"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, September 22, 2005

ID-ing My ID Article

Just in case you somehow missed my article about Intelligent Design, the Coast Guard, birds-of-paradise and helicopters, it would probably be civil of me to provide you with the missing link.

"Let the stranger praise you, not your own mouth," said King Solomon, so I'll shut up now. You, on the other hand, should feel free to heap accolades into the Comment box.

17 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

I'm afraid my internet access is severely limited while I'm away from home, Jay, but I love it already. Actually reading it is just a formality.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Thanks, Tom. And if you have access to a fax machine where you are, please e-mail me the number. I wrote an amazing song but I'm afraid to put it out over e-mail.

We're all praying for your Mom.

James Elliott said...

With apologies to Douglas Adams:

"'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing.'

"'Ah, but intelligent design is a dead giveaway,' says man. 'It proves you exist. Therefore you don't. QED.'

"'Oh, I hadn't thought of that!' says God and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

"'Well, that was easy,' says man who, for an encore, goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed at the next pedestrian crossing."

Jay D. Homnick said...

I'm getting a vibe that James believes that he has just committed humor.

The Liberal Anonymous said...

Your belief that all of modern biology is refuted by your clever little imagined logical contradiction speaks only to your hubris.

Are we supposed to be impressed at your observation that internal combustion engines run well on the fuels that they are designed to use? Because as far as I can tell, that's all that you've exposed.

Tom Van Dyke said...

James, I liked your contribution very much (Reform Clubbers are not cementheads), although IMO the last paragraph gilded the lily.

I myself am still unresolved on ID, even after reading up on it heavily, since it is a subject of interest hereabouts. When I first ran across the concept a few years ago, I was dumbstruck at the possibility that G-d would leave us such obvious clues.

Then again, some say He used to make the lame to walk and the blind to see, which is some real obvious stuff, too.


LA, I suggest you confused Mr. Homnick's prose poetry for polemic. Remember (or research) that Plato could not solve Aristophanes. That oil exists at all and that man could use it as he has is a miracle in its own way. That was the point, I think.

Jay, thank you for your warm thoughts. I'm working on Dad's computer, which I suspect is a bootleg Commodore 64. But I can say without fear of contradiction that your article I didn't read is your best one yet.


Sing your new amazing song directly into your fax machine, dial (900) SEX-GIRLZS, hit "SEND," and tell 'em TVD sent you.

Your new tune will find me through the usual channels. As always, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Tom, thanks for the kind words.

Incidentally, the first premise of Jewish theology is that God must leave clues or else He has no right to expect Man to devote himself to His purpose.

As for the song, I desperately need to speak to you... like, yesterday.

Tlaloc said...

Jay, this kind of slap dash attempt at a witicism taken for a real logical argument is what get creationists in trouble all the time.

Saying that dinosaur bones were designed to become oil is to deny that anything ever happens on accident, a supposition which would no doubt send Kathy into a Paroxyism of screaming "unintended consequences!"

Tell you what since you are keen to say that everything is a design by God, who is of course perfect, then why did It make so many just plain lousy designs?

Take the eye for instance, a marvel of engineering, right? Well almost. Certainly it's got some great features. It also has a completely boneheaded feature that even us lowly humans can see is just retarded. The optic nerve is on the wrong side which means that it has to go through the retina to get to the brain. The downside of which is that we have a small blindspot in the center of our vision (try looking directly at something as small as a star and it'll suddenly vanish).

There's absolutely no reason for it. So is God just a really half- assed engineer who slapped the eye together at 4:30 on a friday?

For that matter what about the appendix? Useless organ that can kill us...

These types of things are easily explainable by evolution, but not by ID unless you claim that It's design is just too mysterious. But that argument is contradictory to the whole point of ID.

Timothy Birdnow said...

Hey Tlaloc,

Maybe God didn`t create a perfect world because He didn`t WANT to? The whole concept of the fall of Man and the cursing of nature by Sin makes it pretty obvious that God was doing us a favor making things as carefully as He did. He could have made it much worse; we could have only one orifice, or given us all giraffe necks and raised the salary of chiropracters!

If Darwinism is correct, why haven`t we seen the emergence of myriad new species of microbes as a result of environmental pressures caused by industrialization? Why don`t we see that on Bikini island or Johnston atoll which are radioactive because of nuclear tests? Where have all the Dinosaurs gone? Why can`t we create life in a lab? What about the Fermi Paradox (where are the extraterrestrials?) Why do we sleep, when sleeping is DANGEROUS to our survival? What about homosexuality? Hardly a survival trait. Why is there only one race of man, when humanity should have split in different directions after leaving Africa?

It seems to me that Darwin leaves a lot of loose ends as well!

The Liberal Anonymous said...

If Darwinism is correct, why haven`t we seen the emergence of myriad new species of microbes as a result of environmental pressures caused by industrialization?

You mean like the microbes that only eat nylon?

The Liberal Anonymous said...

And by the way, Mr. Birdnow, if you were actually interested in learning something, you could find answers to all of your questions at your local library. But something tells me that you're satisfied with your position and aren't really interested in learning what biology is all about.

And what happened to the dinosaurs? They're dead, Tim!

Tlaloc said...

"Maybe God didn`t create a perfect world because He didn`t WANT to?"

ID is predicated upon the idea that living things are well INTELLIGENTLY Designed. Given the plethora of simply bad designs we can see in everyday life perhaps the philosophy should be called "Sentient But Not Really Very Bright Design." SBNRVBD.



"If Darwinism is correct, why haven`t we seen the emergence of myriad new species of microbes as a result of environmental pressures caused by industrialization?"

Uh we have. Perhaps you've heard of super-bugs, disease that have evolved to be resistant to the typical antibacterial agents used in hospitals? That's just one example.



"Where have all the Dinosaurs gone?"

They died out due to some sort of environmental shift which changed the ecology of the planet so that the niches they previously occupied successfully no longer existed or were more successfully occupied by new organisms (generally mammals).



"Why can`t we create life in a lab?"

We most certainly can create life in the lab. Surely you are aware of retroviruses and GMOs.



"What about the Fermi Paradox (where are the extraterrestrials?)"

Fermi was a real genius but frankly the Fermi paradox is just sloppy. It's easily resolved by considering two facets: 1) the size of the universe 2) the difficulty in travel. Frankly it's unbelievable that we would come across an alien race in any way whatsoever unless the most astounding improbablility of luck occured. The "paradox" then uis actually nothing of the sort and is precisely what we should expect. There are of a certainty other planets in the universe with life. But just as certain is that we'll never meet any of them.



"Why do we sleep, when sleeping is DANGEROUS to our survival?"

Why do we eat when eating is dangerous? Obviously because we need to. Our bodies can't run 24/7 without breaking down. Sometimes they need to stop and refresh.



"What about homosexuality? Hardly a survival trait."

Actually having a certain percentage of the adult population be homosexual can be a group survival advantage. It allows for adults who will not have offspring, which means they can spend more of their energy on group goals and less on individual child rearing. This isn't hypothetical it's been seen in various social animals that homosexuality can be advantageous as a subset of an overal population.



"Why is there only one race of man, when humanity should have split in different directions after leaving Africa?"

Um hello! Here's a list of some of the different species of "man":
Homo erectus
H. ergaster
Homo heidelbergensis
Homo sapiens idaltu
Homo floresiensis
H. neanderthalensis
H. sapiens

Okay so you've been mistaken on each objection you've raised, I can point you at the reference material if you want. Isn't it about time you realize the ID sites filling your head with these bogus objections are in fact full of it?

The Liberal Anonymous said...

He's beyond mistaken. Not being able to create life in the lab, the absense of dinosaurs and our isolation in the universe have nothing to do with evolutionary biology.

Jay D. Homnick said...

I repeat. To believe that fossil fuels, the basis of the entire structure of modern transportation, are capable of that role because of an accident is an affront to the human intellect.

Yet evolutionists are stuck driving cars and flying in planes and shooting rocket ships into space, using a key property of a substance that exists in Nature - and arguing that there was no natural or scientific reason that this substance should acquire that property.

For people who are capable of objectivity about these matters, this is a startling realization, astonishing really.

Timothy Birdnow said...

tlaloc

About evolution and microorganisms, you said:

``Uh we have. Perhaps you've heard of super-bugs, disease that have evolved to be resistant to the typical antibacterial agents used in hospitals? That's just one example.``

None of these are new species; they are simply stronger versions of our old friends.

About Dynosaurs:

``They died out due to some sort of environmental shift which changed the ecology of the planet so that the niches they previously occupied successfully no longer existed or were more successfully occupied by new organisms (generally mammals).``

This begs the question. WHY did all of the dynosaurs except birds die out while mammals did fine. Dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes and were every bit as active as mammals but they`re gone. Some of them should have evolved. They didn`t, and only the kind which can fly survived. How did Natural Selection work so selectively?

``Among the most widely utilised are retroviral vectors - viruses which have been modified to provide a highly efficient means of transporting genes into various kinds of cells``

Recombinent DNA is not the same as creating life from nonlife, and you know it! Altering the genes of a species hardly counts as creating life.

``Why do we eat when eating is dangerous? Obviously because we need to. Our bodies can't run 24/7 without breaking down. Sometimes they need to stop and refresh.``

Disingenuous; different creatures have different sleep requirements, some getting along on quite little. We even see considerable difference in humans. Natural selection should have evolved most life forms to require a minimum of sleep.

``Actually having a certain percentage of the adult population be homosexual can be a group survival advantage. It allows for adults who will not have offspring, which means they can spend more of their energy on group goals and less on individual child rearing. This isn't hypothetical it's been seen in various social animals that homosexuality can be advantageous as a subset of an overal population.``

And how did Natural Selection determine this? You haven`t answered the question.


``Um hello! Here's a list of some of the different species of "man":``

No kidding, Sherlock! And only Homo Sapiens survived. Why is that? Why hasn`t H Sapiens split, was the question.


Why are you and your ilk so disturbed, tlaloc? If Darwinism is such a slam-dunk, why does it bother you so much that people disagree? Your problem is that you have been unable to prove your case in 145 years, and you know it! Why did Stephan Jay Gould postulate a Neo-Darwinian theory of sudden evolutionary change? Because you guys know you are not on as solid a ground as you pretend.

Try opening your mind. It makes more sense than having apoplexy every time someone criticized Darwin. If the facts are with you, you will win the argument. Why isn`t there any opposition to quantum theory, or relativity? Because these theories have been proven adequately.

By the way, I`m not an I.D. proponent. I`m just somebody who used to believe in Darwinism until I saw too many contradictions to ignore. I think there are major problems which Darwinian Evolution does not answer adequately.

Tlaloc said...

"None of these are new species; they are simply stronger versions of our old friends."

That's what a new species is! It's an old species that has deviated significantly. I'm sorry but you really don't understand biology, that's very clear from your questions.



"This begs the question. WHY did all of the dynosaurs except birds die out while mammals did fine. Dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes and were every bit as active as mammals but they`re gone. Some of them should have evolved. They didn`t, and only the kind which can fly survived. How did Natural Selection work so selectively?"

You ask why none survive while pointing out the ones that survived (proto-birds)? What happened to the dinosaurs is not fully known but mass extinctions that wipe out certain types of animals while leaving others are not at all unusual in the planet's history. Imagine a 3 degree mean shift in temperature. SOme species would survive it quite well. Others would be devastated. Why? Because some are more sensitive to it than others. Warm blooded mammals would be able to cope better than cold blooded species that lay exposed eggs. Is this what happened to the dinosaurs? Maybe. Mammals and dinosaurs are easily different enough that a natural selection event could put them on opposite sides of "winners and losers."



"Recombinent DNA is not the same as creating life from nonlife, and you know it! Altering the genes of a species hardly counts as creating life."

It most certainly is creating a new lifeform but if your question was really about turning inert chemicals into a living thing then you are correct that I don't believe any lab has managed such. Of course it proves nothing. We've never constructed a star either and yet we know reasonably well how they work.



"Disingenuous; different creatures have different sleep requirements, some getting along on quite little. We even see considerable difference in humans. Natural selection should have evolved most life forms to require a minimum of sleep."

Different creatures have different eating requirements too. And again you misunderstand Biology. You assume we should evolve to require a minimum of sleep but that's not true. Consider that we are an exclusively diurnal animal. We have virtually no capacity to operate at night. That being the case since we are effectively forced to be sedentary for at least 8 hours a night if there is an advantage to sleep then we may as well sleep that long. And lo and behold we do tend to.



"And how did Natural Selection determine this? You haven`t answered the question."

Natural selection doesn't "determine" things. Species chane and either survive better or worse. In this case especially in more complex animals some develop same sex attractions. If any species developed this to an overwhelming degree they would die out and the rest of the world would keep going. Other species for whom homosexual attraction comprised a small but significant proportion tended to survive better for reasons I gave before.



"No kidding, Sherlock! And only Homo Sapiens survived. Why is that? Why hasn`t H Sapiens split, was the question."

That wasn't the question you asked but now that you are asking it it's easy to answer: because we are now interbreeding far too much. For a new species to develop we'd have to see an isolated segment of the population in a situation where a significant evolutionary step would be advantageous and left alone long enough for it to dominate the isolated populace. It's the same with dogs. There is a huge phenotypical variance in dogs world wide and they were probably fairly close to becoming different (but related) species of canines. However the rise of moder technology and travel means that these once isolated dog populations are now interbreeding. As a consequence the species drift is arrested possibly even slowly reversing.



"Why are you and your ilk so disturbed, tlaloc? If Darwinism is such a slam-dunk, why does it bother you so much that people disagree?"

Disagreement isn't the problem the problem is ignorance. Let me be perfectly blunt here: you are totally ignorant of how biology works. That in and of itself is not a crime, no one can be up to speed on everything. But the problem is that you think you know how it works and you are content in your confusion to think you've actually seen problems with evolution. It's exactly the same as people who claim math is wrong because you can't write 2/3 as a non repeating decimal. They quite simply are ignorant of math but assume they know enough to challenge it.



"Try opening your mind. It makes more sense than having apoplexy every time someone criticized Darwin. If the facts are with you, you will win the argument."

I'm not upset with you or apoplectic. I'm simply trying to educate you and frustrated that you not only don't know the material but don't know what you don't know. I'm trying to demonstrate the facts to you but you have to first realize that you might be less than open minded.



"Why isn`t there any opposition to quantum theory, or relativity? Because these theories have been proven adequately."

Evolution is just as well proven and as a physicist myself I don't make that claim lightly. Evolution is being attacked for the same reason that gallileo was attacked. A scientific theory was mistakenly seen as in conflict with chuirch dogma. End of story, hopefully this one end the same.



"By the way, I`m not an I.D. proponent. I`m just somebody who used to believe in Darwinism until I saw too many contradictions to ignore. I think there are major problems which Darwinian Evolution does not answer adequately."

That's fine but your objections as before are based on your misunderstandings not actual issues with evolution. That should be clear to you by now if you are paying attention.

Tlaloc said...

"I repeat. To believe that fossil fuels, the basis of the entire structure of modern transportation, are capable of that role because of an accident is an affront to the human intellect."

Jay you are being ridiculous. That's like saying: wood can burn so that proves God! No all it proves is that the cellular walls of large plants can be dried out and then broken down in an exothermic reaction. It amazes me how in one thread you can claim human ingenuity is the panacea of all ills and in another deny human ingenuity in favor of divine providence.

Figuring out that oil burns nicely is a function of human ingenuity and we've used it for better and worse over the years. It requires no god.

from wikipedia:

"Most geologists view crude oil, like coal and natural gas, as the product of compression and heating of ancient vegetation over geological time scales. According to this theory, it is formed from the decayed remains of prehistoric marine animals and terrestrial plants. Over many centuries this organic matter, mixed with mud, is buried under thick sedimentary layers of material. The resulting high levels of heat and pressure cause the remains to metamorphose, first into a waxy material known as kerogen, and then into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons in a process known as catagenesis. These then migrate through adjacent rock layers until they become trapped underground in porous rocks called reservoirs, forming an oil field, from which the liquid can be extracted by drilling and pumping.

These reactions are thought to be very temperature sensitive: reactions that produce recognizable oil kick in at about 130 °C, and those that continue the breakdown of oil to natural gas kick in by about 180 °C. The range of 130 - 150 °C is generally considered the "oil window". Though this corresponds to different depths for different locations around the world, a 'typical' depth for an oil window might be 4 - 5 km. Three conditions must be present for oil reservoirs to form: a rich source rock, a migration conduit, and a trap (seal) that forms the reservoir.

The reactions that produce oil and natural gas are often modeled as first order breakdown reactions, where kerogen breaks down to oil and natural gas by a large set of parallel reactions, and oil eventually breaks down to natural gas by another set of reactions."

There's nothing remotely mysterious or miraculous about this Jay, just the combination of chemistry and geology.