized to wear any ribbons/decorations I earned while I served and I do. But I do not run around referring to myself as a paratrooper. I do not declare that only those with military experience can voice opinions on military matters*.

And to reiterate - Springer had no combat experience, Jim Webb did. So why does Springer's opinions have more weight than a combat veteran's? Well, re-read the second paragraph above, and it will make sense.

The highly ironic side of this is that, as is pointed out in the 'Dispatches...' link above, Springer, who has no education, training, or experience in the biological sciences whatsoever (in fact, he claims that one can learn biology 'on their own' in their free time) sees no problem with his own pontifications on the subject.

That is because, of course, he cannot recognize his own shortcomings.

For more insight into Davescot's psyche and antics, try this.

Or this.

And keep in mind, this is the fella that Bill Dembski not once, but twice hand-picked to essentially run his blog for him.
I guess we should not be surprised - the DI crowd has also enlisted the services of the Public Relations firm that brought us the Swiftboating of John Kerry...

Also, for a sort of on-going commentary on the antics of Springer and Uncommon Descent denizens in general (starting with commentary on Springer's silly military experience post), see this.

*I have commented previously that I find it disturbing that there are those - almost exclusively conservative republicans - who advocate military action, such as invading Iraq and Iran (and Syria) yet have no intention of serving in the military themselves. But that is hardly the same thing as claiming that those without military experience should not even comment on issues pertianing to the military.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Jon Wells' Spiritual Leader - conservative crook, right-wing propagandist

This is incredible...

Though best known as the founder of the Unification Church, Moon, now 86,
has long worked with right-wing political forces linked to organized crime and
international drug smuggling, including the Japanese yakuza gangs and South
American cocaine traffickers.

Now THERE is a guy that deserves to be called Father...

Why the need to embellish?

Over here, bachelor's prepared electronics engineer* creationist Joe G. engages in some standard creationist tactics - the one I document below its the tried and true embellishment of one's hero's credentials in an effort to make arguments based on their claims more impressive and irreproachable.
In a discussion on the nested hierarchy as seen in the phylogeny of living things, Joe writes:

OK wait- we have Zachriel, the non-authority, non-expert, and non-scientist saying:
And we have Dr Denton, authority, expert and scientist saying:

What is he an authortiy in? An expert? Here is what Denton's own CV[1] says his areas of expertise are [I have left in only the description for his work in human genetics for to leave it as only a title would invite unwarranted embellishment and exteapolation from Denton acolytes]:

Cell Differentiation:The differentiation of the red blood cell

Pharmacology: The pharmacokinetics of amoxycillin and paracetamol

Human Genetics

I commenced working in the field of human genetics in 1984.[NOTE - his first book came out in 1986] My major research interest and aim since then has been to locate and identify the genes responsible for the various inherited retinal degenerations in man - a heterogeneous set of diseases which cause severe visual disability in 20 million people world wide. The two types of retinal degeneration which have been the main focus of my work have been the X linked and the autosomal recessive type of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). As a result of my efforts in this area, several new RP genes have been identified and this has added substantially to our knowledge of the genetics of retinal disease. Other genetic diseases I have studied include - autosomal dominant RP, X linked Megalocornea, Lebers Optic Atrophy, Blepharphimosis, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Since 1986, I have authored and co-authored over 50 papers in the field.

X linked retinitis pigmentosa

Autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa

Autosomal dominant RP, X linked Megalocornea, Lebers Optic Atrophy

Blepharophimosis, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Complex genetic mental disorders

Odd - I see nothing there regarding evolution, phylogenetics, etc.
What Joe G. has produced is what Jon Sarfati (ironically) likes to label the argumentum ad verecundiam, more commonly known as the argument from false authority.

Add to the fact that nothing in Denton's professional history qualifies him as an expert in any of the relevant material mentioned in the discussion at the linked blog (nor in anything he wrote about in his anti-Darwin books) is the fact that his book was thoroughly trashed by ACTUAL experts on the subjects he discusses, and in fact, his sections on phylogenetics were horribly naive and uninformed[2].

This is standard creationist antics. Embellishing the credentials of one of your propagandists and systematically denigrating the actual credentials of those with a contrary opinion.


[2] just one example:

*I only mention this because at one time, Joe G. was claiming that because he had a bachelors of science degree, he should be considered a scientist...

Friday, January 05, 2007

"Designs'" crazy rant

‘Designs’ left this rather lengthy bit of histrionics in reply to another post. I have deleted it there, as it had little to do with the topic, and ‘Designs’ is no longer welcome to post here because of his spamming. But it is an interesting piece in that one can see the brainwashing that is apparently required in order for one to be an IDCreationist. One must apply false dichotomies, double standards, etc. It is really something to see. 'Designs' rant in a lovely lavender.
A bit of clarification is needed in this forum about Creationism, Darwinism, and Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design (ID) scientists BELIEVE THAT EVOLUTION HAS PLAYED A ROLE IN THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE. Contrary to the ignorance portrayed by many evolutionists and the sloppiness of mainstream media, ID has nothing to do with religion.

*That will be news to Phil Johnson1 (“I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves”), Bill Dembski2 (“Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory," ), Jon Wells3 (“Father's [Rev. Moon] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism.”), and just about every pro-ID discussion board participant.*

The ID theory arose because some scientists were skeptical of the ability of Darwinian evolution to explain the complexity of molecular and biochemical processes.

*Fort starters, ID is not a theory. Even its ‘biggest’ advocates admit that4 (“…I cannot offer you today a fully articulated theory of biological design that does not yet exist," he [Paul Nelson]said.”).*

As I briefly describe below, they certainly had valid concerns. The main difference between Darwinists and IDs is that IDs don’t believe that random mutations and selection/environmental pressures can completely account for all the molecular complexities of life. This doesn’t mean that IDs believe that the supernatural is involved; just that there is something else that we don’t understand which is the driving force behind evolution. Some will try to discount the IDs by labeling them as Creationists or anti-evolutionaries.

*Gee, why would we ever do that? See refs. 1-3.

The ID theory is not creationist or anti-evolutionist.

*ID is, again, not a theory. Calling it so does not make it so, any more than referring to Bill Dembski as a ‘prominent mathematician’ makes him one5.

ID does agree that Darwinism can account for changes in bird beaks in response to environmental changes, bacterial drug resistance, and insect resistance to insecticides but disagree in how Darwinism wildly extrapolates these adaptations to account for macroevolution or origins of species and specified molecular complexities.

*Better to wildly extrapolate that because we have not seen a ‘microbe turn into a man’ that there is some mystical, unknown force driving these changes… Changes which, just coincidentally, it must be, leave their natural signatures in the genomes of living creatures…

Creationists tend to align themselves with ID because of its implications of an intelligent creating force, whereas atheists tend to align themselves with Darwinism because of its random, no-purpose, no-intelligence theory of life evolutions. You can deny it all you want, but there just “ain’t any religion” motivating the pure ID theory folks!

*The above contains a number of dubious claims. First is the typical caricature of evolution held by those that are essentially ignorant of it or are motivated to misrepresent it indicating that it is ‘random.’ Certainly, part of it is random, but as one that is familiar with the basics of evolution (I am unsure what zealots like ‘Designs’ actually means by the term ‘Darwinism’) should know, the other part of it – selection - is non-random.
Second, the claim that there is no religion motivating the “pure ID theory folks” is totally bogus, first and foremost because there is not ID theory, second because even those that claim to be drawn to ID by ‘the science’ in public often let their little secrets go in less guarded moments [read any of the popular pro-ID discussion boards on the internet, and the religious motivations of those that pretend it is all about science soon become clear]. .

There are plenty of mathematical and biochemical arguments that argue against the gradual Darwinism mechanism of evolution.

*Mathematical arguments? Of what possible relevance do those have? Do tell…*

The fossil record, as I very briefly discuss below, does not support a gradual evolutional transition of species.

*So, you are a paleontologist, too? You anti-evolutionists are amazing polymaths! Self-taught, too, I bet…*

As such, I cannot accept Darwinism as a theory that explains the diversity of molecular processes. There are too many inconsistencies and conflicts of Darwinism with molecular, biochemical, and fossil observations. There is something else that we don’t understand as yet that is the driving the force behind evolution. It is better to have no hypothesis to explain something than it is to have an incorrect or wrong
hypothesis (Darwinism).

*Even if the unsupported hyperbole that Designs spews were totally true, at best it indicates that ‘Darwinism’ – whatever that is supposed to mean – is incomplete, not ‘wrong.’ But Designs is too zealous to think rationally about these things.

There is a growing movement of scientists (now over 600; some of who are National Academy of Science members) who find Darwinism unsatisfactory as a theory to explain all aspects of the diversity of life. The list is at

It simply states that “We are skeptical of the claims for the ability of random
mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful
examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged”. The list
will continue to grow as more scientists from all areas of biology begin to critically examine the Darwin theory to explain the complexity of life.

*Yeah, yeah, you already posted this part of this rambling message in two or three other places, and your implication is dishonest – an eye-catchingly large number of the signatories of your much heralded list are NOT, in fact, from areas of biology at all. IN fact, there seems to be a rather large proportion of those with non-biology backgrounds.

No longer will scientists who are dissatisfied with Darwinism remain subjectively complacent to repressive Darwinian Fundamentalism that,

*’Darwinian fundamentlism’? Say – that is a catchy phrase! Catchy because you already used this whole section of your rant in 2 other messages you spammed my blog with. You can’t even write blog replies that are original – what, do you have a cache of ready-made cut and pastes that you can cobble together and spam message boards with to make it appear as though you put a lot of time and effort into writing these citationless rants?

Darwinism has evolved from a scientific thought to a dangerous philosophy, which is so evident by the manner in which many Darwin believers react to any criticism of their evolutionary belief system. Darwinism must be true they proclaim, so they attempt to explain away any and all criticism using fragmentary data derived from a so-called transitional specie or some type of microevolution observation that is wildly extrapolated to a explain the origin of a macrostate.

*Recall that this is the fellow that wrote:




Who am I? I am a PhD molecular biologist/biochemist that studies cancer genetics and the role of mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene in the origins of cancer. I have been involved in cancer research for well over 25 years and have published over 50 manuscripts, book chapters, and review articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Oncogene, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, to name a few. I have received both national and international competitive grant support including funding from the National Institutes of Health and the International Association for Cancer Research.

*Ever heard of the argument from pseudoauthority?

One day about 7 years ago while studying a cDNA sequence that I had PCR-cloned from a differential display library, I was struck by the similarities between DNA and computer code.

*Oh boy… Here come the ‘analogies as evidence’…

DNA appeared to have a quaternary bit format organized into bytes of threes that spelled out the language message decoded by the protein translational machinery. I remained quiet about my observations for a number of years but now know of other scientists that also had made similar observations. How could a computer code that stores a language arise from a primordial soup?

*Did everybody catch the anti-evolutionist’s sleight of hand there?
Here it is:

DNA appeared to have have a quaternary bit format organized into bytes of threes … a computer code that stores a language…

Wow – we went from an appearance to an exactness! Now, DNA does not just look like computer code, it IS computer code! And we know that computer code is ‘designed’ by humans (an intelligence), therefore, via analogy and ignorance and nothing else, I, the great PhD. Cancer researcher, declare DNA to have been the product of Intelligence! But this has nothing to do with religion, of course…
Oh dear, all that sarcasm… It must be because I am desperate to protect my Darwinian Fundamentalism**…

With all the recent interest in the ID movement and evolution controversies, I decided to begin reading and studying the arguments on both sides as a neutral investigator.

*Oh, of course, for only a neutral investigator would write HEIL, DARWIN FUNDAMENTALISM!!

I could do this objectively since I have no personal or religious biases or interests toward ID or Darwinism. I don’t use any of these theories to advance my research in cancer genetics. I am a scientist that is curious about life’s origins and evolutions, and will go wherever the evidence takes me. However, I keep an open mind with the observations that are not limited to only the natural materialistic approach.


Yeah, you’re about as objective a fellow as I have ever seen…

Contrary to what many Darwin Fundamentalists might think, Darwinism has contributed little to my research. I don’t know of any of my colleagues in other medical research areas that are using Darwinism.

*Yeah, nobody at all is using any sort of evolution of that pesky ‘Darwinism’ in medical research… [6, 7, 8, 9] But hey – Designs, the PhD cancer researcher said it, so it must be true because he is objective and all that…

[snip irrelevant extension of how useless Darwinism is to his research]I began to re-evaluate evolution and Darwinism. I was amazed at the number of fossils but was shocked by the low corresponding number of fossil transitional species, even though there were hundreds of thousands of documented fossils.

*Perhaps, with your extensive background in – what was it? - oh yes, p53 and cancer, you can explain to us all what a transitional species should look like. Surely, a researcher with your vast experience and knowledge can do this?

Apparently, I was misled in my undergraduate and graduate studies to believe that transitions in the evolution of life forms had been neatly documented and that there were many examples of very clear transitional fossils.

*Hmmmmm…. A cancer researcher that implies an undergraduate and graduate education in fossils? Hmmm… Something seems a bit fishy… Well, maybe not. As an undergraduate I took biology, cell biology, anatomy, etc., and we were told all about fossils and evolution throughout.. No, wait – neither was mentioned at all!
But then, when I was in graduate school, I did have that one class that force fed us all this stuff about fossils and evolution… Well, it was a physical anthropology class that I was taking for my minor, but still… I wonder what sorts of classes graduate students in molecular biology take that would tell poor Designs a bunch of lies about fossils. Here are a few molecular biology/biochemistry graduate curricula. See if you can find which classes would miseducate poor Designs:
and here is one in cancer biology:
Methinks Designs is embellishing things a bit…

What a disappointment it was to go back and actually look into the literature/data samples and observe how meager the evidence there is to support the gradual evolution hypothesis of Darwinism. With all the gadzillions of fossils that have been discovered, there should be transitional species all over the place. But this is certainly not the case, in contrast to the claims shouted by many Darwinists that there are many, many excellent and clear examples of clear transitional fossils.

*So again, Designs,. Why not tell us all what a transitional species must look like? You appear to think you know.
**The next section in Designs rant referred to fossils. I am not a fossil expert, and do not want to take the time to look into each of Desings’ claims, which, by now, I have little reason to take at face value and every reason to be highly skeptical of. So, rather than go through the tedium of checking each fact, I am simply omitting most of Designs’ rant in this section. The complete original will be available if anyone really cares to see it.**

[…]… perhaps a few examples of mammal to whale transition.

*Whales ARE mammals. Shouldn’t a PhD in the biomedical sciences know this?

In some instances, I would agree that there is a fossil transition but not in other cases. It can clearly be a subjective determination. As I point out in a very limited discussion below, the fossil data clearly does not support a gradual Darwinian evolution.

*Hmm… So sometimes there is a fossil transition, even by your rigorous standards, but that doesn’t matter because the same data does not support “a gradual Darwinian evolution”? OK, I get it now…

The Cambrian explosion is just one of many instances where many species and organ complexities suddenly appear.
*Suddenly, as in 10s of millions of years10? Say, that IS sudden! And lets not forget the 10s of millions of years preceding the Cambrian11. Wow, Designs, I think your keen cancer-researcher insight and graduate classes on fossils just helped you destroy Darwinism!

It is difficult to imagine from a molecular point of view how so much DNA complexity information evolved in such a short period of time.

*Facts like segmental and chromosome duplication, stuff like that?

Arguments that try to account for the absence of gradual transition species in the Cambrian are a bunch hand-waving baloney! Put aside your Darwinist Fundamentalism and face the hard cold facts.
*Well, with your in-depth, fact-filled and well cited analysis, I guess we have no choice but to accept your proclamation without skepticism!

The lack of ancestors in the Cambrian explosion is confounded by the fact that molecular studies of the DNA differences of various animals predict that the basic lineages of animals, including many of these phyla, split apart long before the Cambrian Period.

*Yes, that DOES pose a problem for explaining why lots of phyla appear ‘fully formed’ in the Cambrian… Your intellectual gifts are truly amazing, Designs! (Remind me never to get cancer)

Chordates (animals with a backbone) and starfish-type things (Echinoderms) supposedly diverged about 1 billion years ago. No explanations can satisfactorily account for the lack of transitional species.

*Clearly then they were instantaneously crea- I mean, Designed!

[…]How can one argue that the size of the fossil makes it unpreservable? If the animals were there, they would have been preserved.
*But I thought you had graduate education in fossils? I would think that at the graduate level, some discussion of taphonomy would take place and why not everything gets fossilized might have been discussed. I guess not. Or maybe you were attending Jon Wells lectures that week or something…

If the animals were preserved, they would have been found.

*Yes, especially since every cubic inch of rock from every geological era has been examined.

When you get to this point, why not consider the
possibility that as the evidence suggests, there were not predecessors? Perhaps
purely natural evolution isn’t the answer?

*No predecessors would indicate…. Instantaneous crea- er, I mean, Design! So why no evidence of the designer and His methodology?

[…]I am a hard core experimentalist that begs “SHOW ME THE DATA”. There has been enough time and exploration to find the gradual transition fossils in the gaps.
*OK. What DATA were you shown that lead you to accept instantaneous design?

Some evolutionary scenarios based upon the supposed bird-like-dinosaur-like fossils have claimed that they evolved feathers, hollow bones, and wings, before they actually flew!

*How totally crazy! I mean, if evolution were true, these pre-birds musta’ been flying about without feathers! I mean, evolution is just crazy!

[…]Regarding whale evolution, problems appear in the 10 to 80 feet size of the animals in the transition of protocetids to Basilosaurus cetoides. According to this scenario, it would require much more than 10 million years for an increase in size of this magnitude, and that is solely for the final 2 fossils in the transition. It has been calculated that, even in a rapidly evolving line, changes in size are usually on the order of only 1-10% per million years. It would appear that no matter what fossils we find, here is an example where the whale evolutionary transition clearly did not happen because it COULD not have happened--the time allowed for it is simply too
*Amazing that there is no citation for this. You know, it is interesting. A single point mutation in the FGFR-3 gene can cause dwarfism in humans.
Dwarfism produces, among other things, an approximately 45-50% reduction in height. In ONE generation! According to Designs, this should have taken 5 million years! Clearly, dwarfism does not exist…

[…] A very small number of fossils are purported to be the true “fish with legs”. Unfortunately, regardless of how much we speculate, there are no fossils of fish with legs. Only the Darwin Fundamentalist can envision that certain appendages such as fins may have at one time functioned as primordial legs.

*Poor Designs – cannot even keep his mucked-up stories straight. The evidence indicates that it was a fin-to-limb transition, not a limb-to-fin. And, in fact, fossil evidence clearly shows extinct early fish with pectoral and even pelvic girdles whose limbs end in fins yet whose internal structure is quite like that of amphibians, reptiles, even mammals, especially the lineage that is thought to have ultimately lead to terrestrial vertebrates, the sarcopterygians12. You should stop getting your information for the DI and similar outfits. They are propaganda mills, you know.

[…]The most recent so-called transitional species are in fact radical changes in design and structure that would have to require the co-evolution of nervous and circulation systems as well as incredible and astounding changes in molecular and biochemical processes. The increase in cellular complexities in the new so-called transitional species is enormous. The amount of time that would be needed to account for the explosion in complexities of these radical new life forms is just not available. The transitional species that we know of today are by no means “gradual”; they are in fact “radical”.
*I always get a kick out of finding out that someone has misrepresented themselves. Designs is obviously not a cancer researcher, and clearly did not take and graduate classes in anything related to biology. Any biology major, especially one with a doctoral degree, should have a basic understanding of development and should realize that each individual body part/system does not require its own set of mutational/evolutionary changes to change form. The last anti-evolutionist I have seen employ such a nonsensical, uninformed rationale was technician Karl Crawford 13, 14, who once looked up ‘arm’ in Gray’s anatomy and posted on a discussion board a list of about 100 structures in the arm and declared that each one of them would have required multiple mutations in order to get a human arm from an ape arm therefore evolution is false. Designs’ argument here is about the same, just without a list. I have already mentioned the FRGFR-3 mutation causing dwarfism15. That is a SINGLE point mutation, yet it produces disproportionate limb length. That is – the nerves, blood vessels, bones, etc. are ALL altered by the one mutation. No multiple mutations, no ‘co-mutation.’ Designs just doesn’t know what he is talking about. And since he provides no way to check out his claims in the first place, there is no reason whatsoever to trust his hysterical rants to contain any truthful information at all.

None of the variations in body features seen in nature are evidence sufficient by themselves to prove that the beneficial mutation of genes is caused by natural, spontaneous, unintelligent causes, because the beneficial genes that step to the fore as a result of the process may have been present in an unobserved minority of the species before the selection process begins. The beneficial mutations may have been in the genome of some of the members of the species no matter how far back one can trace the creature through its ancestors. So much for the random mutation-natural selection theory of Darwin.

*Wow – it is amazing how Designs can, without any evidence, without citations, with only one paragraph, demolish the “random mutation-natural selection theory of Darwin.” But its funny – Darwin had no knowledge of genetics, so how could he have come up with such a theory? That is just a nitpick I suppose…

New revelations in gene structure and function as well as analyses of genomes sequences of organisms have cast more doubt than support for the Darwinist hypothesis. Complete genome sequences have revealed several complexities that Darwinian evolutionary theory did not anticipate or predict. First, there is a major role played by the transfer of genes from one species to another, as opposed to inheritance from ancestors.
*And this is a problem for evolution how? Well, apparently it is because some anti-evolution gurus have said so. Like they do with just about every new discovery. And, say - did ID predict any of this?

Second, bacterial species do not evolve solely in a random fashion, but show a bias toward deletion of genetic material.

*Say – evolution really must be false then!

Third, the portions of the genome that do not code proteins (junk DNA) have a critical function

*At the very least, this is extreme hyperbole. There are SOME section of so-called junk DNA that have been shown to possess regulatory and other function. But by no means has all such DNA been shown to be functional. In fact, if that were so, would not prokaryotes, with their penchant for losing DNA, be extinct by now?

Fourth, the expression of genes is controlled by regulatory circuits that are as complicated and precisely arranged as the most sophisticated engineering or computer programs.
*Well, another computer analogy! Color me convinced!

New revelations in the ability of bacteria to respond to environmental stress have also conflict with Darwinism. It appears that only certain regions of bacterial genomes undergo hypermutation in response to the control by sensoring devices in specific regions of the DNA. This is a big mystery and almost implies that the bacterial sensing and mutation adaptations are designed.

*Well, that is not entirely true either16.

Darwinism is an inadequate theory to explain the complexity of molecular, biochemical and morphological life processes. It is better to have no theory to explain the evolution of life than an inadequate or wrong one.
*No fair! Designs never produced his mathematical arguments! I was so looking forward to them...
Neo-Darwinism, or whatever one wishes to call it, is, as I mentioned above, at the worst incomplete. Designs has offered nothing of substance to indicate than anyone should think otherwise. In fact, Designs offers nothing but unsupported, hard to believe rhetoric and a couple of outright false claims to prop up his position. In an earlier, similarly ranty reply, Designs had characterized the posts on this blog as ‘arrogant’ and ‘ignorant.’ Considering the arrogance and ignorance of Designs rant, I think my sarcasm-laden response – which, I might add, unlike Designs actually has citations! – is all that is warranted.

Tough cookies to Designs, who is welcome to produce a rational reply to this. I would hope that in the least it would contain a way to verify his claims of: being a cancer researcher and having taken graduate classes that taught about fossils and transitionals; contain supporting links/documentation for at least a few of the claims; etc. Hysterical tirades will be deleted.



** Curious about the origin of the term ‘Darwinian Fundamentalism’, I did a quick Google search and came across the blog of one ‘Lawrence Seldon’ titled Darwinian Fundamentlism. It is the usual self-righteous underinformed propaganda that these people tend to spew, but I came across one little entry there that I thought I would comment on…

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sal Cordova just keeps sticking his foot in his mouth...

Many moons ago, Salvador Cordova, with BS in physics (music minor), was interviewed by writers from the scientific journal Nature. They were doing a story on the rise of creationism and its cloaked newer version, Intelligent Design. Cordova had been instrumental in establishing what are called 'IDEA' (Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness) clubs at a few universities. These clubs are basically an offshoot of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowships (they are not affiliated or associated with each other, rrather, I am commenting on the membership and discussions therein) that focus on the so-called creation-evolution debate and advopcate a pro-Intelligent Design alternative (the IDEA club at Cornell University , and presumably elsewhere, had requirements that its officers be bible-believing Christians. So much for 'just the science', eh? After much uproar, that requirement was removed...).

One of the mantras of the ID movement is that it is all about the science, not the religion. Cordova used to espouse this position emphatically. Yet, in his interview, he made it quite clear that the primary reason behind his ID advocacy was religion. This did not stop him from spamming numerous discussion boards and email groups with 'news' of his appearance in "the presigious journal Nature" (see here and here for but two of probably dozens of such examples).

But on to more recent Cordova effects.

It seems that Cordova attempted to address a post written by Ed Brayton regarding the true nature of the ID movement. Brayton had remarked that it seemed more intent upon 'converting' the uneducated masses than it did about engagingin scientific pursuits. Well, read how Cordova all but gave Brayton a cigar for being right about it all along... I suggest the reader follow the link to see the twisted 'logic' of a prolific ID advocate in action. Just a taste (note the simpleton's analogy-as-evidence that Cordova uses in bold):

The issues that come up are what empirical evidence exists and which framework gives a more adequate explanation. For example, I met a couple computer science students entering junior year who were Christians. I pointed out the cell is a computer with operating systems and software and compilers. I simply posed the question, "do you think Darwinian evolution can make that? You design computer systems, do you think Darwinian evolution can make something like a computer system?" They shook their heads and laughed that evolutionary biologists actually believe that Darwinian evolution can create such systems! And I can guarantee you there ain't an evolutionary biologist on the planet who can take first principles of information science and computer science and make a case that Darwinian evolution can account for these systems. Do you think someone like Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers will have any persuassive effect on these highly intelligent future citizens of society?

Brayton replies:

The fact that you, and the people you're talking to, actually find this analogy to be a persuasive argument that overthrows 150 years of productive scientific research in evolutionary biology only confirms my argument all the more. I'm sure that someone without any understanding of how such functional complexity can be built up through numerous evolutionary processes finds it a very compelling argument, but this is an artifiact of their ignorance, not of the validity of evolutionary theory.

Well said, Ed.

'Designs' - another IDcreationist agitator

I see that that paragon of virtue, 'Designs', spammed several posts with repeat messages. What a guy... ==========================================================


Just when I thought IDcreationists could not get much more dense…

Along comes this guy, 'Designs' (nice profile, and blog, eh? Hmmm... Wonder if he went to all that trouble just to leave those silly replies?).

He left a pair of rather silly, cookie-cutter replies to this post. It is the usual dreck from these people...

From the arrogant and ignorant ramblings on this blog, I can understand why “stupid lay people” refuse to accept Darwinian Fundamentalism.

*One will note that ‘Designs’ did not bother to point out any of my supposed “arrogant and ignorant ramblings.” Typical IDcreationist rhetoric – full of bluster, devoid of content.
And 'Darwinian Fundamentalism'? Clever. Stupid, but clever...*

Besides, scientific evidence is whittling away at the validity of gradual Darwinian evolution. The number of scientists who are dissatisfied with the Darwinism hypothetical nonsense continues to increase.

*Well, not really. The number of people with some sort of degree**, with a religious predisposition to reject non-miraculous creation, willing to append their name to some list, may be increasing, but most rational folks do not consider lawyers, high school teachers, etc., to be ‘scientists.’ And what is more, even those on these lists that can be considered scientists are making proclamations outside of their field of true expertise. As Phil Johnson, lawyer, HIV-denier, creationist, father of the ID movement says, commenting outside of one’s area of expertise makes one a layman in that area.*

Serious problems exist in the ability of the theory to account for the radical changes and appearances of life forms in such short time periods on the evolutionary scale. Explanations given by Darwinists for the Cambrian explosion cannot adequately account for the punctuated equilibriums and are just hand-waving non-empirical baloney. Darwin himself expressed grave concerns about his theory based on the Cambrian explosion.

*Let’s see, ‘Designs,’ Darwin lived about 150 years ago – do you think his concerns (for which we are given no evidence of, by the way) – do you think anything might have changed since then? How long was the ‘Cambrian explosion’? Do you know? Do you care? What about the pre-Cambrian? Why do you not accept any evolutionary explanations? Do you think it was miraculo0us? Was it part of the creation event? If so, why no humans or modern mammal fossils there? If it was some non-supernatural designer (hate to spoil your party), how does that help your cause? How does it negate post-Cambrian evolution? You have no answers. You are just another uninformed, right-wing IDcreationist agitator.*


*See what I mean?*

Check out the growing movement of scientists (now over 600; some of who are National Academy of Science members) who find Darwinism unsatisfactory as a
theory to explain all aspects of the diversity of life. The list is at

*How many are named Steve?*
You can see a list of just those scientists – ALL scientists, not lawyers, dentists, etc., like the Discovery List – with the name of Steve (or some derivative thereof) here. You will find that the scientist 'Steves' listed there, almost to a person, have fields of study directly or indirectly linked to the actual study of evolution. I wonder how many of the DI's list can that be said of?

This document simply states that “We are skeptical of the claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged”.

*As worded, nearly anyone could sign that in good conscience. It is what this list is used for that turns off most people. I wonder if the folks on that list are skeptical of and urge careful examination of IDcreationism, as well?
Most likely, of course not.*

The number of scientists joining this list will continue to grow as more scientists, including myself, from all areas of biology critically examine the Darwin theory.

*YOU are a scientist? Frankly, I do not believe it. Not for one second. No actual scientist would write such clearly uninformed, silly bilge as you have been doing. Oh, wait – an IDcreationist with science credentials is not bound by any sort of integrity-driven logic. Look at the things Dembski, Behe, Wells, etc. write… (Dembski is not a scientist, by the way – in fact, he does not even appear to be much of a mathematician)*

No longer will scientists who are dissatisfied with Darwinism remain subjectively complacent to repressive Darwinian Fundamentalism, which is the single greatest threat to critical thought, reasoning, and the scientific method.

*Creationist Lawyer Johnson could not have written such idiotic nonsense better…*

Darwinism has evolved from science to a dangerous philosophy, as evident by the manner in which many Darwin believers, such those commenting in this blog, react to any criticism of their evolutionary belief system. The Darwin Fundies proclaim, “DARWINISM MUST BE TRUE!”, so they use sarcasm and other derogatory comments directed at Darwinian dissenters and skeptics in order to discredit them in an unprofessional and unscientific way.

*Actually, such comments are the result of seeing people pontificating outside of their areas of actual knowledge, repeatedly; making numerous illogical and otherwise egregious scientific errors; producing out of context quotes to prop up their ideology; refusing to acknowledge their errors; etc. , and getting frustrated at having to deal with it on a daily basis.
Is it professional and scientific, in your esteemed view, ‘Designs’, to embellish one’s credentials to make one’s arguments appear to have more merit? To make Flash animations of your opponents, complete with flatulence noises? To engage in character assassination of those that rule against you in courts of law? And so on, and so on, and so on?
Not that it matters to an idiot that would write something like: *


You are no longer welcome to leave comments here. Take your infantile idiocy to someplace where it will fit in, like ARN or Telic Thoughts or Davey Springer’s den of simpletons.


** One will notice on the list Designs links, a rather disproportionate number of people whose backgrounds/specialties tend not to be in areas related to biology. Losts of engineers, mathematicians, etc. So I ask, WHO CARES what they think about it? Would they care what biologists think about engineering and the like? These lists that anti-evolutionists trot out are designed solely to impress those that do not know any better.