Creation versus evolution

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby MrSinatra » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:04 pm

topher, what does that matter?

this is about merit, not motivation. motivation is meaningless.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:26 am

Motivation, actual or perceived, is far from meaningless, especially when you have extreme difficulty in convincing anyone of the merits of your research. Let me give you a hypothetical example...

I've been working late nights in my study for the past ten years. Last night I have a breakthrough: I discover that I have developed a theory to explain the psychology of people perfectly, and this theory also provides the ability to allow rapid, drug-free treatment of most non-physical psychological disorders. The problem with the theory is that it goes against everything people think they know about psychology from Freud forward.

Do I:

a. Submit my theory to various journals for peer review and publication,
b. Try to come up with a way to patent something related to my theory to make millions (billions?), or
c. Write a textbook and market it to schools where mainstream psychological thought is already held in low regard?

If I choose either a. or b., my theory will undergo comprehensive review, but there are significant risks involved. A reviewer may find substantial flaws in my theory, a patent official may decide that my device isn't patentable, or they may just be so entrenched in the current system that they don't give my theory proper consideration. The standard response in these situations is to rewrite and resubmit, or to submit to a different journal, as there are hundreds of peer-reviewed journals in publication. A quick search gives me 299 journals on psychology, so one rejection certainly isn't the end of the road for my groundbreaking theory. (Doing a similar search I found 181 biology journals. Obviously, not all of these would be suited for an article on ID, but depending on the specifics of the article, a few dozen probably would be.)

Let's say that instead, I choose c., and write and publish a textbook showing how the world of psychology is best explained by my theory. Regardless of whether or not my theory is a valid theory, I have just alienated the psychological community and made it orders of magnitude more difficult to get anyone to review my work, because I have gone outside the system and stigmatized any attempts someone else might have to do related research. Regardless of my actual motivation, my perceived motivation (arrogance, fear that my theory won't stand up to scrutiny, or just simple incompetence) will prevail.

From what I can tell, the ID people chose c., as Behe didn't submit his paper for peer review until 1999, ten years after the publication of Of Pandas and People, and, fairly or unfairly, Behe's paper was rejected for publication. (I don't know how many journals Behe attempted--I can only find records of the one attempt online.)

Perhaps motivation shouldn't matter, but unfortunately, in the real world as well as the scientific world, it does.

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby WeaponOfMassInstruction » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:45 am

If any of you are wrestling fans, you'll almost certainly know the name Mick Foley- a.k.a. Cactus Jack, Dude Love and Mankind.

He and Obama have something in common- both have written two biographies at a pretty young age.

When Foley wrote his first bio, it went pretty much straight to number one on the New York Times bestseller list. It actually spent several weeks at number one and a couple of months on the chart. But the NYT Book Review never bothered to review it nor would they accept a review of the book done by a contributing writer. Foley, in his second book, makes a brilliant observation when he said that 'it is not only the duty of a reveiwer to judge a book but also, apparently, to prejudge it as well.'

This is, in my opinion, exactly what authors and scholars who would write books on ID go through, and for very much the same reason.

To the NYT Book Review elitists, having to review Foley's bio would be seen by them as somehow giving Foley- and, by extension, professional wrestling- a kind of credibility that, in their eyes, is not deserved. To those who peer review scientific works, having to peer review a book on ID would be seen by them as somehow giving Intelligent Design- and, by extension, the idea of a 'God'- a kind of credibility that, in their eyes, is not deserved. They have not only judged but prejudged the suitability of each topic without examining the evidence (or lack of it) because they are totally unwilling to have their core beliefs challenged. It is nothing less than intellectual cowardice.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:58 am

That may be true--but Darwin's work really had the same problem, as it wasn't really embraced until the 1930's, almost eighty years after initial publication. By my count, that gives the ID community until sometime after 2060 to catch up. The ID community may want their theory to gain respect quickly, but that just isn't the way things work in the scientific world. Testing and retesting takes more time than that.

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby WeaponOfMassInstruction » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:06 pm

Topher wrote:That may be true--but Darwin's work really had the same problem, as it wasn't really embraced until the 1930's, almost eighty years after initial publication. By my count, that gives the ID community until sometime after 2060 to catch up. The ID community may want their theory to gain respect quickly, but that just isn't the way things work in the scientific world. Testing and retesting takes more time than that.

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I would hope that it would be easier to devise a mechanism for testing ID in 2009 than it was to devise a mechanism for testing evolution theory was back in 1890. We have made a few strides in science over the past 120 years or so.

Unless of course the reticence is ideological rather than scientific.....
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:22 pm

WeaponOfMassInstruction wrote:I would hope that it would be easier to devise a mechanism for testing ID in 2009 than it was to devise a mechanism for testing evolution theory was back in 1890. We have made a few strides in science over the past 120 years or so.


I tend to agree. The problem is more one of designing experiments that would confirm or disprove aspects of intelligent design rather than actually conducting these experiments. I've been reading up on some recent developments where it's being suggested that interspecies genetic transfers might make evolution look a bit more like a web than a tree (previously it was thought that these transfers only happened in single-cell organisms). It will be interesting to see how this affects evolutionary biology research in the future. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... ?full=true

And, obviously, there is ideological as well as scientific opposition to ID within the scientific community. Darwin experienced the same thing, as his writings contradicted the teachings of the Church of England. Whether such ideological opposition is the main barrier to acceptance really depends on which side you're on.

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Ken92081 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:48 pm

Here's the bottm line, Creationism and Evolution are both theories, the difference is Evolution is supported by more impirical evidence. The fact that every major religious creation stroy is at the core, the same, tells me that its more a story than fact.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby ARJ127 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:59 pm

Is someone censoring this thread? I had a post in here about theory vs fact that has now been deleted. It explained that the word theory in a scientific context isn't to be viewed as a hypothesis, as many here have done. I expected better from the moderator. :x
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby MrSinatra » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:55 pm

i might have by mistake... i'm not sure?

i've been trying to clear out spam...
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby ARJ127 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:15 am

Thanks for 'fessing up. Perhaps the url links made you think it was spam. I'll assume it was an honest mistake.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby WeaponOfMassInstruction » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Ken92081 wrote:Here's the bottm line, Creationism and Evolution are both theories, the difference is Evolution is supported by more impirical evidence.


A fair statement.

Which begs the question:

Is that because of a collective unwillingness to subject ID to testing, for whatever reason?

The fact that every major religious creation stroy is at the core, the same, tells me that its more a story than fact.


But then every textbook that mentions Darwinian evolution also tells the same story. Is that because the writers think it is correct or because they have all been fooled? If you say that all Creationist theory is the "same story at its core"- and you're basically correct in saying so- for what reason is that the case?
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:46 am

WeaponOfMassInstruction wrote:Is that because of a collective unwillingness to subject ID to testing, for whatever reason?


Not at all. I haven't been able to come up with a direct test for ID, and I haven't talked to a research scientist who can think of something to test, as a direct test would require testing for the existence of an intelligent designer. Besides, if ID supporters can come up with experiments, I'm quite certain they can come up with funding to perform them. If the experiments and results meet the standards of academic journals, they'll be able to get published.

Indirectly, ID is tested regularly, as any experiment that shows a way that something could have happened without an intelligent designer weakens the case for ID. However, like I've said before, just because a designer isn't necessary doesn't mean there isn't one, so the existence of a designer will never be disproved.

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby ARJ127 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:09 pm

Intelligent Design and Natural Selection (so-called "evolution") are not equivalent. They are not both theories in the scientific sense. Here's link from a PBS program that dealt with a school board's attempt to teach intelligent design in school classroms along with Darwinian natural selection. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/defi-qa.html A conservative judge, appointed by G.W. Bush, ruled against the school board's attempt to bring ID into the biology classroom. Before, anyone here starts labelling the judge as an atheistic Democrat, follow this link to a Time article on the case http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1187265,00.html

When are people here going to wise up to the fact that scientific theory is not a hypothesis? I've already had someone here take me to task for a comment I made about the lack of scientific knowledge on the part of some people who post here. My response: "If you don't know the difference between theory and hypothesis in a scientific context you don't know much about science". :roll:
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby WeaponOfMassInstruction » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:13 pm

Not at all. I haven't been able to come up with a direct test for ID, and I haven't talked to a research scientist who can think of something to test, as a direct test would require testing for the existence of an intelligent designer.


Mathematical tests have already been run that show the statistical probability of evolution leading from single-cell organisms to human beings (the most 'evolved' life of which we are currently aware) is so close to zero as to be mathematically impossible. Now I admit that this is circumstantial 'proof, but it is enough that it should call into serious question whether evolution, as currently described and understood, is the correct answer to how we're here.

Besides, if ID supporters can come up with experiments, I'm quite certain they can come up with funding to perform them. If the experiments and results meet the standards of academic journals, they'll be able to get published.


Funny but I say the exact same thing about embryonic stem celll research.

Indirectly, ID is tested regularly, as any experiment that shows a way that something could have happened without an intelligent designer weakens the case for ID. However, like I've said before, just because a designer isn't necessary doesn't mean there isn't one, so the existence of a designer will never be disproved.


Actually, it is evolution that, whenever it is put to serious and rigorous scientific testing, is found to be less than adequate theory.

Whenever the statistical numbers are run, the chances that humans are the result of a series of random mutations is so infinitely small as to be statistically impossible. No, the result is not zero....but it is approximately the same chance as that of a Giant Raccoon passing gas that spontaneously created all life as we know it.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby WeaponOfMassInstruction » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:22 pm

ARJ127 wrote:Intelligent Design and Natural Selection (so-called "evolution") are not equivalent. They are not both theories in the scientific sense.


Only because evolutionists are deathly afraid to put their pet theory to the test or to seriously consider a testing regimen for ID.

Here's link from a PBS program that dealt with a school board's attempt to teach intelligent design in school classroms along with Darwinian natural selection. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/defi-qa.html A conservative judge, appointed by G.W. Bush, ruled against the school board's attempt to bring ID into the biology classroom. Before, anyone here starts labelling the judge as an atheistic Democrat, follow this link to a Time article on the case http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1187265,00.html


The problem is that the school board did a very poor job of arguning their case. They allowed evolution proponents to frame the issue, namely that ID = Creationism. Given the current climate of growing religious intolerance from the Left, the judge gave in to pressure and took the coward's way out.

But the real issue is how afraid of competition evolutionists are. A school district in Gerogia wanted to place a sticker in biology books that read something like 'Evolution is a theory but it is not the only theory.' and that 'students are to be encouraged to explore alternative possibilities.' It did not mention creationism or intelligent design, yet the ACLU went berzerk at the blatantly unconstitutional notion of encouraging students to expand their knowledge. We can have students questioning whether the United States is the greatest civilization mankind has every produces or whether it is a racist, bigoted society built on slave labor and capitalist oppression....but we can;t have anyone questioning whether man is simply a well-dressed ape.

When are people here going to wise up to the fact that scientific theory is not a hypothesis? I've already had someone here take me to task for a comment I made about the lack of scientific knowledge on the part of some people who post here. My response: "If you don't know the difference between theory and hypothesis in a scientific context you don't know much about science". :roll:


There was a time when scientists expanded their knowledge by putting their beliefs (and I'm referring here to scientific beliefs though other types would be equally true) to rigorous testing. They did not fear that the testing would prove them wrong, and they felt that, even if proen wrong, the expansion of knowledge was more than enough recompense for failure.

I guess those times are long past.
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