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bob b
February 10th, 2006, 12:26 PM
Interesting "take".


Faith-Based Evolution
By Dr. Roy Spencer 08 Aug 2005

Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as fact, I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.

In the scientific community, I am not alone. There are many fine books out there on the subject. Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college.

You might wonder how scientists who are taught to apply disciplined observation and experimentation and to search for natural explanations for what is observed in nature can come to such a conclusion? For those of you who consider themselves open-minded, I will try to explain.

True evolution, in the macro-sense, has never been observed, only inferred. A population of moths that changes from light to dark based upon environmental pressures is not evolution -- they are still moths. A population of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics does not illustrate evolution -- they are still bacteria. In the biological realm, natural selection (which is operating in these examples) is supposedly the mechanism by which evolution advances, and intelligent design theory certainly does not deny its existence. While natural selection can indeed preserve the stronger and more resilient members of a gene pool, intelligent design maintains that it cannot explain entirely new kinds of life -- and that is what evolution is.

Possibly the most critical distinction between the two theories (or better, models) of origins is this: While similarities between different but related species have been attributed by evolutionism to common ancestry, intelligent design explains the similarities based upon common design. An Audi and a Ford each have four wheels, a transmission, an engine, a gas tank, fuel injection systems but no one would claim that they both naturally evolved from a common ancestor.

Common ancestry requires transitional forms of life to have existed through the millions of years of supposed biological evolution. Yet the fossil record, our only source of the history of life on Earth, is almost (if not totally) devoid of transitional forms of life that would connect the supposed evolution of amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to birds, etc. This is why Stephen Jay Gould, possibly the leading evolutionist of our time, advanced his punctuated equilibria theory. In this theory, evolution leading to new kinds of organisms occurs over such brief periods of time that it was not captured in the fossil record. Upon reflection, one cannot help but notice that this is not arguing based upon the evidence -- but instead from the lack of evidence.

One finally comes to the conclusion that, despite vigorous protests, belief in evolution and intelligent design are matters of faith. Even some evolutionists have admitted as much in their writings. Modern biology does not fall apart without evolution, as some will claim. Maybe the theories of the origins of forms of life fall apart, or theories of the origin of capabilities that those life forms exhibit, or the supposed ancestral relationships between them fall apart. But these are merely intellectual curiosities, serving only to stimulate discussion and teach the next generation of students the same beliefs. From a practical point of view, the intelligent design paradigm is just as useful to biology, and I believe, more satisfying from an intellectual point of view.

Intelligent design can be studied and taught without resorting to human creation traditions and beliefs, which in the West are usually traceable to the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Just as someone can recognize and study some machine of unknown purpose built by another company, country (or alien intelligence?), one can also examine the natural world and ask the question: did this machine arise by semi-random natural physical processes, or could it have been designed by a higher power? Indeed, I was convinced of the intelligent design arguments based upon the science alone.

Of course, ultimately, one must confront the origin of that higher power, which will logically lead to the possibility of an original, uncaused, First Cause. But then we would be firmly in the religious realm. All naturalistic cosmological theories of origins must invent physics that have never been observed by science -- because the Big Bang cant be explained based upon current physics. A naturalistic origin of the universe violates either the First or Second Laws of thermodynamics -- or both. So, is this science? Or faith?

It is already legal to teach intelligent design in public schools. What is not currently legal is to mandate its teaching. The Supreme Court has ruled that this would violate the First Amendments establishment of religion clause.

But I have some questions relating to this: Does not classical evolutionism, based almost entirely upon faith, violate the same clause? More importantly, what about the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion?

If the public school system insists on teaching evolution as a theory of origins, in the view of many a religious activity, why is it discriminating against the only other theory of origins, intelligent design? (There is, by the way, no third theory of origins that anyone has ever been able to determine.) At the very least, school textbooks should acknowledge that evolution is a theory of origins, it has not been proved, and that many scientists do not accept it.

There are a variety of ideas that try to blend evolution and intelligent design, the most unified one being pantheism that sees God and nature as One. This view, which has been held by many peoples throughout recorded history, has also been advanced here at TCS. But more commonly, people subscribe to the notion that a Creator got things started, and then evolution took over.

The problem I have with this is that it grants far too much significance to macroevolution, since it has virtually no observational evidence to support it. One wonders: Why do so many people defend it so fervently?

Whether intelligent design is ever taught in school is probably not as important as the freedom that we have in a free society to discuss, and study, such issues. And for that, I am thankful.

Highline
February 10th, 2006, 06:20 PM
bob b, thanks, interesting. I have enjoyed some of your comments other threads as well.

I think that design should not be taught as science because nobody is making predictions or trying to investigate the methods used in the design. They are just trying to refute evolution so they can keep their faith. I have no problem with teachers mentioning that evolution has no proof, and therefore has doubts about origins. But they can't teach design unless someone makes some hypothesis or predictions about what we might find. Evolutionists debate about details, but creationists have no consensus about even the most basic things, such as the age of the earth.

Answer some basic questions.
Was all life created at once, or was it created in groups over time? How much time?
Why are unique populations of species located on islands that don't have unique geology and weather?
Why do no monkeys in Africa have tales, but most monkeys in S. America have tails?

I can think of others, but I'll leave it at those. Evolutionists give me interesting answers to those, do creationists lack curiosity? I know you don't, but I wonder about most Christians. I think this is why I get bored at church.

mighty_duck
February 10th, 2006, 07:56 PM
I could have sworn I saw a formal debate about this somewhere. Well, anyways...

I found a few things that stuck out of that article :



From a practical point of view, the intelligent design paradigm is just as useful to biology, and I believe, more satisfying from an intellectual point of view.


Useful my left foot! What Highline said. Give us a prediction. Show how this paradigm is in any way useful except to stifle further scientific inquiry.



Does not classical evolutionism, based almost entirely upon faith...


Evolution is based almost entirely on evidence. There are some places where a leap of "faith" is required, because of our limited knowledge as human beings. A similar "faith" is required in other scientific disciplines as well. But to say evolution is based almost entirely on faith is ludicrous!



True evolution, in the macro-sense, has never been observed, only inferred.

I would love it if one of these IDiots define what macro-evolution is. As best as I could find, macro-evolution is defined as evolution that has not been observed. Any type of evolution that has been observed, is conveniently termed micro-evolution. So the above quote is a tautology.



At the very least, school textbooks should acknowledge that evolution is a theory of origins, it has not been proved, and that many scientists do not accept it.

What is this "proved" that you speak of? Can you prove anything in science? Why aren't you advocating this little acknowledgment to all the science books. And the scientists that do not accept it are very, very rarely doing research in the specific field. Kids should be taught what the overwhelming majority of scientists in the correct field think. Period.

Bob,
ID is not a scientific theory. It is a critique of another theory. That's like saying an article bashing Hamlet, should in itself be considered a play. For ID to be considered anything more than a critique, it must present a positive case. Please present that case, and some predictions that can be derived from it. Until you do, stop calling this a scientific theory.

bob b
February 10th, 2006, 09:55 PM
bob b, thanks, interesting. I have enjoyed some of your comments other threads as well.

Thanks. Very kind of you.


I think that design should not be taught as science because nobody is making predictions or trying to investigate the methods used in the design.

I would agree. The people in the field are working toward making it a science, but are still in the early stages. But I can't resist noting that because evolution is based on random mutations and an environment whose effect can not be predicted in detail, evolution deals only with finding plausible explanations of results noted after the fact, i.e. post-dictions not pre-dictions as one would prefer.


They are just trying to refute evolution so they can keep their faith.

Most people who do not believe evolution (like myself) feel that it is self refuting and is not involved in keeping one's faith. However, evolution is taught is schools as fact and the only feasible antidote to this at present is to try to expose its shortccomings in the public arena of ideas.


I have no problem with teachers mentioning that evolution has no proof, and therefore has doubts about origins. But they can't teach design unless someone makes some hypothesis or predictions about what we might find.

Again, I would agree with you and the need to avoid introducing ID into the public schools, at least until it matures sufficiently to warrant it.


Evolutionists debate about details, but creationists have no consensus about even the most basic things, such as the age of the earth.

I feel there is a consensus among creationists, but this is diluted by the many who mix the two ideas together to achieve reconciliation, i.e. theistic evolution. Illogical mixture in
my view.


Answer some basic questions.
Was all life created at once, or was it created in groups over time? How much time?

I see no reason to doubt the Genesis account although I once did.


Why are unique populations of species located on islands that don't have unique geology and weather?

I find it difficult to discuss such a nebulous topic as "species" in general terms. It seems to me that without DNA sequencing of candidate genomes the subject is extremely subjective. For example, people differ greatly in their physical appearance yet their genomes are extremely similar. Yet some lifeforms which are extremely similar in physical appearance vary considerably with regard to the DNA in their genomes. One might wonder why.

But to answer you more specifically, Natural Selection happens and so do mutations. The actual dispute is not over small changes, but whether new organs, for example, could be created by such a process. The system interrelationships involved with such a feat boggle the mind, and cause the DNA mutational pathway to be virtually unfathomable. Thus, only faith plus circumstancial evidence, e.g. the fossil record, can create belief in its feasibility.


Why do no monkeys in Africa have tales, but most monkeys in S. America have tails?

Here the answer may be simple. Perhaps a simple mutation results in a loss of a tail and the flaw is passed on. In an isolated group inbreeding does the rest (e.g. humans on Pitcairn Island).


I can think of others, but I'll leave it at those. Evolutionists give me interesting answers to those, do creationists lack curiosity? I know you don't, but I wonder about most Christians. I think this is why I get bored at church.

People like to have answers. For many an unanswered question is like a popcorn kernel stuck between their teeth: bothersome.

skeptech
February 10th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Interesting "take".
My "take" is that evolution is a testable theory. ID is not, and is therefore not science.


One finally comes to the conclusion that, despite vigorous protests, belief in evolution and intelligent design are matters of faith.
I don't have a problem with this. We "know" very little, but only believe what we sense or are told. If we deem something plausible, then we believe it; otherwise, we don't. It only makes a difference when reality suddenly contradicts what we believe. Then we must either resolve it, or refuse to accept it. If we refuse to accept it, the consequences can be dire. But in this case (evolution vs. ID), I think the consequences of believing one or the other are pretty minor in the big scheme of things, so until there is absolute proof there will be disagreement.

And, because the consequences are minor, it's not worth getting too worried about. It's really a red herring for the bigger underlying issue, which is whether or not a god is required for us to exist.

Nahsil
February 11th, 2006, 12:44 AM
Do you know of any reliable sources for info on intelligent design, bob?

Colossians
February 11th, 2006, 01:48 AM
My "take" is that evolution is a testable theory. ID is not, and is therefore not science.
It is not possible to test whether anything is designed: once it is here, it is too late. So your idea is philosophically silly, and pedantic.
ID does not have to be tested: it is self-evident.

See also my thread: "Unnatural selection", in which I show that NS is a rigged scenario.

bob b
February 11th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Do you know of any reliable sources for info on intelligent design, bob?

Off the top of my head there are at least four types of material that can be said to be closely related to ID. There may be more.

1) mathematical treatments dominated by the books by Bill Dembski. These are not for math beginners or even intermediates.

2) biological treatments which demonstrate the complexity and interrelatedness of the systems and subsystems of life even in "simple" creatures like bacteria. Behe's Darwin's Black Box is the classic book in this area. The film Unlocking the Mystery of Life presents this type of material in stunning visuals and animations (those having NetFlix can order it).

3) books and articles which present authors' arguments concerning their skepticism and even rejection of the Darwinian model of descent from a hypothetical primitive protocell.
In this category I am currently reading Uncommon Descent, a collection of articles which presents a wide variety of reasons different authors have rejected evolution and are toying with ID to more or less degrees. There is also the website:
http://www.discovery.org/

On a broader note all of this type of material is basically a critique of the evidence for evolution, even extending for some into the idea of millions of years, since if that is not true then evolution would certainly lose all credibility.


4) material concerning the growing scientific evidence which makes abiogenesis less and less likely. The recent article in Commentary is a good example.
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article.asp?aid=12102024_1


The last 3 categories support intelligent design by arguing that evolution can not generate new designs, implying that only intelligent agents can create new designs. Even rabid evolutionists like Dawkins concede that there is design in nature, but conclude that random mutations plus natural selection plus millions of years constitute the "designer".

The reason lack of credibility for evolution is support for ID is that there seems to be no third option. As far back as 1954 the biologist and Nobel prize winner George Wald stated this publicly many times (either God or evolution). I am sure most thoughtful people would agree. Of course the reverse is also true, certainly at least for Christianity.

Apologist
February 11th, 2006, 09:19 AM
Intelligent design is nothing but theism in science's clothing. Evolution has been reached as a scientific conclusion by the work of several scientists who actually used the scientific method. Where is the scientific in Intelligent design? It's just like trying to say that God stuck those dinosaur bones in the ground just to test us, or like saying that God just put the -appearance- of the Earth only being here for millions and billions of years, when in fact it is only 10 thousand. If you believe that, you are a friggen idiot, and an outright blasphemer. I for my own part shall quote a Catholic evolution scientist i saw on the Colbert Report:

"I reject not those concepts for scientific reasons, but for the theological reasons. I choose not to believe in a deceptive God."

bob b
February 11th, 2006, 09:35 AM
Intelligent design is nothing but theism in science's clothing. Evolution has been reached as a scientific conclusion by the work of several scientists who actually used the scientific method. Where is the scientific in Intelligent design? It's just like trying to say that God stuck those dinosaur bones in the ground just to test us, or like saying that God just put the -appearance- of the Earth only being here for millions and billions of years, when in fact it is only 10 thousand. If you believe that, you are a friggen idiot, and an outright blasphemer. I for my own part shall quote a Catholic evolution scientist i saw on the Colbert Report:

"I reject not those concepts for scientific reasons, but for the theological reasons. I choose not to believe in a deceptive God."

Interesting quote. In effect he says "evolution is not true but I have given up trying to single handedly overturning it".

Is that what he meant?

Or did he mean "evolution is true but I choose to believe in a myth because it is part of my religion?"

Very confusing statement. How can someone hold two contradictory beliefs simultaneously?

Are you sure you have identified the right "friggen idiot"?

Lucky
February 11th, 2006, 09:41 AM
"True evolution, in the macro-sense, has never been observed, only inferred."

"The problem I have with this is that it grants far too much significance to macroevolution, since it has virtually no observational evidence to support it."

"One finally comes to the conclusion that, despite vigorous protests, belief in evolution and intelligent design are matters of faith."
Which is why I've been saying Evolution, ID, and any other origins studies should be moved to the philosophy class.

bob b
February 11th, 2006, 09:59 AM
"True evolution, in the macro-sense, has never been observed, only inferred."

"The problem I have with this is that it grants far too much significance to macroevolution, since it has virtually no observational evidence to support it."

"One finally comes to the conclusion that, despite vigorous protests, belief in evolution and intelligent design are matters of faith."
Which is why I've been saying Evolution, ID, and any other origins studies should be moved to the philosophy class.

You have certainly identified the right culprit, Origins, but good luck in convincing others that it is not "the scientific method" that is claimed.

The scientific method seems to be "anything and everything that scientists do". ;)

Highline
February 11th, 2006, 01:39 PM
Thanks for your answers in post #4 Bob B. We agree on the ID not in science class for now. We can discuss islands and monkeys' tails another time.

Nahsil
February 11th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Off the top of my head there are at least four types of material that can be said to be closely related to ID. There may be more.

1) mathematical treatments dominated by the books by Bill Dembski. These are not for math beginners or even intermediates.

2) biological treatments which demonstrate the complexity and interrelatedness of the systems and subsystems of life even in "simple" creatures like bacteria. Behe's Darwin's Black Box is the classic book in this area. The film Unlocking the Mystery of Life presents this type of material in stunning visuals and animations (those having NetFlix can order it).

3) books and articles which present authors' arguments concerning their skepticism and even rejection of the Darwinian model of descent from a hypothetical primitive protocell.
In this category I am currently reading Uncommon Descent, a collection of articles which presents a wide variety of reasons different authors have rejected evolution and are toying with ID to more or less degrees. There is also the website:
http://www.discovery.org/

On a broader note all of this type of material is basically a critique of the evidence for evolution, even extending for some into the idea of millions of years, since if that is not true then evolution would certainly lose all credibility.


4) material concerning the growing scientific evidence which makes abiogenesis less and less likely. The recent article in Commentary is a good example.
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article.asp?aid=12102024_1


The last 3 categories support intelligent design by arguing that evolution can not generate new designs, implying that only intelligent agents can create new designs. Even rabid evolutionists like Dawkins concede that there is design in nature, but conclude that random mutations plus natural selection plus millions of years constitute the "designer".

The reason lack of credibility for evolution is support for ID is that there seems to be no third option. As far back as 1954 the biologist and Nobel prize winner George Wald stated this publicly many times (either God or evolution). I am sure most thoughtful people would agree. Of course the reverse is also true, certainly at least for Christianity.


Thanks, I'll look into this stuff.

Colossians
February 12th, 2006, 02:36 AM
Apologist,


Intelligent design is nothing but theism in science's clothing.
Evolutionism is nothing but atheism in science's clothing.

And you are wrong: ID does not have to invoke a diety, just a designer. There is no necessity to require a worshipping of that designer.
But that you automatically think there would be such a requirement, attests to the fact that your intuition tells you that you were made to worship that which made you. So you witness against yourself, and are thus found wanting in the balance.

Apologist
February 12th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Interesting quote. In effect he says "evolution is not true but I have given up trying to single handedly overturning it".

Is that what he meant?

Or did he mean "evolution is true but I choose to believe in a myth because it is part of my religion?"

Very confusing statement. How can someone hold two contradictory beliefs simultaneously?

Are you sure you have identified the right "friggen idiot"?

No, what he means is that he chooses not to believe in a God who would attempt to decieve us by giving the appearance of the earth being millions of years old, by given the appearance of things evolving, and giving the appearance of there being dinosaurs, when in fact there is none of that. God does not attempt to decieve us. If you say that evolution is bull, then you are saying that God has attempted to decieve us. You are a blasphemer.

One Eyed Jack
February 12th, 2006, 03:51 PM
If you say that evolution is bull, then you are saying that God has attempted to decieve us.

I don't suppose you ever thought people might be wrong about the Earth looking millions of years old? I mean, if God had just created the Earth about 6,000 years ago, how exactly would you expect it to look about now?

SteveG.
February 12th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Evolution is sound scientifically and there is no necessary conflict between faith and reason.

Apologist
February 12th, 2006, 04:41 PM
I don't suppose you ever thought people might be wrong about the Earth looking millions of years old? I mean, if God had just created the Earth about 6,000 years ago, how exactly would you expect it to look about now?

They used carbon dating. Its not about how something looks. Its about using technology utilizing known concepts to gauge fairly accurately how long something has been around.

One Eyed Jack
February 12th, 2006, 04:44 PM
They used carbon dating.

To determine the age of the Earth? I don't think so.

Apologist
February 12th, 2006, 04:45 PM
To determine the age of the Earth? I don't think so.

I am fairly certain they used carbon dating to date them dinosaur bones, and considering the fact that them dinosaur bones showed up as being millions of years old, i think we can both agree that the Earth is as old, if not far older, than them dinosaur bones.

One Eyed Jack
February 12th, 2006, 04:50 PM
I am fairly certain they used carbon dating to date them dinosaur bones,

I'm absolutely certain they didn't.


and considering the fact that them dinosaur bones showed up as being millions of years old, i think we can both agree that the Earth is as old, if not far older, than them dinosaur bones.

I think you need to learn a bit more about that which you speak.

Apologist
February 12th, 2006, 04:59 PM
I'm absolutely certain they didn't.



I think you need to learn a bit more about that which you speak.

From wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaurs#Evolution


Dinosaurs split off from their archosaur ancestors approximately 230 million years ago during the early Triassic period, roughly 20 million years after the Permian-Triassic extinction event wiped out an estimated 95 percent of all life on Earth.[19] [20] Radiometric dating of fossils from the early dinosaur species Eoraptor establishes its presence in the fossil record at this time

Ahem. What were you saying?

Truppenzwei
February 12th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Apologist,

Carbon Dating can not date anything further back than around 50 - 70,000 years according to various science sites that I've looked at. This would seem to me to say that Carbon Dating has never been used to date anything as millions of years old.

Radiometric Dating however is a different thing, Carbon Dating is one particular type of Radiometric Dating, there are quite a few others which are used in different situations and for different timescales.

I really suggest that if you are wanting to argue about stuff like this you stop using Wikipedia as a source and start checking out some proper science sites or books. I'm sure that some of the more scientifically inclined will be able to point you in the right direction.

Dal M.
February 12th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Carbon dating is a type of radiometric dating, but it's incapable of dating things older than 50,000 years or so.

Of course, this alone is enough to refute young-Earth creationism.

Truppenzwei
February 12th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Carbon dating is a type of radiometric dating, but it's incapable of dating things older than 50,000 years or so.

Of course, this alone is enough to refute young-Earth creationism.
That depends on how reliable you think the radiometric dating methods are. If you accept all the underlying assumptions of them to be true then you could say that they refute YEC, if however you do not accept those underlying assumptions then you get a very different story on how reliable the methods are.

Dal M.
February 12th, 2006, 05:57 PM
That depends on how reliable you think the radiometric dating methods are. If you accept all the underlying assumptions of them to be true then you could say that they refute YEC, if however you do not accept those underlying assumptions then you get a very different story on how reliable the methods are.

Radiometric dating has been corroborated by other dating methods. Unless you've some evidence that it's actually invalid - and a good reason why the various dating methods come to the same conclusions - there's no reason to doubt its reliability.

Apologist
February 12th, 2006, 06:16 PM
Wikipedia is about as reliable as britannica. the average wikipedia article has 3 errors, the britannica has like 2.

bob b
February 12th, 2006, 07:07 PM
Radiometric dating has been corroborated by other dating methods. Unless you've some evidence that it's actually invalid - and a good reason why the various dating methods come to the same conclusions - there's no reason to doubt its reliability.

It is more accurate to say that other methods have been correlated to radiometric dating.

C-14 is in the best shape in that it has been used in dating tree rings, which in turn can be directly counted when dealing with a single tree.

In statistics class, as well as in my later experience in data analysis, we learned that correlation of different phenomena is not by itself as compeling evidence as some people typically think.

Johnny
February 12th, 2006, 09:24 PM
It is more accurate to say that other methods have been correlated to radiometric dating...In statistics class, as well as in my later experience in data analysis, we learned that correlation of different phenomena is not by itself as compeling evidence as some people typically think.No, corroboration was the more accurate term. "Corroborating evidence is evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some evidence."

What you learned in statistics is that correlation does not imply causation, which is unrelated to the subject at hand. Correlation is the strength of relationship between two variables. For example, in medicine, defect X may often appear with defect Y, but this does not mean that defect X causes defect Y. Little to do with dating methods. Corroboration was more accurate.

Leave it to you to try and discount and play down the strength of corroborating evidence. Only a creationist would ever attempt such a feat. Misapplication of a concept with some ambigous statement of what you learned when you were in school in is a must in this situation.

bob b
February 12th, 2006, 10:13 PM
No, corroboration was the more accurate term. "Corroborating evidence is evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some evidence."

What you learned in statistics is that correlation does not imply causation, which is unrelated to the subject at hand. Correlation is the strength of relationship between two variables. For example, in medicine, defect X may often appear with defect Y, but this does not mean that defect X causes defect Y. Little to do with dating methods. Corroboration was more accurate.

Leave it to you to try and discount and play down the strength of corroborating evidence. Only a creationist would ever attempt such a feat. Misapplication of a concept with some ambigous statement of what you learned when you were in school in is a must in this situation.

When scientists use a comparison of the results of one dating method with another they are engaging in correlation of the two results. Depending on the underlying cause this may be a corroboration or it may not, depending on the cause of the correlation.

My point was only that there is a cause as to why the two methods give similar results, and that cause may not be that they are both giving an age that is roughly correct.

There is a logical and sensible reason why dating laboratories usually ask for an estimate of the age of a sample prior to its being dated. However, a double blind test is used in medical testing to avoid the known bias introduced when people know in advance what they are looking for. This is not a major reason for my skepticism of long age dating methods, but it may contribute to helping to mask exceptions that if they were pursued more rigorously to find answers would cast light on reasons why most radiometric methods inherently give long age results and hence why they roughly correlate.

There are other reasons for my not believing dogmatically in long age radiometric dating that are related to our inability to have a direct way of corroborating long age determinations such as we find in the short age C-14 tree ring case.

And of course scripture does give sufficient information in the geneologies to allow us to be certain that it is teaching that humans have been on the Earth only a short while. This was a good enough clue for me to begin to doubt that long age radiometric dating is as infallible as some try to tell us.

In other words, I treat this disconnect between scripture and scientific age determinations as a "wakeup call" left by God to tell us to withhold final judgment on this matter until scientists "dig deeper". After all, correcting previous errors or assumptions as new evidence arises is said to be "what science is all about" (or so I was told by someone here). ;)

Jukia
February 13th, 2006, 10:50 AM
And of course scripture does give sufficient information in the geneologies to allow us to be certain that it is teaching that humans have been on the Earth only a short while. This was a good enough clue for me to begin to doubt that long age radiometric dating is as infallible as some try to tell us.

;)


Ah, and for those of us who believe that God gave us intellects to try to understand creation, the statement that scripture give us info that allows us to be certain
that humans have only been on the earth a short while actually causes real questions about the accuracy of the Bible, not accuracy of radiometric dating.

One Eyed Jack
February 13th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Ahem. What were you saying?

Wikipedia is wrong. Dinosaur bones are never radiometrically dated.

noguru
February 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
Here are a few sites about radiocarbon dating.

BBC C14 dating (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/archaeology/carbondating_1.shtml)

Showcave radiocarbon dating (http://www.showcaves.com/english/explain/Archaeology/C14.html)

Creation Science Critique of Radicarbon Dating (http://www.creationevidence.org/scientific_evid/carbon/se_carbon.html)

Here is one on radiometric dating.

Radiometric Dating (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html)

I think Apologist was confusing radiocarbon dating with radiometric dating.

aharvey
February 13th, 2006, 03:33 PM
I've seen a few folks here criticize evolution as a science because it doesn't generate "predictions." I must point out that what is meant here, the "fortune-teller" type of "prediction," is not what scientists mean by "prediction." A scientific prediction concerns the nature of data not yet collected, not future events, Nostradamus- or Jean Dixon-style.

For example, evolutionary theory allowed me to predict that certain species of shell-using hermit crabs had more flexible larval development than others, based, curiously enough, on the morphology of adults of non-shell using species. This is a perfectly valid scientific prediction, even though the hermit crabs were already doing what they were doing long before my studies. I was predicting the results of subsequent experiments, which is typical of predictions in any branch of science.

bob b
February 13th, 2006, 03:37 PM
I've seen a few folks here criticize evolution as a science because it doesn't generate "predictions." I must point out that what is meant here, the "fortune-teller" type of "prediction," is not what scientists mean by "prediction." A scientific prediction concerns the nature of data not yet collected, not future events, Nostradamus- or Jean Dixon-style.

For example, evolutionary theory allowed me to predict that certain species of shell-using hermit crabs had more flexible larval development than others, based, curiously enough, on the morphology of adults of non-shell using species. This is a perfectly valid scientific prediction, even though the hermit crabs were already doing what they were doing long before my studies. I was predicting the results of subsequent experiments, which is typical of predictions in any branch of science.

Tell us more. What principle, portion or aspect of evolutionary theory allowed you to make your prediction?

noguru
February 13th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Tell us more. What principle, portion or aspect of evolutionary theory allowed you to make your prediction?

I think that would be common descent Bob. If hermit crabs evolved from hard-shelled crabs then you can make predictions about aspects of their physiology that may have originally been unknown.

Jackson
February 13th, 2006, 06:17 PM
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/carbon_dating.asp Another web site about Carbon 14 dating.

ItIsWritten
February 13th, 2006, 08:51 PM
Faith-Based Evolution By Dr. Roy Spencer ...

... True evolution, in the macro-sense, has never been observed, only inferred. A population of moths that changes from light to dark based upon environmental pressures is not evolution -- they are still moths. A population of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics does not illustrate evolution -- they are still bacteria. In the biological realm, natural selection (which is operating in these examples) is supposedly the mechanism by which evolution advances, and intelligent design theory certainly does not deny its existence. While natural selection can indeed preserve the stronger and more resilient members of a gene pool, intelligent design maintains that it cannot explain entirely new kinds of life -- and that is what evolution is...

Common ancestry requires transitional forms of life to have existed through the millions of years of supposed biological evolution. Yet the fossil record, our only source of the history of life on Earth, is almost (if not totally) devoid of transitional forms of life that would connect the supposed evolution of amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to birds, etc. This is why Stephen Jay Gould, possibly the leading evolutionist of our time, advanced his punctuated equilibria theory. In this theory, evolution leading to new kinds of organisms occurs over such brief periods of time that it was not captured in the fossil record. Upon reflection, one cannot help but notice that this is not arguing based upon the evidence -- but instead from the lack of evidence.
Thank you bob b for another great post.

PS As to your question, "Is evolution science?"

Well in the sense that an idea that is assumed to be true and is labeled "science" by one generation, can be discovered by a later generation to be in error and become striped of it's "science" moniker -- then in this sense (that "science" is not that which is true but merey that which is the idea of the moment), it would seem that while evolution has been "science" for the past generation, it will rapidly becoming just another has been.

bowhunter
February 13th, 2006, 10:08 PM
No, definitely not! Science is about QUESTIONS, Evolution is ALWAYS the answer to SOME peoples mind as to how everything came into being. There is NO question in their minds that it could be wrong.

aharvey
February 14th, 2006, 07:37 AM
I think that would be common descent Bob. If hermit crabs evolved from hard-shelled crabs then you can make predictions about aspects of their physiology that may have originally been unknown.
That's the right idea, only in this case it was the evolution of shell-less hermit crabs from typical hermit crabs that allowed me to make predictions about aspects of their development that were previously unknown. I can provide a more detailed explanation if necessary. In doing so, though, I don't want to lose track of the original point, which was that evolutionary predictions are proper scientific predictions and not "post-dictions."

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 12:46 PM
That's the right idea, only in this case it was the evolution of shell-less hermit crabs from typical hermit crabs that allowed me to make predictions about aspects of their development that were previously unknown. I can provide a more detailed explanation if necessary. In doing so, though, I don't want to lose track of the original point, which was that evolutionary predictions are proper scientific predictions and not "post-dictions."

And you should not lose track of the point that creationists frequently make that muations plus natural selection can and does cause changes to occur, but that doesn't necessrily mean that all life has descended from a hypothetical primitive protocell.

BTW, I would be interested in the case you mention if you would kindly take the time to explain more details for us. Sounds interesting.

But remember this important point, all life we see today undoubtedly did have to diversity fairly quickly from those first biblical kinds, because there was only 17-27 centuries from the "beginning" to the Flood, and then only another 43 centuries or so since then to generate all the fantastic variety we see today. ;)

(See my posting on METHINKS IT IS (LIKE) A WEASEL to see the clue that may help deliver people from their evolutionary "rut" of thinking.)

billwald
February 14th, 2006, 07:04 PM
Which of you IDers support an expedition to Mars to search for artifacts?

Jukia
February 15th, 2006, 07:43 AM
Which of you IDers support an expedition to Mars to search for artifacts?

Isn't there are recent article in a popular science magazine that indicates that cosmic rays in interplanetary space will make it mucho difficult to send human beings to mars absent very extensive (read heavy and expensive to get into orbit) shielding?

aharvey
February 15th, 2006, 08:53 AM
And you should not lose track of the point that creationists frequently make that muations plus natural selection can and does cause changes to occur, but that doesn't necessrily mean that all life has descended from a hypothetical primitive protocell.
Sounds like another red herring to me. What does this have to do with "predictions" vs "post-dictions"?

BTW, I would be interested in the case you mention if you would kindly take the time to explain more details for us. Sounds interesting.
Will do.

But remember this important point, all life we see today undoubtedly did have to diversity fairly quickly from those first biblical kinds, because there was only 17-27 centuries from the "beginning" to the Flood, and then only another 43 centuries or so since then to generate all the fantastic variety we see today. ;)
Gee, I would have thought Haldane's dilemma would place some rather drastic constraints on the rate of this diversification. You remember, how you argued that each mutation would require 300 generations to become fixed in a population? So, while "creationists frequently make [the point] that muations plus natural selection can and does cause changes to occur," it's hard to see that this could have much of anything to do with within-Kind or post-Flood differentiation.

koban
February 15th, 2006, 08:54 AM
Isn't there are recent article in a popular science magazine that indicates that cosmic rays in interplanetary space will make it mucho difficult to send human beings to mars absent very extensive (read heavy and expensive to get into orbit) shielding?


Haven't seen the article, but would that be past the influence of the solar winds?

billwald
February 15th, 2006, 11:26 AM
Life presents problems and challanges. Begs the question. Any IDer support any effort to discover another physical (not angellic/satanic) intelligence in this universe?

bob b
February 15th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Gee, I would have thought Haldane's dilemma would place some rather drastic constraints on the rate of this diversification. You remember, how you argued that each mutation would require 300 generations to become fixed in a population? So, while "creationists frequently make [the point] that muations plus natural selection can and does cause changes to occur," it's hard to see that this could have much of anything to do with within-Kind or post-Flood differentiation.

Creationists do not disagree that mutations do occur.

However that does not mean that changes in lifeforms are necessarily limited to be only the result of mutations.

Of course one must always keep in mind that the definition itself of what a mutation is may be somewhat "begging the question".

aharvey
February 15th, 2006, 02:59 PM
Creationists do not disagree that mutations do occur.

However that does not mean that changes in lifeforms are necessarily limited to be only the result of mutations.
Well, yes, that was rather my point. If you're going to argue your particular interpretation of Haldane's dilemma (i.e., each mutation requires 300 generations to become fixed in a population), then either there are other ways to generate variability needed for "lifeforms" (what is this, Star Trek?) to "change" other than mutations or pretty much all species that have ever existed originated in virtually their present form. Since we know you don't believe the latter, and I presume you argued in favor of that interpretation of Haldane's dilemma because you believe it's a real problem, that leaves us to inquire what else generates variability within populations besides mutation?

It should go without saying, but to be safe, you are talking about heritable variability, right? Changes, and thus differences, lacking a genetic basis seem pretty irrelevant here, although I'd be most interested to learn otherwise.