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

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More from "Intelligent Designer"

The Intelligent Designer that I have been discussing here replied to my comment on his blog some time ago and I never read or replied, as I wrote my own post about it (see link). But I finally checked to see if he had replied, and he had.

From here, interspersed with my commentary:

Doppelganger said:
what special insights into genomes and genetics does being a software engineer provide?

I had asked this since Stimpson had indicated that software engineers had some sort of special insight into things that they have no knowledge of, namely, genetics.

I have spent a significant portion of my career working on embedded systems such
as on board flight computers, data acquisition and control instruments and bar
code readers.

But no biology classes? No experience with genetics? Huh... Imagine that...

To design these things software, mechanical and electrical engineers were
required to pool their knowledge to accomplish the task. No one person or group
of persons belonging to only one engineering discipline would be able to

I wouldn't doubt it. This gives you insights into genetics and genomics how again?

In like manner, to untangle the mysteries the human genome, which has a much
grander design than any of the things I have worked on, it will require the
combined knowledge of people with specialized knowledge from several

A couple of issues.... Not understanding everything about the genome does not indicate a 'grand design.' And I am still not sure how not understanding anything about biology/genetics (as Stimpston does) gives anyone special insights into it, regardless of their actual backgrounds. I know engineers can and have contributed ot DNA research, but these were engineers that actually took the time to learn about and understand and gain experience working with DNA, genetics, etc., as opposed to simply believing that BECAUSE they are engineers, they have some special insights and can pontificate on the matter because superficially, genomes seem to act sort of like computer software.

A computer scientist with a grasp of information theory and design patterns
could certainly bring something to the table that a Professor of Biology like
you could not.

Indeed. But such a person would have to understand how to apply their knowledge appropriately, and employing direct analogies and claiming them as evidence simply will not work.

I would wager that it would be easier for a group of biology professors to
design a kidney dialysis machine or a prosthetic hand than to decode the human genome.

What do you mean 'decode'? While there is certainly much to learn, I think you are coming at this with a 1980's mindset (scientifically).

Doppelganger said: How much experinece[sic]/education do software engineers
generally get in the course fo[sic] their educations/careers?

So what’s your point?

I think a few words got cut off their - my point was - how much education/experience in the biological science/genetics does a typical software engineer get. I think it a valid point.

But the Randy saw my blog entry here, and got upset:

On his blog Professor Scott P. [Doppelganger above] criticizes this
blog entry on Junk DNA. His argument includes ad holmium [sic] attacks,
psychoanalysis, insults, misrepresentations, poor logic and some information.

Perhaps, but one will notice that Stimpson did not bother to actually point out any of these supposed transgressions. But let's take a look.

Well, I did write that being a creationist with an engineering background seems to produce some sort of narcissistic psychosis. A bit harsh, I suppose, but how else to describe the notion that simply being an engineer and a creationists gives one some sort of all-powerful insights into things that the person does not actually understand very well? Such folk certainly believe that they are intellectually superior, that much is trivial to document.
I did mention that Stimpson's post on Junk DNA was silly and such, but then I went on to explain why. I did not claim that Stimpson's opinions on the matter are wrong BECAUSE he is an engineer, a creationist, or anything else - no, those are just window dressing. His opinions are wrong because they are wrong.
And sure, I was sarcastic and smarmy. Big deal. I still made my points and had some fun doing it.

Others chime in with condescending remarks. Even Professor Larry Morgan chimes in from his blog to add insult. I try to be nice and stick to the topic of the debate but can’t resist the occasional sic.

I'm sure. And picking on my typos - which I advertise, by the way <Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)) - when you outright misspell something is a bit... silly.

But Randy - who I am sure is a nice fellow - has yet to be able ot support his claims, defend his assertions/position, or show where I have been wrong.

IOW - a creationist.


Perusing Randy's blog, I found a couple more gems:

"... I think the most commonly believed alternative (evolution by random mutation) is ridiculous. "

No explanation why, of course. But hey - Randy has experience with software engineering, so surely his opinions on evolution are very valid and important...


paul m martin said...

How could the world not be intelligently designed? Simply look at the stars in the sky; the complexity of jigsaw puzzles; the guy we've got still sitting in the Oval Office.

I say it's been both intelligently and, as of the last seven years, interminably designed.

Intelligent Designer said...

Hi Scott. Most of what you have written is ad holmium (argument against the person) and I don’t want to waste my time responding to that. So let me reread your arguments defending the hypothesis that 97% of the human genome is junk to see if I can find anything to respond to …. Well the only relevant point I found is that bit about mouse DNA and I believe I responded to that.

Doppelganger said...

Hi Randy,

First, it is "ad hominem", not "ad holmium". Holmium is an element. And none of what I wrote was actually ad hominem - like most creationists, you do not seem to know what that phrase actually means.

Check here,maybe it will help:

An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).

I did not do this at all, and in fact went to lengths to explain how I did not do this.

Creationists love to mischaracterize arguments in this fashion , I suspect, as a means of avoiding having to deal with the fact that tehy are wrong. That and apparently not even knowing what "ad holmium" (SIC) actually means.

And then, of course, thereis the requisite manafactured claim:

"So let me reread your arguments defending the hypothesis that 97% of the human genome is junk..."

I never said such a thing, Randy, so please do not set up a strawman fallacy.

It is so.... creationist.

Intelligent Designer said...

The point of my blog entry about junk DNA that you took issue with is that from a software engineering perspective it's absurd to think that 97% of human DNA is junk. If you are not disputing that assertion what are we arguing about?

Doppelganger said...

That is exactly what I took issue with.

It is irrelevant that your software engineering experience made you believe that the genome could not be 97% 'junk' since a genome is, in fact, NOT just like software, as I briefly explained.

Further, you premised your 'conclusion' on looking at how much code there is in Windows or whatever it was and declaring that a human is so much more 'complex' (which you did not define) that there must be some other source of "information" in cells, and that biology would be so much further ahead if geneticists would think like software engineers (ad hominem).

Yet you never ventured any estimates of just how "complex" a human is such that 97% of the genome must not be 'junk,' nor did you venture to explain how such a thing would even be measured.

Further, there is a difference between useless junk and noncoding 'junk.'

Doppelganger said...

So, "Intelligent" Designer - any more "ad holmiums"?

No definitions of your terms?

No estimate of the "complexity" of a human and how large a human's "programming" should be?

Guess not - just another out of his league creationist ego pumper...