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bob b
February 19th, 2006, 03:38 PM
An article appeared in Science this past week that reminded me vaguely of my previous experience with human-engineered automatic feedback control systems.

This article comments on that Science article.
http://www.idthefuture.com/2006/02/davidson_erwin_classic_neodarw.html#more

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 08:00 PM
Bob b, you say that you don’t buy into evolution, and that it is on its way out as a credible science. Apparently some people named Steve didn’t get the message:
... with the addition of Stephen A. Wells, a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University, there are now 700 scientists named Steve who have publicly agreed:
Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools. source (http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2006/ZZ/634_announcing_the_ncse_700_club_2_16_2006.asp) Hmm, who to believe - a has-been retired engineer - or 700 active credentialed scientists? (These 700 are about 1% of the rest who are not named Steve and equally support evolution.)

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 09:29 PM
Bob b, you say that you don’t buy into evolution, and that it is on its way out as a credible science. Apparently some people named Steve didn’t get the message: Hmm, who to believe - a has-been retired engineer - or 700 active credentialed scientists? (These 700 are about 1% of the rest who are not named Steve and equally support evolution.)

The statement could be interpreted as containing "half-truths" or ambiguous beliefs, in a way similar to the statement signed by 10,000 religionists concerning the relationship between science and religion (The Clergy Letter).

In both cases a person could read into the statement ones own beliefs, even though there would be no universal agreement on the detailed beliefs themselves.

I have already parsed The Clergy Letter to illustrate its ambiguity. Perhaps I should do the same for the "Steve" letter. Better still, why not do it for me as you might imagine I would?

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 09:59 PM
The statement could be interpreted as containing "half-truths" or ambiguous beliefs, in a way similar to the statement signed by 10,000 religionists concerning the relationship between science and religion (The Clergy Letter).

In both cases a person could read into the statement ones own beliefs, even though there would be no universal agreement on the detailed beliefs themselves.

I have already parsed The Clergy Letter to illustrate its ambiguity. Perhaps I should do the same for the "Steve" letter. Better still, why not do it for me as you might imagine I would? Sorry, but as I read the statement I am a bit jealous that “ThePhy” is not a variant of the name “Steve”. I would sign it gladly as it stands, with no reservations that it contains half-truths or is less than forthright. The letter itself is up-front about stating that the details of evolution are in work, but equally up-front about saying the theory is a “well-supported, unifying principle” and that the evidence is “overwhelming”. Those 700 Steves and the 70,000 active scientists they typify disagree with you.

But you are certainly welcome to dissect it (it has been publicly available for 3 years now). Or – if you think this statement is not a good one – how would you word a more correct replacement statement you think the supporters of evolution would sign?

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 10:04 PM
Or – if you think this statement is not a good one – how would you word a more correct replacement statement you think the supporters of evolution would sign?

This sentence is also ambiguous.

For example, I myself am a supporter of evolution. No lie.

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 10:29 PM
From bob b:
This sentence is also ambiguous.

For example, I myself am a supporter of evolution. No lie. Suddenly the microscope of focusing on syntactic minutia is being wielded by you. If you want to obfuscate rather than respond to a question that was perfectly clear, that is sufficient answer in itself.

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 10:37 PM
From bob b: Suddenly the microscope of focusing on syntactic minutia is being wielded by you. If you want to obfuscate rather than respond to a question that was perfectly clear, that is sufficient answer in itself.

The reason that the statement appears perfectly clear to you is that you interpret it according to your belief system and can not imagine that your belief system is not universal.

Your inability to see the ambiguity is telling.

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 11:08 PM
From bob b:
The reason that the statement appears perfectly clear to you is that you interpret it according to your belief system and can not imagine that your belief system is not universal.

Your inability to see the ambiguity is telling. But you fail to mention that my acceptance of the statement is far less important than the fact that 700 professional scientists felt no qualms at becoming direct signatories to it, and by implication so would 70,000 others if they could qualify. So at least within the scientific community, indeed my belief is vastly more universal than yours on this subject.

How many of your fellow adherents have expressed the same reservations about clarity and openness of the statement that you allude to? Have the big-money creationist groups – the ICR, AIG, and so on issued articles since the Steve declaration was issued that are in concert with your reservations about it?

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 11:17 PM
From bob b: But you fail to mention that my acceptance of the statement is far less important than the fact that 700 professional scientists felt no qualms at becoming direct signatories to it, and by implication so would 70,000 others if they could qualify. So at least within the scientific community, indeed my belief is vastly more universal than yours on this subject.

How many of your fellow adherents have expressed the same reservations about clarity and openness of the statement that you allude to? Have the big-money creationist groups – the ICR, AIG, and so on issued articles since the Steve declaration was issued that are in concert with your reservations about it?

I don't get this "fellow adherents" crap.

My views are unique to me.

The beliefs of most if not all of those I talk with are unique to them.

I am sure the same is true of scientists.

However, on the issue of Origins most scientists feel that creationists are enemies that must be quelled, probably because the impression gained from constant media propaganda is that creationists are against science.

Thus, signing a statement which in effect puts a thumb in the eye of creationists is a "no-brainer".

Ditto for religionists and "The Clergy Letter".

But don't worry. I can take the heat. ;)

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 11:40 PM
From Bob b:
I don't get this "fellow adherents" crap.

My views are unique to me.

The beliefs of most if not all of those I talk with are unique to them. Don’t blow a gasket, bob. I know a number of scientists that believe closely enough to what I do on the issue of evolution that I feel honored to be grouped with them. If you don’t share that feeling in your fundamentalist community, then perhaps that explains your attitude.
I am sure the same is true of scientists.

However, on the issue of Origins most scientists feel that creationists are enemies that must be quelled, probably because the impression gained from constant media propaganda is that creationists are against science.

Thus, signing a statement which in effect puts a thumb in the eye of creationists is a "no-brainer".

Ditto for religionists and "The Clergy Letter".

But don't worry. I can take the heat. Excuse me but I missed where you said just what it was in the Steve letter that you objected to. Is this too perhaps be classified as another parable, to be withheld from our unworthy eyes?

Since Bob is a self-declared loner – his team consists of one aging retired ex-engineer (and his God) (and the talking snake) (with flying fiery chariots). My team consists of 70,000 currently active professional scientists. (A good number of them also have the talking snakes and God – or Gods – and we have F-18s) Sounds like both sides are even. Except, as it says in the Steve statement, when you look at the evidence for evolution. Game over - bob loses.

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 09:19 AM
Game still in play.
-----------------------------
February 20, 2006
Over 500 Scientists Proclaim Their Doubts About Darwin’s Theory
in a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.

The statement reads: “We are skeptical of 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 of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, Purdue and the University of Washington.

...

“Darwinists continue to claim that no serious scientists doubt the theory and yet here are 500 scientists who are willing to make public their skepticism about the theory,”


...

“Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list.”

....

“Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought,”

...

“It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”

... prominent signatories include U.S. National Academy of Sciences member Philip Skell; American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Lyle Jensen; evolutionary biologist and textbook author Stanley Salthe; Smithsonian Institution evolutionary biologist and a researcher at the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information Richard von Sternberg; Editor of Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum --the oldest still published biology journal in the world-- Giuseppe Sermonti; and Russian Academy of Natural Sciences embryologist Lev Beloussov.

ThePhy
February 20th, 2006, 12:58 PM
From Bob b:
Game still in play.
-----------------------------
February 20, 2006
Over 500 Scientists Proclaim Their Doubts About Darwin’s Theory in a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.
The statement reads: “We are skeptical of 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 of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, Purdue and the University of Washington.
...
“Darwinists continue to claim that no serious scientists doubt the theory and yet here are 500 scientists who are willing to make public their skepticism about the theory,”
...
“Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list.”
....
“Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought,”
...
“It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”
... prominent signatories include U.S. National Academy of Sciences member Philip Skell; American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Lyle Jensen; evolutionary biologist and textbook author Stanley Salthe; Smithsonian Institution evolutionary biologist and a researcher at the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information Richard von Sternberg; Editor of Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum --the oldest still published biology journal in the world-- Giuseppe Sermonti; and Russian Academy of Natural Sciences embryologist Lev Beloussov.
Bob, this is a radical about-face from your just-proffered declaration that you disavow fellow adherents, and your views are unique to you. But I don’t blame you, if I was a retired engineer against 70,000 practicing scientists, I would be looking to join a team quick.

How about a cite?

This type of response from Bob is a good one- showing that some credible scientists question evolution. That has never been in doubt. From the day Darwin first published his theory to today, it has had opposition. The interesting thing is that, as the Steve project shows, evolution is growing in acceptance in the scientific community, Bob’s claims to the opposite notwithstanding.

When the “Steves” signed their statement, implicit in it was acceptance of the necessary conditions – such as an old earth. I suspect that a fair number of the scientists Bob has come up with would agree with the evolutionists on the age of the earth. I know some of those in opposition to evolution in fact have no objection to old earth (such as Behe). And it would be instructive to see how many of Bob’s scientists make their evolution decision as Bob does, out of allegiance to dogma rather than evidence.

Odds now are 500 (plus Bob = 501) to 70,000, and getting better for the evolution side. . But that doesn’t prevent Bob from periodically making his unsupportable assertion that evolution is a dying idea.

Bob’s team is one their own 1-inch line, and playing with 9 players off the field. 5 seconds left in the 4th quarter.

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 01:05 PM
From Bob b:
Bob, this is a radical about-face from your just-proffered declaration that you disavow fellow adherents, and your views are unique to you. But I don’t blame you, if I was a retired engineer against 70,000 practicing scientists, I would be looking to join a team quick.

How about a cite?

This type of response from Bob is a good one- showing that some credible scientists question evolution. That has never been in doubt. From the day Darwin first published his theory to today, it has had opposition. The interesting thing is that, as the Steve project shows, evolution is growing in acceptance in the scientific community, Bob’s claims to the opposite notwithstanding.

When the “Steves” signed their statement, implicit in it was acceptance of the necessary conditions – such as an old earth. I suspect that a fair number of the scientists Bob has come up with would agree with the evolutionists on the age of the earth. I know some of those in opposition to evolution in fact have no objection to old earth (such as Behe). And it would be instructive to see how many of Bob’s scientists make their evolution decision as Bob does, out of allegiance to dogma rather than evidence.

Odds now are 500 (plus Bob = 501) to 70,000, and getting better for the evolution side. . But that doesn’t prevent Bob from periodically making his unsupportable assertion that evolution is a dying idea.

Bob’s team is one their own 1-inch line, and playing with 9 players off the field. 5 seconds left in the 4th quarter.

Time for a "bomb"! :rotfl:

smuda
February 20th, 2006, 01:21 PM
I've read the article and this thread. Now I've decided that I need to take a look at official "Intelligent Design." as repulsive as it is to me to listen to theologians pretend to be scientists I do have a special place in my heart for concepts like "creative intelligence" and "knowledge is structured in consciousness."

ThePhy
February 20th, 2006, 01:21 PM
From bob b:
Time for a "bomb"! This response shows how well bob supports his claim that evolution is a failing science. He is hoping for a miracle play to make his assertion true.

smuda
February 20th, 2006, 01:39 PM
ThePhy,
Greetings. Howdy. I'm no scientist. I saw that a school district in pennsylvania got their collective hand slapped for trying to teach something in their school district called "intelligent design." I assume that this is the latest buzz-word for the creationists. Am I correct in that assumption?
respectfully,
Carl

ThePhy
February 20th, 2006, 01:53 PM
ThePhy,
Greetings. Howdy. I'm no scientist. I saw that a school district in pennsylvania got their collective hand slapped for trying to teach something in their school district called "intelligent design." I assume that this is the latest buzz-word for the creationists. Am I correct in that assumption?
respectfully,
Carl That's about it. Intelligent design provided a scientific-sounding umbrella to put on top of creationism. But it leaks, bad.

smuda
February 20th, 2006, 01:58 PM
I follow. So what about scientists who question the dominate theories? No one is throwing out the baby with the water. Healthy doubt is good and respected scientists expressing doubt in their theory isn't the same as creationists standing over their shoulder shouting, "A-ha!"