Wednesday, July 13, 2011

After being pwned by Matzke....

....gordy went off on another delusional trip into his Lewontin, Plato, internet thuggery, FSCI bullshit:

(More of my comments are below the dashed line.)




2:27 am

Re Dr Matzke:

using that Gould quote outside of context of what it really means is a classic cheap creation-science trick. There, Gould is talking about species-to-species transitions in the fossil record . . .

Of course, this — sadly — is yet another misleading talking point, further poisoned by namecalling; all intended to carry us further and further from the main issue in the thread, while poisoning the atmosphere. All, further revelatory on the underlying rhetorical games that are afoot.

What was not acknowledged above is that in the usual darwinist scheme, species to species transitions are held to be the basis for all else, so if these are systematically missing in action — and they should be the most numerous of all, everything else above in the taxonomic pattern will be problematic. So the attempted deflection actually implies far more problems than is suggested by the smoothly poisonous way it is done.

But in fact the fossil transitions problems are much bigger than this.

For in fact right from the days of Darwin the three of life has been stood on its head — top down not bottom up, and with transitions all across the scale notoriously generally missing in action [never mind the rare exceptions that as Gould points out are headlined, in a context where the implied admission of data cutting across the expectations, is a serious challenge to the pretension to be scientific] — when confronting the evidence of the actual fossils. Meyer’s PBSW summary — which BTW (despite attempts to smear it and expel the editor for in effect being open minded) passed proper peer review by “renowned” scientists — aptly sums up with the most significant case, right from the top. In so doing Meyer exposes the key issue that is unaccounted for in the Darwinist scheme, which underlies the informational challenge (which thanks to the informational view of thermodynamics is linked directly to thermodynamics issues on the credible source of functionally specific complex information) that design theory has highlighted:

The Cambrian explosion represents a remarkable jump in the specified complexity or “complex specified information” (CSI) of the biological world. For over three billions years, the biological realm included little more than bacteria and algae (Brocks et al. 1999). Then, beginning about 570-565 million years ago (mya), the first complex multicellular organisms appeared in the rock strata, including sponges, cnidarians, and the peculiar Ediacaran biota (Grotzinger et al. 1995). Forty million years later, the Cambrian explosion occurred (Bowring et al. 1993) . . . One way to estimate the amount of new CSI that appeared with the Cambrian animals is to count the number of new cell types that emerged with them (Valentine 1995:91-93) . . . the more complex animals that appeared in the Cambrian (e.g., arthropods) would have required fifty or more cell types . . . New cell types require many new and specialized proteins. New proteins, in turn, require new genetic information. Thus an increase in the number of cell types implies (at a minimum) a considerable increase in the amount of specified genetic information . . . .

In order to explain the origin of the Cambrian animals [an issue of origin of dozens of phyla and sub-phyla, not bottom up from speciation but top down from the highest levels of body plan organisation], one must account not only for new proteins and cell types, but also for the origin of new body plans . . . Mutations in genes that are expressed late in the development of an organism will not affect the body plan. Mutations expressed early in development, however, could conceivably produce significant morphological change (Arthur 1997:21) . . . [but] processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream. For this reason, mutations will be much more likely to be deadly if they disrupt a functionally deeply-embedded structure such as a spinal column than if they affect more isolated anatomical features such as fingers (Kauffman 1995:200) . . . McDonald notes that genes that are observed to vary within natural populations do not lead to major adaptive changes, while genes that could cause major changes–the very stuff of macroevolution–apparently do not vary. In other words, mutations of the kind that macroevolution doesn’t need (namely, viable genetic mutations in DNA expressed late in development) do occur, but those that it does need (namely, beneficial body plan mutations expressed early in development) apparently don’t occur.6 [NB: For the open-minded, the video discussion of Cichlid variability patterns here and of origin of the whale body plan in light of pop genetics issues here will be interesting. As will this video that brings out more details on the Cambrian life problem. The problem is much broader and deeper than is usually admitted by evo mat advocates as they make their talking points.]

The body plan origination and embryological feasibility of mutations required to effect it challenges have of course never been met. Instead, we have been told that macro-evo is simply accumulated micro evo, as though there is not a major informational threshold issue at work.

And, ironically, what is a species is an unanswered question so that North American Elk and Red Deer are seen as interbreeding in New Zealand, Grizzlies and Polar bears can mate and form similarly fertile offspring, and in the Galapagos, birds have been seen happily breeding across species lines. There is plainly a lot of adaptation and variation within the body plan “island of function” level but that is where the issue just highlighted kicks in: where do body plans come from and how can the huge jump in FSCI to explain that new “wiring diagram” come from given the problem of traversing huge config spaces to find narrow target zones of function that are UNREPRESENTATIVE of the physically possible configs. Chance and necessity without intelligence do not provide a feasible, plausible answer; unless the deck is subtly stacked in favour of a priori Lewontinian materialism.

Getting back to the main issue raised by Dr Cudworth, it is plain that a serious double-standard is at work, and there is a selectively hyperskeptical game afoot, centred on fallacies of distraction, distortion and denigration by namecalling.

(Notice the creationism in a cheap tuxedo distortion point is simply being reiterated again and again on various talking points, without warrant. FYI Dr Matzke, I am a biological origins deep past reconstruction agnostic, save on the point that it is patent that FSCI has to be properly accounted for and its most credible answer is intelligence, so if the cosmological evidence that there has been deep time and origin in a big bang 13.7 BYA speaks true — and that has a lot better, less circular empirical warrant — then it is at minimum a credible option that the cosmos is a work of design, and in that light one of the best candidate explanations of origin of life and body plans is design working with intelligently built in evolutionary adaptation capacity to fill niches based on robust, flexible body plans. Worse, even had my cite above been truly out of context — and plainly, it was only a gateway pointing to a much broader problem that was in turn being diverted from by atmosphere poisoning tactics, and was not indicative of wider and wider problems as we go, quoting out of context is not a specifically “creationist” problem. So, there is an unwarranted snide inference here. But to tag any and all questioning of the evolutionary materialist agenda as “creationist” where that stands in for “ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked” IS patently a serious problem with the ruthless, amoral evo mat factionism that has been exposed at one level or another since Plato. Cho man, do betta dan dat! [Let me be a bit more explicit: If you continue to try to force-fit me into a handy strawman caricature in the teeth of an explicit summary as above, all that will tell me is that you are more interested in pushing ideology than in truth or fairness. In light of the internet thuggery I have been recently subjected to, to the cheers of too many on your side, that will be utterly revealing on the significance, current relevance and force of Plato's grim warning in The Laws, Bk X.)

Surely, there is a better way, to actually teach people about what science is historically (especially in modern times) and what it tries to do, acknowledging the limitations of scientific and broader empirical warrant and especially those of attempts to reconstruct a deep, unobserved past: we were not there and we cannot directly observe the true state of the deep past, so we should not project an unwarranted confidence, especially one driven by ideological imposition of a priori materialism. In that context, the major historic and recent approaches to origins views can be presented on a true and fair view basis [Wikipedia style distortions and trashing will not do], in the context of that history and the strengths and limitations of evidence, inference and reasoning can be assessed, with an eye to the issues of institutional politics and rhetoric.

To do less than that — as we are, sadly, plainly seeing at the hands of the evolutionary materialist establishment — is to resort to mind closing indoctrination, not sound education. Which would be a failure in duties of care.

We can and must do better than that.



gordon, you're certainly one of the dumbest, most obnoxious lunatics on this planet. And your hypocrisy is gargantuan.

Besides the fact that you're a blatant liar, snake-oil salesman, and all-around festering sphincter, you don't have the slightest clue as to how science works. You always rely on assumptions that have no basis in evidence, experiment, or even coherent, useful definitions. There is no such thing as FSCI. Even if there is function, complexity, and information, there is no specification unless and until you or someone else can actually and factually establish that someone or something SPECIFIED the life forms on Earth. To do that you have to show the alleged creator/designer and or the plans/blueprints that that alleged entity allegedly used. And since you claim that the designer/creator is the christian god, you're going to have to show that the christian god exists and that he created and designed the life forms on Earth. You CAN'T do it, so shut the fuck up!

All you do is play your stupid, dishonest games and blame others for the vicious things YOU do. You constantly insult and condemn anyone who doesn't worship your every word. You have no morals, no scruples, no conscience, no integrity, no honesty, no decency, no character, no humility, and no sense of reality or truth. You're a loser, a liar, a fanatic, a maniac, an abuser, and a waste of oxygen. You and your fellow IDiots are the ones who need to do better, and I mean a LOT better. You are nothing but poison, to the atmosphere and everything else.