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The Dini-gration of Darwinism
AgapePress ^ | April 29, 2003 | Mike S. Adams

Posted on 04/29/2003 10:43:39 AM PDT by Remedy

Texas Tech University biology professor Michael Dini recently came under fire for refusing to write letters of recommendation for students unable to "truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer" to the following question: "How do you think the human species originated?"

For asking this question, Professor Dini was accused of engaging in overt religious discrimination. As a result, a legal complaint was filed against Dini by the Liberty Legal Institute. Supporters of the complaint feared that consequences of the widespread adoption of Dini’s requirement would include a virtual ban of Christians from the practice of medicine and other related fields.

In an effort to defend his criteria for recommendation, Dini claimed that medicine was first rooted in the practice of magic. Dini said that religion then became the basis of medicine until it was replaced by science. After positing biology as the science most important to the study of medicine, he also posited evolution as the "central, unifying principle of biology" which includes both micro- and macro-evolution, which applies to all species.

In addition to claiming that someone who rejects the most important theory in biology cannot properly practice medicine, Dini suggested that physicians who ignore or neglect Darwinism are prone to making bad clinical decisions. He cautioned that a physician who ignores data concerning the scientific origins of the species cannot expect to remain a physician for long. He then rhetorically asked the following question: "If modern medicine is based on the method of science, then how can someone who denies the theory of evolution -- the very pinnacle of modern biological science -- ask to be recommended into a scientific profession by a professional scientist?"

In an apparent preemptive strike against those who would expose the weaknesses of macro-evolution, Dini claimed that "one can validly refer to the ‘fact’ of human evolution, even if all of the details are not yet known." Finally, he cautioned that a good scientist "would never throw out data that do not conform to their expectations or beliefs."

The legal aspect of this controversy ended this week with Dini finally deciding to change his recommendation requirements. But that does not mean it is time for Christians to declare victory and move on. In fact, Christians should be demanding that Dini’s question be asked more often in the court of public opinion. If it is, the scientific community will eventually be indicted for its persistent failure to address this very question in scientific terms.

Christians reading this article are already familiar with the creation stories found in the initial chapters of Genesis and the Gospel of John. But the story proffered by evolutionists to explain the origin of the species receives too little attention and scrutiny. In his two most recent books on evolution, Phillip Johnson gives an account of evolutionists’ story of the origin of the human species which is similar to the one below:

In the beginning there was the unholy trinity of the particles, the unthinking and unfeeling laws of physics, and chance. Together they accidentally made the amino acids which later began to live and to breathe. Then the living, breathing entities began to imagine. And they imagined God. But then they discovered science and then science produced Darwin. Later Darwin discovered evolution and the scientists discarded God.

Darwinists, who proclaim themselves to be scientists, are certainly entitled to hold this view of the origin of the species. But that doesn’t mean that their view is, therefore, scientific. They must be held to scientific standards requiring proof as long as they insist on asking students to recite these verses as a rite of passage into their "scientific" discipline.

It, therefore, follows that the appropriate way to handle professors like Michael Dini is not to sue them but, instead, to demand that they provide specific proof of their assertion that the origin of all species can be traced to primordial soup. In other words, we should pose Dr. Dini’s question to all evolutionists. And we should do so in an open public forum whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Recently, I asked Dr. Dini for that proof. He didn’t respond.

Dini’s silence as well as the silence of other evolutionists speaks volumes about the current status of the discipline of biology. It is worth asking ourselves whether the study of biology has been hampered by the widespread and uncritical acceptance of Darwinian principles. To some observers, its study has largely become a hollow exercise whereby atheists teach other atheists to blindly follow Darwin without asking any difficult questions.

At least that seems to be the way things have evolved.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: creatins; creation; crevo; crevolist; darwin; evoloonists; evolunacy; evolution
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To: FactQuest
Protoavis texensis. Predates Archaeopteryx by about 75 million years. It's considerably more like a modern bird than Archaeopterx. Not sure if it meets the number of specimens criterion, only two individuals, and 31 other fossils of various parts.

The biggest problem with Protoavis is that, as one of the paleontology sites describes it:

Is Chatterjee right? One problem with Protoavis is that the bones were not found in an articulated skeleton, and had to be pieced together. In this situation, there is always the possibility of mixing up bones from different organisms. This has happened often enough in the past to make many paleontologists wary when discussing Protoavis. Dr. Kevin Padian of the UC Museum of Paleontology believes that Protoavis is probably a mixture of two or more different skeletons, and several other paleontologists concur in this interpretation.
Another writes:
Protoavis texensis (Chatterjee, 1991) has been promoted by Chatterjee as a bird, more modern than Archaeopteryx. However, the available material is very fragmentary, and both the interpretation of some of the bones and the association of the various elements into a skeleton has been difficult to support. The skull has been re-constructed as very avian, but most of the skull is either absent or poorly preserved. It is probably best to reserve judgement on these remains until better specimens are discovered.
So until there's consensus that the fragmented Protoavis "specimens" are indeed coherent, and not an accidental mish-mash of parts from multiple creatures put together into some sort of fossil Rorsach, or until more complete specimens are found (if ever), it doesn't rise much above the level of "interesting, but very inconclusive".

In any case, pushing back the dinosaur/bird split that far would be surprising, but not a major shock or difficulty, and in fact a few paleontologists have long argued that the split may have occurred further back than the current evidence would indicate anyway.

But, let's look at the whole bird thing. Feathers are an amazing structure, and a lot of scientists think they are unlikely to have evolved twice independently.

Well, it depends. Often things can evolve multiple times independently for the same reason that the same invention is often invented almost simultaneously by inventors unknown to each other -- because the stage was set for the novelties to be easily invented/evolved with just a single new insight/mutation on top of existing technology/structures.

So, if Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx both have feathers, then they have to be descendants of the first feathered creature.

Perhaps, but not necessarily so.

So, are they feathered dinosaurs that resemble birds, or large flightless birds that resemble dinosaurs?

Technically, they could be both. Such classifications are man-made, and not an objective state imposed by nature.

Descent with change doesn't imply a single, inexorable direction, nor does it have an outcome planned.


Even choosing to ignore Protoavis (after all, it is rather inconvenient), Archaeopteryx is Late Jurassic. So the first bird must have been sometime before that - Middle to early Late Jurassic.

First "bird", or first "common ancestor of all modern birds which was not itself yet a bird"? There's a vital distinction.

Thus, its dinosaur ancestor must have existed by the Middle Jurassic. But, dinosaurs with many avian characteristics don't appears before Late Jurassic, and the most birdlike don't appear until much later.

I'm not sure I see the problem with that.

So, what am I missing? If we argue for descent from dinosaurs, and lament the silence from the fossil record to support it, aren't we admitting that said descent is very speculative, just less speculative than, say, descent from mammals?

Not at all. The earliest fossils with some unmistakable features found only in modern birds also have features which are clearly reptilian/dinosaurian. This rules out any descent from, say, mammals. Clearly birds descended from dinosaurs of *some* sort, the only open question is exactly when did they split off, and from which line of dinosaurs?

And it's very incorrect to speak of "the silence from the fossil record", since the fossil record actually provides quite a lot of information on the transition. The fact that certain spots along the road from dinosaurs to birds have some parts obscured by patches of fog (due to as yet undiscovered fossils) doesn't change the fact that the general path of the road is well marked by signposts at various locations, even if we haven't yet pinned down exactly where it branches off the main highway.

For example, the following cladogram maps out the "signposts" we've already managed to place in their proper order. It is unlikely to change appreciably with new discoveries, not counting the insertion of additional nodes between existing ones, and further branchings on the "side roads":

Here's the center part in more detail:

461 posted on 05/13/2003 4:30:36 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Phaedrus
You believe in word games. I don't.

That's pretty funny coming from the person who repeatedly kept trying to twist evolutionists' statements that they don't have *all* the answers into "admissions" that they don't have *any* answers...

Enjoy yourself.

I do, thanks.

My posts at #438 and #445 speak for themselves.

Yes, they most certainly do; just not in the way you intended.

462 posted on 05/13/2003 4:55:43 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Aric2000
That has to be one of the best written and superb rebuttals that it has been my priviledge to read. Excellent, just plain excellent. Thank you, I am in awe.

*blush*. Thanks. And I'm only half done. My response to the second half of Phaedrus's post will be forthcoming later today.

463 posted on 05/13/2003 4:56:57 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
I will be waiting in great anticipation.
464 posted on 05/13/2003 5:25:08 PM PDT by Aric2000 (Are you on Grampa Dave's team? I am!! $5 a month is all it takes, come join!!!)
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To: gore3000
(In fact, we have an article here on this thread which you folks refuse to discuss and give evidence, Dini's calling anyone but evolutionists not fit to be doctors. I have yet to see a single piece of evidence from your side backing that up).

The argument is in the article, namely that Dini honest opinion was that if a person is incapable of accepting the theoretical heart of the science that forms the basis of medicine, then that person has not demonstrated sufficient competence in his chosen profession, and therefore, in Dini's opinion, that person does not deserve a letter recommending him to either employment (where the alleged doctor could practice his incompetence on patients relying on his diploma as a sign of competence), or to advanced education (since the applicant clearly is in need of remedial coursework, not higher levels of study).

It's laid out in the story, and the missing details are easily seen between the lines.

465 posted on 05/13/2003 5:31:13 PM PDT by Ten Megaton Solution
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To: Ten Megaton Solution
Arg, you woke the real slime-beast, excommunicator Anti-Pope GoreMMM!!

Don't do that unless you really want to see a lot more incoherent idiocy posted in blue!

466 posted on 05/13/2003 5:47:08 PM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: balrog666
Oh no, his posts are green now, PH and I think he peed on the Blue and turned it green.

467 posted on 05/13/2003 5:52:10 PM PDT by Aric2000 (Are you on Grampa Dave's team? I am!! $5 a month is all it takes, come join!!!)
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To: Ichneumon
So, when Dr. Dinni ignores better indicators of future doctors, he is advancing the cause of again?


I found the highly experimental and dangerous transplant example to be fascinating. Blood types did not match, but it was the doctor's belief in creationism that was at fault.
468 posted on 05/13/2003 6:26:50 PM PDT by Dark Knight
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To: Ten Megaton Solution
The argument is in the article, namely that Dini honest opinion

He claims it is an honest opinion, I am not sure of that. Regardless, that is not a good reason for what he is doing. I have asked how it is necessary to BELIEVE in evolution to be a good doctor and have received no responses. Opinion does not matter, I am asking for facts and no one is able to provide them. Pasteur was a Christian, and he has done more for medicine than ALL THE EVOLUTIONISTS of the last 150 years put together.

469 posted on 05/13/2003 7:32:40 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: Phaedrus; Junior; Ichneumon; Lurking Libertarian; balrog666; whattajoke; All
In support of the foregoing and in rebuttal to Ich's dismissal and trashing of the work if not the person of Spetner, all of what follows comes from Not By Chance! subtitled Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution by Dr. Lee Spetner, copyright 1997, 1998 The Judaica Press, Inc. I will thus only indicate at what page number the citation begins.

From Dr. Spetner's bio:

"Dr. Spetner received the PhD degree in physics from MIT in 1950. He was with the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University form 1951 to 1970, where he was engaged in research and development in signal processing and the scattering of electromagnetic waves from the earth's surface. From 1958 he was a member of the principal professional staff of the laboratory. He spent the academic year 1962-63 on a fellowship in the Department of Biophysics at the Johns Hopkins University.

...none of which directly qualifies him for the sort of speculation he makes in *information theory*. If you want to wave around degrees, mine is far more directly applicable to information theory, and is a heck of a lot more current.

But even if he had degrees in the relevant fields, this would still just be an attempt by you to play "argument from authority". Having degrees in no way proves that anyone happens to be correct on any given point; we all know plenty of doctorates who are wrong almost every time they open their mouths. So why the bio?

He spent the academic year 1962-63 on a fellowship in the Department of Biophysics at the Johns Hopkins University. During that time he became interested in evolution and published several papers investigating information buildup in evolution. (more)"

I note that 1962-3 is *way* out of date for any rapidly advancing technical field, but again, the man's bio is irrelevant either way. His arguments will stand or fall on their own technical merit no matter what his background.

As to the British peppered moths (p. 67):

Although it may be an example of natural selection, it is not an example of random variation. It turns out that when the soot began to cover the lichens, the light-moth population didn't have to wait for a mutation to turn dark. The dark moth was already in the population.

...because of RANDOM VARIATION. Spetner apparently is unclear on the distinction between "variation" and "mutation".

It was living as a small minority among the light moths [Bishop and Cook 1975]. Where the tree trunks are light, most of the moths are light colored. Where the tree trunks are sooty, most of the moths are dark.
Correct, but nothing new here.
There was no random (emphasis here and in all subsequent instances in the original) variation. Both types of moths have been living side by side in both environments.
Again, Spetner reveals amazing ignorance of the meaning of the words that he himself chooses to use. He admits that the moths varied in color, and then incredibly claims that "there was no" variation. Of course there was. They varied in color. Spetner is just rambling like an old fool.

Here we have an example of microevolution that is not an example.

Now *you're* rambling. From where did you pull *that* silly conclusion? There was indeed variation among the moths, as even Spetner admits (although he boneheadedly doesn't want to call it that), and there was selection among the various colored moths in various colored environments. That's microevolution.

It gets more interesting.

I certainly hope so, becaue it's pretty tedious so far.

Page 138:

All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it.
Spetner is, in a word, wrong.

Spetner can only make this silly claim by creating his *own*, idiosyncratic *personal* definition of "information", which sharply varies from the way that all other scientists and mathematicians measure information content. His defintion is stacked in a way as to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Furthermore, some of his examples even violate his own definition.

But before we go on, let's examine his amazing claim above, that "All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it". The fallacy in this claim should be obvious even to the layman -- a "point mutation" is a single DNA base pair being replaced by some different base pair. In computer terms, it's equivalent to a "flipped bit" in a bit sequence like "101011010101110", or a single altered character in a character string like "KEIJBIESSE".

By any *accepted* definition of "information", a single bit/character/DNA-basepair substitution neither adds or removes information, it simply alters the constant amount of information that's already there. A 12-bit string contains, not surprisingly, 12 bits worth of information. Flipping one of the bits doesn't change that. Likewise for a character string of a given length, or a DNA strand.

So how does Spetner manage to "see" increasing or decreasing information in a single "flip"? By eccentrically "redefining" information as "specificity". Specificity of/to *what*, you may ask? Well, to/of whatever Spetner wants it to mean for any particular case he's looking at... It's like the subjective definition of "pornography", being "I know it when I see it".

Even worse, Spetner's personal definition of "losing information" often correlates to *increasing* complexity of function, which most people would intuitively consider to be an *increase* in genetic information. For example, a mutation which causes a cellular mechanism to perform *two* functions when originally it performed a single function would count as a "decrease of information" in Spetner's eyes, because the mechanism because "less specific". And yet, most people would see the ability of the mechanism to juggle two jobs instead of one to be an increase in complexity, and thus an *increase* in genetic information content.

Let's examine what's known about the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics . . .

Page 139:

Scientists have studied how streptomycin and other mycin drugs keep bacteria from growing, and how a point mutation makes bacteria resistant to the drug [Davies et al. 1971, Davies and Nomura 1972]. They found that a molecule of the drug attaches to a matching site on a ribosome of the bacterium and interferes with its making of protein, as shown in Fig. 5.3. With the drug molecule attached, the ribosome is unable to put the right amino acids together when it makes protein. It makes the wrong proteins. It makes proteins that don't work. The bacterium then can't grow, can't divide, and can't propagate.

The ribosomes of mammals don't have the site at which the mycin drugs can attach, so the drugs can't harm them. Because the mycins can stop bacterial growth without harming the host, they make useful antibiotics.

So far so good. But then he gets whacky:
A point mutation makes the bacterium resistant to streptomycin by losing information. . . We see then that the mutation reduces the specificity of the ribosome protein, and that means losing genetic information. This loss of information leads to a loss of sensitivity to the drug an hence to resistance. Since the information loss is in the gene, the effect is heritable, and a whole strain of resistant bacteria can arise from the mutation.
Oh, man, where do I start?

First, note that Spetner openly admits that when he says "information", what he really means is "specificity" (sentence #2 in the above passage). What he "forgets" to mention is that he's the *only* person using the word in that fashion. Quite bluntly, this makes him rather a crank.

Second, if he wants to argue that decreased "specificity" is somehow a significant observation, he should stick with that word and not try to muddle the issue by idiosyncratically calling it "information".

Third, he later tries to argue that since the few mutations he has examined appear to lose "information" (by *his* definition) that therefore it's not possible for evolution to accumulate significant amounts of "information" (by the *ordinary* definition). This is a classic "fallacy of equivocation", whereby a word is used with one meaning in one place of an argument and used with another meaning elsewhere to falsely link things together. The classic example is, "brussel sprouts are better than nothing, nothing is better than a juicy steak, therefore brussel sprouts are better than steak" -- the shifting use of the word "nothing" makes the conclusion unsupportable.

Fourth, even Spetner himself admits that there's more to the measure of "information" in an enzyme than just specificity. He writes (emphasis mine):

The information content of the genome is difficult to evaluate with any precision. Fortunately, for my purposes, I need only consider the change in the information in an enzyme caused by a mutation. The information content of an enzyme is the sum of many parts, among which are:
Level of catalytic activity
Specificity with respect to the substrate
Strength of binding to cell structure
Specificity of binding to cell structure
Specificity of the amino-acid sequence devoted to specifying the enzyme for degradation
These are all difficult to evaluate, but the easiest to get a handle on is the information in the substrate specificity.

To estimate the information in an enzyme I shall assume that the information content of the enzyme itself is at least the maximum information gained in transforming the substrate distribution into the product distribution. (I think this assumption is reasonable, but to be rigorous it should really be proved.)

Good lord... Spetner admits that it's "difficult to evaluate" the information content, admits that there are *multiple* components of an enzyme's information content (and then uses only *one*), admits that this is his "assumption", admits that his measure hasn't yet been "proved"... And then makes firm conclusions about whether a given mutation has gained or lost "information" based on his fuzzy "assumptions".

Need we even go on?

Another critique of Spetner's work

And it gets much more interesting.

You obviously have a very different idea of what's "interesting" than I do.

At page 187:

Over a decade ago Barry Hall, then at the University of Connecticut, prepared a strain of E. Coli bacteria that could not break down the milk sugar, lactose [Hall 1982]. Normal E. Coli can live on lactose because they have an array of enzymes that can metabolize it. For this set of experiments Hall prepared a strain that lacked the gene encoding [for] the first enzyme in the array. Because of this lack, his strain of bacteria could not live on lactose. When these bacteria grew and multiplied on another nutrient, but in the presence of lactose, two mutations were found to appear in the same bacterium. One of these mutations was in a hitherto unknown structural gene and the other was its control gene. The mutated structural gene encodes an enzyme that can perform the missing first step in lactose metabolism. . . The gene that mutated had been present all along, but it was dormant. Its normal function is unknown. Hall called it a "cryptic" gene.
Continuing on:
Neither of the above two mutations is of any use by itself to the bacterium. For the bacterium to metabolize lactose, both mutations have to occur. In the absense of lactose, these two mutations are independent. They will occur together only by chance, and will do so only with the small probability of 10 to the minus 18th power. Hall calculated for his population the expected waiting time for both these mutations to occur by chance. He found that if they really did occur at random, he would have to wait for about a hundred thousand years before he could expect to see one of the double mutations. But in the presence of lactose he found about 40 of them in just a few days! These results suggest that the lactose in the environment induced these mutations.
Yeah? So? Spetner is just repeating something that has been known since at least 1965 (see: Bradshaw, A.D. (1965). "Evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity in plants," Advances in Genetics vol 13 pp 115-155) and observed at the DNA level in many studies in the 1980's ([West-Eberhard, M.J. (1986) "Alternative adaptations, speciation, and phylogeny (A Review)," Proceedings National Academy of Science USA vol 83 pp 1388-1392] [Harrison R.G. (1980) "Dispersal polymorphisms in insects," Annual Reviews of Ecological Systems vol 11 pp 152-153.] [Schlichting, C.D. (1986) "The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plants," Annual Review of Ecological Systems, vol. 17 pp 667-693] [Stearns S.C. (1989) "The evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity" Bioscience vol 39 pp 436-445]).

What of it?

It seems that the more we learn, the more reason we have to doubt the TOE.

Exsqueeze me? The above in no way gives "more reason to doubt" the theory of evolution. Phenotypic plasticity is just as consistent with evolution as any other cellular method of turning on/off the expression/suppression of different genes. Evolution is just as able to act through mutations in the gene *expression* machinery as it is to act on the gene *maintenance* machinery, which is the case in phenotypic plasticity. Whatever gave you an idea to the contrary?

And moving back to TalkOrigins, we conclude that they are either fools or liars.

Of course you do, since that's your original premise. It sure would have been nice if you had actually *supported* your claim, though.

Oh well -- your redeclaration of your original accusation, without any attempt to properly support it, is duly noted and further supports the hypothesis that it's not TalkOrigins.Org which is dishonest; it's you.

The accomplished academicians among them are clearly bright, so I leave to the reader to select the correct alternative.

Here's an alternative: You're making false accusations which you know you can't support.

The TalkOrigins link is just replete with sophistry ripe for further parsing, which I will be pleased to do if the spirit moves.

Your last attempt failed miserably, do feel free to attempt another.

This deconstruction is therefore a representative sample only.

Good that you admit it's a "sample only", because it's hardly support for your original accusation.

Here are a few folks that agree with me, for the right reasons.

Megasnip. I'll deal with them in my next post, since they are even further afield from your original boast that you would show us some of the alleged "lies" you claim to have found (but so far have failed to present) on the TalkOrigins.Org website. Arguments against evolution (no matter how lame) are hardly support for your claim that the TalkOrigins.Org website consist of "liars" and is "just possibly the most dishonest site on the web".

But at the very tail end of your post you again finally get back around to the topic of

And here is a full article debunking TalkOrigins: Talk.Origins: Deception By Omission.

ROFL -- that hoary whine again? Ferndandez has just as poor reading comprehension when it comes to the TalkOrigins.Org website as you do. Many of his complaints are straw men, attacking his own misunderstanding of what was said instead of what TalkOrigins.Org *actually* said. For example:

Few would argue with the notion that ‘things change.’ But to take the step from ‘things change’ to ‘and therefore, that’s how it all got here’ is a leap of blind, irrational faith that would send even the most fanatical snake worshipper reeling.
Um, okay, but since that's not what the TalkOrigins.Org site actually says, Fernandez is tilting at windmills.

Furthermore, although the title and theme of Fernandez's screed is, "Talk.Origins: Deception by Omission", the irony is that most of the things that Fernandez claims TalkOrigins.Org "omitted" are actually there on the site, and Fernandez himself dishonestly OMITTED references to them. For example:


[snip] Let’s take a blow torch to a tree or an embryo, thereby supplying it with plenty of energy, and then let’s stand back and watch them grow. Of course, what’ll happen is they will be incinerated! Energy is not the key; energy reception, utilization and storage is the key. In other words, there must be a highly sophisticated and fully functional energy management system—a system that enables input, conversion, storage and output—if a tree is to grow or an embryo is to develop. This is the crux of the creationist argument involving the second law of thermodynamics and not some easily discarded strawman. Why doesn’t TO present the real issue and respond to it? Deception by omission.

Emphasis in original.

Actually, TalkOrigins.Org quite specifically *does* address that exact argument, and responds to it. So when Ferdandez falsely accuses them of "deception" for alleged "omission" of that issue, when they most certainly did not, is Fernandez lying, or just stupid? Neither option inspires confidence.

Even worse, the part of TalkOrigins.Org that Fernandez *does* quote (and then bitches at for allegedly "omitting" the thing he says ought to be addressed) SPECIFICALLY INCLUDES A LINK TO TO MORE INFORMATION ON THE TOPIC, INCLUDING THE ABOVE PAGE, and yet Fernandez CHOSE TO SNIP THAT OUT TO DISHONESTLY GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT NO FURTHER INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED.

TalkOrigins.Org has prepared their own response to Fernandez, and it ain't pretty. Excerpt:

By omitting without acknowledgement the sentence with the links to the in-depth responses, Fernandez makes it appear that he is addressing the entire Talk.Origins response to each question. In fact, his entire claim that the Archive responses dishonestly omit material rests on the assumption that he is addressing the entire Archive response. Mr. Fernandez's behavior, not that of the Archive, demonstrates deception by omission in its purest form.

For Mr. Fernandez to engage in such conduct, and then claim that the Talk.Origins Archive is an "affront to the ideal of intellectual integrity, scholarly pursuit and moral responsibility" takes hypocrisy to a new level. It takes a great deal of chutzpah, and a complete lack of integrity, to use deliberate omissions of context as a basis for accusing someone else of deception by omission.

But hey, maybe buried deep in Fernandez's dishonest presentation and ludicrous misunderstandings there really *is* some kernel of accuracy which actually, in your words, "debunks" TalkOrigins.Org or (for a change) finally supports your accusation that they are "liars" and "dishonest". So if there's anything of value somewhere in Ferndandez's flawed rant, I hereby invite you to find the single *best* example in there, and present it to us.

Scattershot attacks (i.e. making dozens of attempted attacks in the hopes that maybe one will stick) are oh so Creationist... If you've got an actual *good* piece of support for your claim that TalkOrigins.Org is somehow "dishonest", you'd be advised to actually show it for a change.

So far, all of your blunderbus blasts have been, well, blunders. Got anything *good*?

470 posted on 05/13/2003 8:53:17 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Aric2000
Oops, forgot to ping you on my new post. See above.
471 posted on 05/13/2003 8:54:34 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Thank you for the ping, I really appreciate it.

I do not claim to be an expert on evolution, but it is wonderful to be abel to read a response like this.

I have garnered a lot more information then I had before.

Generalities are great, and they help me hold my own, somewhat, but the specifics are where the meat is, and you have given me that in spades.

Thank you

Please continue to ping me on your posts, it's like a whole new way to get an education, and it's free!!
472 posted on 05/13/2003 10:12:45 PM PDT by Aric2000 (Are you on Grampa Dave's team? I am!! $5 a month is all it takes, come join!!!)
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To: balrog666
LOL. Sorry about that. I'm returning to FR after an eighteen month hiatus. I'll keep that in mind.
473 posted on 05/14/2003 12:53:25 AM PDT by Ten Megaton Solution
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To: Ichneumon
Another masterpiece.
474 posted on 05/14/2003 3:32:06 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: Ichneumon
You clearly believe that the substitution of interminable length for substance and snide remarks for balanced commentary somehow overcome the lies by commission and omission that appear as "education" on the TalkOrigins web site. As I have shown, it is a garbage site. And when you accuse me of being dishonest, which you invariably bury in your interminable posts, it is you who is being dishonest and who is thereby discredited. You don't like my conclusions and value judgements, is all. Honest people can and do make value judgements. They should. The very fact that you must resort to snide remarks and personal attack discredits your posts.

A while ago, I deconstructed one of your posts line-by-line. And as I said earlier on this thread, because you can produce this stuff at immense length neither bolsters your point-of-view, and that's all it is, nor carries with it the obligation that I overcome your every misstatement and mischaracterization of my positon and posts.

I will perform this exercise once more, however, briefly, to show the lurkers that you indulge in sophistry.

Re Spetner and his academic background: ...none of which directly qualifies him for the sort of speculation he makes in *information theory*. If you want to wave around degrees, mine is far more directly applicable to information theory, and is a heck of a lot more current.

But even if he had degrees in the relevant fields, this would still just be an attempt by you to play "argument from authority". Having degrees in no way proves that anyone happens to be correct on any given point; we all know plenty of doctorates who are wrong almost every time they open their mouths. So why the bio?

The point was not to establish Spetner's authority in "information theory" but to show he had a learned, able and relevant academic and research background, that he could think and write well and clearly. You choose to focus on the "authority" aspect, for which I and anyone who thinks for themselves have little if any regard as a measure of truth. Biology is filled with at least nominal believers in Evolution and they're all wrong, if Evolution is defined as one species transforming into another and judged by the facts -- wrong in the sense that this definition of Evolution has never been shown to occur in the real world.

Kuhn won a Nobel Prize for writing a book showing how science moves from paradigm to paradigm, with the newer and more correct concept overcoming the old only when those scientists invested in the old departed this life. Whole fields of scientific endeavor can indeed be wrong, and for a very long time, is the point, and "non-experts" are often more able to see the truth than those invested in the old paradigm. Spetner makes a closely reasoned case backed by facts and citations of reasearchers' results; i.e. he supports his statements. THAT is what you're supposed to argue with, not the man or his "authority". You focus on Spetner's 1962-63 fellowship training as *way* out of date for any rapidly advancing technical field but you do not mention that the research citations in support of the points he makes are far more current and relevant and this, you must realize, is your own form of argument from authority. Trashing Spetner earns you no points for TOE. All of this is invalid debate. You're bright enough to know all this, so I conclude that your attempt here is at misdirection.

In simple, direct terms, Spetner shows that the British peppered moth is an example neither of so-called "micro-" nor "macro-"Evolution; i.e. the genetic code for both light- and dark-colored moths was resident in the moth population at all times and no change whatever in their genetic structure was shown to have occurred. The use, then and now in biology textbooks, of the British peppered moth as an example of Evolution, even in the meaningless sense of "change", is clearly fraudulent. You're bright enough to know this as well. Yet you just continue on trashing Spetner and me. Again, this is not valid argument, and it convinces no one who thinks clearly or for themselves.

What you may or may not realize is that when take this tack, you discredit yourself because you do not have the facts on your side, and it is the facts, the evidence, upon which Evolution must rise or fall. Measured by the facts, Evolution has clearly fallen, it is bogus science, and you help me make my point by going off-point and staying there, at length.

Is there any need for me to go further than this in rebutting your long, long posts? I don't think so. Length is not strength or substance. I refer you and the lurkers once more to my posts at #438 and #445.

Let's pause, however, momentarily, to deal with your closing remarks, remembering that your opening remarks have been discredited. I've bracketed my comments so you will be very clear as to what they relate.

But hey, maybe buried deep in Fernandez's dishonest [your editorial comment, itself dishonest] presentation and ludicrous misunderstandings [your value judgement, worthless as substance] there really *is* some kernel of accuracy which actually, in your words, "debunks" TalkOrigins.Org or (for a change) finally [a sneaky slam, here] supports your accusation that they are "liars" and "dishonest". So if there's anything of value somewhere in Ferndandez's flawed rant ["flawed rant"? -- I don't think so], I hereby invite you [as I said earlier, Been There, Done That] to find the single *best* example in there, and present it to us.

Scattershot attacks (i.e. making dozens of attempted attacks in the hopes that maybe one will stick) are oh so Creationist...

Now here you are being both flat dishonest and irrelevant. My posts have nothing to do with Creationism and so-called Evolution, if it is science, stands on its own irrespective of who criticizes it, Creationists included. The problem for you folks is that Evolution fails as science. That's why you give us rhetoric.

So far, all of your blunderbus blasts have been, well, blunders. Got anything *good*?

And this last is just triumphal nonsense. Now I've wasted a lot of time here and I won't do so interminably, just enough to identify sophistry for what it is.

475 posted on 05/14/2003 7:23:23 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: PatrickHenry
Another masterpiece.

Ah, Patrick, you are consistent ...

476 posted on 05/14/2003 7:28:46 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Phaedrus
God bless you, Phaedrus!
477 posted on 05/14/2003 7:32:29 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: Phaedrus
You seem to think that I have some special responsibility to point out your ever mischaracterization simply because you have the unique ability to produce them at extreme length. Been there and done that. Once and not again. You believe in word games. I don't. Enjoy yourself.

Sayeth the person who has put together several long posts on this thread? Why don't you try something original, like maybe addressing even several of his points? But then again, when you start quote mining like you do in one of your works here, I think I'm asking for way too much.

478 posted on 05/14/2003 7:39:35 AM PDT by ThinkPlease (Fortune Favors the Bold!)
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To: Phaedrus
As I have shown, it is a garbage site.

Poor baby, I have to agree with Ichy that all you have shown is that you are a garbage poster. Again. It seems that you come out that way each time you jump in spew your vitriol.

Clearly you're not as stupid as some of the read-no-EVILution creationists, so buy a clue sometime. Most people with your posting record would stop and try to figure out what they're doing wrong instead of just blindly doing it again in the next thread.

479 posted on 05/14/2003 7:57:44 AM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: Phaedrus
And this last is just triumphal nonsense. Now I've wasted a lot of time here and I won't do so interminably, just enough to identify sophistry for what it is.

If they play chess like they argue, pawns move like bishops or queens, as convenient.

480 posted on 05/14/2003 8:05:46 AM PDT by Dataman
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