ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2015 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The mysteries of TENS

Dr. James M. Tour of Rice University confesses he simply cannot grasp what everyone at Scienceblogs and the Panda's Thumb and Richarddawkins.net just knows to be true. Because science.
I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist: if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules. I understand that if I take Nature’s tool kit, it could be much easier, because all the tools are already there, and I just mix it in the proportions, and I do it under these conditions, but ab initio is very, very hard.

I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you. Is that OK, for me to say, “I don’t understand this”? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.

Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science – with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public – because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said – I say, “Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?” Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go “Uh-uh. Nope.” These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I’ve sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, “Do you understand this?”And if they’re afraid to say “Yes,” they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.

I was once brought in by the Dean of the Department, many years ago, and he was a chemist. He was kind of concerned about some things. I said, “Let me ask you something. You’re a chemist. Do you understand this? How do you get DNA without a cell membrane? And how do you get a cell membrane without a DNA? And how does all this come together from this piece of jelly?” We have no idea, we have no idea. I said, “Isn’t it interesting that you, the Dean of science, and I, the chemistry professor, can talk about this quietly in your office, but we can’t go out there and talk about this?”

If you understand evolution, I am fine with that. I’m not going to try to change you – not at all. In fact, I wish I had the understanding that you have.

But about seven or eight years ago I posted on my Web site that I don’t understand. And I said, “I will buy lunch for anyone that will sit with me and explain to me evolution, and I won’t argue with you until I don’t understand something – I will ask you to clarify. But you can’t wave by and say, “This enzyme does that.” You’ve got to get down in the details of where molecules are built, for me. Nobody has come forward.

The Atheist Society contacted me. They said that they will buy the lunch, and they challenged the Atheist Society, “Go down to Houston and have lunch with this guy, and talk to him.” Nobody has come! Now remember, because I’m just going to ask, when I stop understanding what you’re talking about, I will ask. So I sincerely want to know. I would like to believe it. But I just can’t.

Now, I understand microevolution, I really do. We do this all the time in the lab. I understand this. But when you have speciation changes, when you have organs changing, when you have to have concerted lines of evolution, all happening in the same place and time – not just one line – concerted lines, all at the same place, all in the same environment … this is very hard to fathom.

I was in Israel not too long ago, talking with a bio-engineer, and [he was] describing to me the ear, and he was studying the different changes in the modulus of the ear, and I said, “How does this come about?” And he says, “Oh, Jim, you know, we all believe in evolution, but we have no idea how it happened.”
Smells like quality science. And before the usual science fetishists leap in to assert the obvious and declare: "yeah, well, that doesn't prove God exists," I will readily admit that it does not. But, (and here is the point), it does prove that there are very rational reasons to doubt the unevidenced assertion that "evolution is a fact".

As I have repeatedly pointed out, I am an evolution skeptic, not an evolution denier. I do not judge the truth of the belief by the behavior of the believer, although if I did, the behavior of the evolutionary true believers would be sufficient to convince me that the existence of unicorns, fairies, and leprechauns combined is considerably more likely than fish magically turning into monkeys over time due to beneficial mutations taking advantage of the multitude of changes in the water.

Labels: ,

219 Comments:

1 – 200 of 219 Newer› Newest»
Anonymous Toby Temple March 12, 2014 8:24 AM  

The militant atheists will simply discard Dr. James M. Tour's statements because he is a Christian.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 8:24 AM  

There are areas where one may well judge the truth of a belief by the behavior of the believers. Think"Global Warming," an article of faith among the most self-impeached group of witnesses in at least modern history. There, it's not necessary to understand the science; it's only necessary to observe the hysteria, the demands for punishing and silencing critics, to know that these are charaltans who could only be right by fluke.

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 8:27 AM  

I suppose one can reasonably doubt Global Warming on the basis of its true believers uniformly failing to move to colder locations away from the ocean. They're obviously not that concerned about it.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 8:32 AM  

More corroborative evidence, yes.

That's a little different from evolution, of course, where evolutionists acquired their beliefs more or less the way I acquired Catholicism.

Anonymous MrGreenMan March 12, 2014 8:34 AM  

Knee-jerk response: He can't be a scientist, because EVOLUTION! is the basis of all science and explains Everything!

That aside, I find his conclusion refreshing, where the micro makes sense, but it's the idea that, under pressure, there's going to be this massive, simultaneous branching with more branches extant after the pressure than before the pressure - that's where it broke down for me as well, and I realized that, however much they like to dump on Lamarck, they internalized the Lamarckian tree-of-life concept and can't shake the metaphor.

Anonymous Mike M. March 12, 2014 8:38 AM  

I always found it interesting that great scientists like Newton and Pascal were also very devout.

Study the universe, and a Creator makes a whole lot more sense than random chance.

Science can describe HOW the universe operates, but is rather less capable of describing WHY things are as they are.

Anonymous Dr. J March 12, 2014 8:52 AM  

I wonder if any of these evolutionists have actually read Darwin? Origin of Species rambles from cows, to birds, to bugs without any coherence. It's a work of philosophy without a shread of science in the entire thing.

How Darwin hasn't been flushed like Freud and phrenology is astounding to me.

Anonymous Congo Sam March 12, 2014 8:53 AM  

He thinks that for an event to occur, somebody must first fully understand the mechanism. Which proves that no events have ever occurred, and we're just imagining reality. Got it.

Same failure mode as anti-game people and lefties who don't know where goods and services come from.

No skin off mine, though. So to speak.

Anonymous dh March 12, 2014 8:57 AM  

I suppose one can reasonably doubt Global Warming on the basis of its true believers uniformly failing to move to colder locations away from the ocean. They're obviously not that concerned about it.

This cuts badly both ways, however. The same can be said of the members of Congress who represent coastal areas who are fighting tooth and nail to prevent updated flood maps going into effect because it will raise the flood insurance rates of the insured. These same flood maps are still unrealistically optimistic (for example, the area's affected by non-Hurricane Sandy were only reflected on the high-risk areas of flood maps about 50% of the time). The experts who draw the maps say only about 6-inches of flood surge is attributed to Global Warming (err whatever it's called). (link: http://www.propublica.org/article/federal-flood-maps-left-new-york-unprepared-for-sandy-and-fema-knew-it)

Yet Congress, regardless of party, who represent coastal areas are trying to prevent vastly superior lidar based maps from going into effect. If it was really true that climate change was not happening, then they would welcome the new maps.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 8:58 AM  

"He thinks that for an event to occur, somebody must first fully understand the mechanism."

/facepalm

No. He knows how the mechanism works... and knows it doesn't work like the macro-evolution theory requires it to work.

Blogger JP March 12, 2014 9:01 AM  

So I guess they haven't dug up crocoduck yet.

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 9:03 AM  

He thinks that for an event to occur, somebody must first fully understand the mechanism. Which proves that no events have ever occurred, and we're just imagining reality. Got it.

Not at all. He thinks for an event to occur, a mechanism must take place. He doesn't see any evidence that the mechanism is, in fact, taking place. Ergo, he questions whether the event has occurred.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 9:04 AM  

"If it was really true that climate change was not happening, then they would welcome the new maps."

No they wouldn't. Because $$$$$

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 9:04 AM  

If it was really true that climate change was not happening, then they would welcome the new maps.

That doesn't follow. Review your logic.

Anonymous Spoos in August March 12, 2014 9:04 AM  

The problem with TENS is mainly in abiogenesis, especially since evidence of life (oxygen atmosphere) is found far earlier than expected. Even if Fred Hoyle was right, it doesn't solve the problem of abiogenesis.

The issue of speciation is rather more trivial, since reproductive incompatibility and subsequent divergence can start with as little as a song (in the case of birds). Chromosomal rearrangements are quite frequent due to the mechanism of meiosis, and could easily reduce fertility between populations.

Once you've got a reproductive barrier and a difference in environmental pressure, even small changes to genes can make a great deal of difference.

All that being said, the big flaw in TENS is that biologists have very little idea how far down the rabbit hole we've gotten. Despite having the sequence of the human genome, we still don't know how all of it works on the molecular level.

Blogger IM2L844 March 12, 2014 9:05 AM  

Dr. Tour must have missed the hyperbolic extrapolation section in the fundamentals of evolution class.

Anonymous Josh March 12, 2014 9:06 AM  

He thinks that for an event to occur, somebody must first fully understand the mechanism.

No.

He's like the engineer listening to a lunatic talk about the internal combustion engine that runs on water and thinking "I know how thermodynamics work...that mechanism couldn't work with this water fueled engine...so I don't know how it could work"

Anonymous p-dawg March 12, 2014 9:08 AM  

@Mike M: Newton was devout? Weird, because alchemy is proscribed in Scripture and he was an alchemist. Magic is proscribed in Scripture and he was a Magician. Private interpretations of Scripture are prohibited in Scripture and he wrote several of them. I guess you could say he was just really bad at being devout, but I think there's a simpler explanation. He was lying.

Anonymous Josh March 12, 2014 9:08 AM  

Despite having the sequence of the human genome, we still don't know how all of it works on the molecular level.

I suspect that the more we learn, the less certain we will be about how it all works.

Anonymous p-dawg March 12, 2014 9:10 AM  

@Spoos in August: "The issue of speciation is rather more trivial," I notice your explanation consisted entirely of conjecture. Could, can, might, may, possibly...that's what you consider to be a 'trivial' problem? If it's trivial, where's the procedure to produce it in the lab?

Blogger CarpeOro March 12, 2014 9:17 AM  

DH, your making a huge assumption there. Your assuming that congressmen actually are concerned about their constituents welfare. If that were the case they would have said "wait, let me read this bill before signing it." Instead, the rallying cry was "let's just vote on this, then we will find out what is in it".

Anonymous DrTorch March 12, 2014 9:17 AM  

Pfft. Poor Dr. Tours, he so uneducated.

Whenever I make a similar statement, plenty of 9th grade biology teachers tell me that they understand evolution, and that it's in all the science books. Then they tell me that the science I do must be "very computational" and that's why I don't understand it. Ab initio calculations are, by definition, computational, so Dr. Tours is even farther afield than I am.

I've also been told I know nothing about science, so it looks even worse for Dr. Tours. He should give up now, as he obviously has no future in that line of work. I mean Rice University? C'mon their football team usually sucks, how good can it be?

Anonymous Peter Garstig March 12, 2014 9:19 AM  

He's like the engineer listening to a lunatic talk about the internal combustion engine that runs on water and thinking.

Don't you dare to call Mr. Dingel a lunatic, fool.

OpenID simplytimothy March 12, 2014 9:19 AM  

The meta-issue is the fear that some scientists feel in giving public voice to their doubts -- except in private amongst their intellectual peers. These guys need to grow some stones for science

Blogger JartStar March 12, 2014 9:19 AM  

where evolutionists acquired their beliefs more or less the way I acquired Catholicism.

Can you elaborate on this?

Blogger stareatgoatsies March 12, 2014 9:21 AM  

"No. He knows how the mechanism works... and knows it doesn't work like the macro-evolution theory requires it to work."

He cites Pascal:

“It is a remarkable fact that no canonical [biblical] author has ever used nature to prove God. They all try to make people believe in him. David, Solomon, etc., never said: ‘There is no such thing as a vacuum, therefore God exists.’ They must have been cleverer than the cleverest of their successors, all of whom have used proofs from nature.

Anonymous ZhukovG March 12, 2014 9:23 AM  

@p-dawg

I am unaware of any scripture which prohibits alchemy. Also Newton was a devout Protestant, so yes he was Sola Scriptura rather than Sola Ecclesia. I was not aware that he practiced magic, but as long as he did not consort with ‘familiar spirits’ his error would likely be minor.

Blogger Hanns Strudle extra gooey March 12, 2014 9:24 AM  

You'll hear evolution worshippers say tired slogans like, "most scientists believe in TENs". It's odd that when one scientist is actually honest, he's attacked and burned at the stake. This interview shows that most scientists doubt evolution, but can't publicly say it because of the communist behavior of the ruling class intelligentsia. Scare tactics--a lefty trademark!

Blogger Matamoros March 12, 2014 9:28 AM  

The Scientist came to God and said, “God, we don’t need you any more.”

God asked, “How so?” The Scientist said, “we can create life from nothing now, so we don’t need you.”

God said, “That’s interesting. Can you explain the process.” The Scientist said, “Well first we take some dirt...,” and God said, “Wait a minute. Go make your own dirt.”

Blogger Outlaw X March 12, 2014 9:33 AM  

I bieve in the big bang of life like I believe in the big bang of the universe. What science calls the singularity that caused the unive to explode into existence eventoulay creating the earth and the moon and the cratering or the moon and the cooling of earth over a few billion years I can fathom but don't understand how he did it. I don't believe he created the earth and moon with craters and mountants and all continents in their place ex nihilo but the big bang he did. Similarly I believe he created the foundations of life ex nihilo but not man as he is but came or evolved if you prefer from the big bang of life and no I don't know how he did it. I just look at the evidence and the character of God or how he seems to operate. Nature follows a path he created and what is now is a place from where we originated out of what he created. That sums up what I believe using Occam's razor.

Anonymous Stephen J. March 12, 2014 9:36 AM  

It comes down to articles of faith, on both sides. Either it is possible for organic life to arise spontaneously from nonliving chemical compounds, or it is not. Either random mutation and accumulated statistical survival can account for observed biological complexity within estimated time, or it cannot.

The only one of these propositions that could conceivably be empirically falsified would be if somebody actually observed life spontaneously generating in a wholly unprepared situation -- and the very people who argue that that is what happened are also as like as not to claim that it's such a rare event that it may only have happened once in the entire space and history of the universe, so the odds of seeing it happen again without artificially facilitating it (and therefore nullifying the hypothesis) seem long, to put it mildly.

That's not to say good arguments about the state of the science aren't worth reading. But the problem with this issue in particular is that nobody now believes somebody can argue just about the science without assuming a philosophical agenda behind it.

Anonymous Alexander March 12, 2014 9:47 AM  

Yes but, by your own statements the entire theory is outside the realms of the scientific method anyway, so what 'just about the science' is there to begin with?

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 9:50 AM  

"the way I acquired Catholicism.

Can you elaborate on this?"

I may be crippled here, because it seems so self evident to me. Still, I'll try. I was raised in South Boston, Massachusetts, a rather pleasant and prosperous, street crime free (because the real criminals would kill a mugger in a heartbeat), Irish-Catholic ghetto. There was no alternative, barring the small ghetto within a ghetto of Orthodox Albanians. I was literally across the street from a church that might as well have been a cathedral. Time ran to the rythym of the church. Everyone professed. There were no contrary voices.

It strikes me that within public education, the media, the theater, Hollywood, etc., there are also no contrary voices. Children are simply preached at and expected to believe.

Note here that, being _way_ more conservative than Meg Thatcher, I left the church at 14 over Vatican II. I eventually went back, half because of a string of events I wouldn't believe if they hadn't happened to me, so I won't burden anyone here with them, and because I decided that a) V II had gotten it more right than wrong, b) that God likely didn't care about minor points of doctrine, dogma, and ritual, and c) I was still, in my heart of hearts, what I had been raised to be, a Roman Catholic.

Anonymous Josh March 12, 2014 9:53 AM  

Tom is from Southie?

Anonymous dh March 12, 2014 9:54 AM  

That doesn't follow. Review your logic.

Yeah maybe that just shows that politicians want free lunches and not much else.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 9:54 AM  

"I may be crippled here, because it seems so self evident to me. Still, I'll try. I was raised in South Boston, Massachusetts"

Tom.. its true... being from Boston is a terrible handicap... but you've over come up admirably.

Blogger James Dixon March 12, 2014 9:55 AM  

> b) that God likely didn't care about minor points of doctrine, dogma, and ritual,

I can only wish more of the faithful shared this view.

Anonymous Dave R. March 12, 2014 9:55 AM  

Look at James Tours' credentials.
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science
500 published research articles
60 patents
Top 10 best Chemist in the world
Top 50 best Scientist in the world
Scientist of the year, R & D magazine
etc...
etc...

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 9:55 AM  

TAWMMY KRATMAN IS A TRUE GRITTY BAHSTAN LEGEND! NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 9:59 AM  

Dunno about that, Nate.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 10:00 AM  

That said,

"Our captain has a handicap to cope with,
Sad to tell.
He's from [Boston] and he doesn't speak the language very well..."

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 10:03 AM  

Yes, Josh, "i was raised up on A Street, Brought up on B Street, Southie is my home town..."

Though, actually, I was raised, initially, on I Street, right across from the aforementioned Gate of Heaven.

Nate said legend...in a way: True fact, I was the only two year old with an adult library card in South Boston.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 10:03 AM  

"Look at James Tours' credentials.
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science
500 published research articles
60 patents
Top 10 best Chemist in the world
Top 50 best Scientist in the world
Scientist of the year, R & D magazine
etc...
etc...Look at James Tours' credentials.
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science
500 published research articles
60 patents
Top 10 best Chemist in the world
Top 50 best Scientist in the world
Scientist of the year, R & D magazine
etc...
etc..."

Doesn't matter. Tour is a christian... therefore crazy.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 March 12, 2014 10:06 AM  

Evolution is only considered a fact because the government forces children to learn in government skools. Of course, no class experiments are done to prove it. Sure, we get to play with electricity, acid, and dead toads, but no experiments that confirm evolution.

Basically, evolutionists are those whose public schooling took to them well.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan March 12, 2014 10:07 AM  

Dr. Tours seems to be in the same predicament as Darwin. He wants to follow the truth. But the truth isn't clear.

Blogger JartStar March 12, 2014 10:08 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger JartStar March 12, 2014 10:09 AM  

Thanks Tom, it is true that for so many there are no contrarian views.

Blogger IM2L844 March 12, 2014 10:18 AM  

"Doesn't matter. Tour is a christian... therefore crazy."

And stupid. Don't forget stupid...and Ignorant...and he probably has bad teeth...and talks funny.

Strange that the facts are that the vast majority of the world's most famous intellectuals, scientists and philosophers, throughout all of history, have been theists. How'd that happen?

Anonymous DrTorch March 12, 2014 10:19 AM  

From his personal page/blog, Tours writes

I think that a better approach might include more teaching about evolution, namely coverage of legitimate scientific criticisms of neo-Darwinism and disputes about the origin of the first life. That would be more balanced.

Huh, criticizing the consensus. Clearly this guy is a troublemaker. No wonder leftists are so outraged at Texas' textbook selection. People like this might be influencing them!

Anonymous Truth March 12, 2014 10:24 AM  

There are areas of physics still being studied. no one denies physics exists. Gravity is hard to understand, but still 100 percent real.

The fact there are still discoveries to be made about evolution doesnt mea its not 100% fact. And it is.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 10:26 AM  

One of the differences, though, I was working toward was the sanctity something naturally acquires with age. Not only is faith in evolution (Truth in Advertising; neither I nor my church have a _necessary_ problem with evolution) drilled into children, but it's been around long enough to have considerable weight of tradition behind it.

Now consider one of the elements of evidence that many and probably most of the snarkier atheists are low grade morons; the flying spagetti monster. This recent creation is supposed to be used to debunk faith. However, it is not only recent, we know it was imagined - not created - specifically to ridicule faith, and we can say by whom and when. Conversely, none of those things can definitively be said of any Abrahamic faith, to include Islam, because there are no witnesses to testify to them. What kind of moron can equate the two, to the detriment of genuine religion?

Anonymous Josh March 12, 2014 10:30 AM  

Truth,

Show us where science has proved that evolution is a fact.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 10:31 AM  

"The fact there are still discoveries to be made about evolution doesnt mea its not 100% fact. And it is."

As a statement of blind faith, that would take some beating.

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 10:32 AM  

Tom.. its true... being from Boston is a terrible handicap... but you've over come up admirably.

Ahem....

Blogger Salt March 12, 2014 10:33 AM  

As a statement of blind faith, that would take some beating.

Won't be his first time.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 10:34 AM  

OT:

Heh, Obsidian is race-baiting:

Following up on my question above, I note that you cite two very well known bloggers in the Manosphere, who would be considered to fit Kimmel’s characterization like the proverbial hand in glove: Chateau Heartiste, formerly known as Roissy, and Vox Day, of the blog Alpha Game. Both have been cited for their racist views of people of color, and neither seem particularly interested in being inclusive of Men of Color under their tents (in fact, I would go so far as to say that they are both actively hostile to such inclusiveness – I say this based on direct observation and experience of both). As noted above, their astute observations and the like, many of which I do agree with, are utterly undermined by their racism, and gives folks like Kimmel, et al a smoking gun with which to discredit the entirety of the MRM cause. I am curious to know if you had known this prior to the completion of your book, and if so, why you found it necessary to cite them as sources in any event?

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 10:35 AM  

"The fact there are still discoveries to be made about evolution doesnt mea its not 100% fact. And it is."

Simply asserting something is a fact doesn't make it so son. No matter how many times you do it.

The fact is... people that know a whole lot more about this than you do... are well aware that it is built on sand.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 10:35 AM  

"Curious to know"... Sure...

Blogger JartStar March 12, 2014 10:35 AM  

What kind of moron can equate the two, to the detriment of genuine religion?

The willful kind. These morons aren't arguing against God, but rebelling and cloaking their rebellion in snark.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 10:36 AM  

Ahem, indeed.

Anonymous Giraffe March 12, 2014 10:39 AM  

Now consider one of the elements of evidence that many and probably most of the snarkier atheists are low grade morons; the flying spagetti monster. This recent creation is supposed to be used to debunk faith. However, it is not only recent, we know it was imagined - not created - specifically to ridicule faith, and we can say by whom and when. Conversely, none of those things can definitively be said of any Abrahamic faith, to include Islam, because there are no witnesses to testify to them. What kind of moron can equate the two, to the detriment of genuine religion?

How about scientology, Tom? One thing that gives me pause about my own faith is that if there are people stupid enough to believe that, and we know about its origins, what am I believing when we have had 2000 years to muddy the waters about its origins?

Yet it is mostly Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise that believe it, so that is a small encouragement.

Anonymous Stephen J. March 12, 2014 10:42 AM  

"Yes but, by your own statements the entire theory is outside the realms of the scientific method anyway, so what 'just about the science' is there to begin with?"

- Documenting how random mutations occur and what causes them.
- Finding out how epigenetics influences characteristics and how it contributes to speciation.
- Sequencing the genomes of as many species as possible so as to have a better idea of their genetic distinctions, and figuring out which have a relevant effect.
- Proper classification of fossils in the record.
- Measuring how species' behavioural responses to environmental changes influences characteristic propagation.

That's just off the top of my head and I'm not even a biologist or biochemist. There's boatloads of stuff people can productively talk about without having to take a philosophical stance on whether we are unique creations of God or a biochemical accident of a causally determined material universe.

Blogger JDC March 12, 2014 10:45 AM  

Nate: TAWMMY KRATMAN IS A TRUE GRITTY BAHSTAN LEGEND! NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!

Tom Kratman: Dunno about that, Nate.


I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Anonymous Spoos in August March 12, 2014 10:45 AM  

@p-dawg: It certainly is conjecture. I'm extrapolating based on my (woefully incomplete) knowledge of the dynamics I expect to be at work, and, because I wasn't around to see the whole thing happen, I can't do much more than that. Perhaps, in order to be clearer, I should have said that the prospect of speciation is rather less daunting to explain than the abiogenesis currently posited by adherents of TENS.

In order to test this in the lab, you would have to use a model organism with short generations, sexual reproduction, and a sequenced genome. Isolate two (initially homogenous) populations in disparate environments, and test for reduced fertility in cross-breeding as well as reduced fertility of offspring. Ideally, your model organism would have some behavioral component to its sexual reproduction, so flies would be more elucidating than worms or yeast. Still going to take a long time, though.

I'd be interested to see what, if any, karyotypic changes occur, and how well my conjecture holds up, but I doubt I could get funding for that experiment. I'd also note that abiogenesis in a temporally finite universe seems more consistent with divine creation than a deity-free universe.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 10:52 AM  

"Ahem...."

Being from Minnesota is almost as bad... and you've done ok too.

***pats Vox on the head***

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 12, 2014 10:53 AM  

@p-dawg Could you site the relevant Biblical passages to backup you assertions?

Anonymous MrGreenMan March 12, 2014 10:53 AM  

I remember talking to a friend of mine who was into computer architecture who had been raised Lutheran, never believed anything, got into anime, became an atheist/science fetishist, but then had a wake-up call one day in computer architecture class of all places:

I know this is an old philosopher's idea recast, but imagine the idea of asking a program to count the seconds in the universe without reference to an external clock. Now, tell me - is this program sharing its resources with other programs on a time sharing multiprocessor? At any given moment, can you prove inside the program that it ran from the beginning - or were the register and virtual memory values set when it was loaded onto the processor? Can it prove that nothing else ran on the CPU between its last and next output?

The point of that being, of course, the perspective of the naturalist materialist, if he were honest, eschews certain questions, and, although he can even make stories and plausible explanations, he cannot explain creation without making a new creation; he cannot explain speciation without making a new species; he usually can't even agree with others on what the definition of a species is.

This is a roundabout way of saying: The initial article admits that great humility comes from learning, because you learn what you don't know. One has to respect this guy for echoing the idea - learning is a process of coming to know what you don't know. Grant-giving institutions and governments don't like that. That the TENS proponents are such shameless devotees of their position that they will not admit that there's anything more to learn, or question - just like the warming alarmists - means that they have no intellectual depth in the matter.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 10:55 AM  

And don't be talking shit about my creative grammatical constructions beaner... we know you only got into Bucknell because of affirmative action. lazy hispanics I swear... Bring me a Chimichanga Vox.

Blogger jdwalker March 12, 2014 10:58 AM  

I'll start with that I don't know much about TENS and these debates, so any guidance on where to get up to speed would be helpful. And this only seems to complicate it because the quoted post talks about "microevolution", which is a term I have never encountered. I'll have to look into what that encompasses, and I imagine there is a complementary "macroevolution". But for the immediate, I have a question for VD when he says that he is "an evolution skeptic, not an evolution denier." I'm assuming that means the grand theory of evolution that fish evolved into monkeys, and not necessarily what someone like me (the uneducated in this area) would group in with evolution (e.g., groups of the same species evolving differently to have different traits)? Is the latter what would be microevolution? Is there any disconnect between not necessarily believing fish evolved into monkeys, but believing that changes can happen over time within a population so that they evolve in one direction in terms of external or behavioral traits? Thanks.

Blogger Crowhill March 12, 2014 10:58 AM  

The shrill "science is always right" cry coming from people who don't even understand the science is a very odd thing.

I've had people with almost no science knowledge tell me how certain they are that oil comes from dinosaurs. That's nonsense, of course, but they believe it's "science" and therefore certain, and that to doubt it is evidence of some kind of mental illness.

The mad confidence of the Senate Democrats in their little talk-a-thon on global warming is similar. It's not the science that matters, it's how loud and brash you are in asserting it.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 12, 2014 11:00 AM  

South Boston in the Caribbean ...
My paternal grandparents (even my great-grand parents) lived across a Catholic Church. In structure, I guess, people would call it a cathedral but it wasn't. The actual cathedral was a few blocks away, in the central plaza. Some of my great-aunts and great-aunts, lived in the same street of my grand-parents. I know how the rhythm of a place can be guided by those church bells and schedules. Ah, good memories. Nostalgia for days of relatives now gone ... a little of me died with them. :(

Anonymous H March 12, 2014 11:00 AM  

Oswald Spengler in Decline of the West talks a bit about Darwinian evolution and that it was merely applying the idea of a progression of society from Ancient/Medieval/Modern into a biological context; I'll scan the pages and email them to you later Vox so you can read them for yourself.

Anonymous Porky March 12, 2014 11:03 AM  

The fact there are still discoveries to be made about evolution doesnt mea its not 100% fact. And it is.

Science works by making predictions, Truth. Darwin made a prediction. It failed.

The thing for you to do now is come up with a new prediction and test it - not shout "100% fact!".

Anonymous MrGreenMan March 12, 2014 11:05 AM  

@jdwalker:

Microevolution is usually defined as the variation in the ratio of expressions of different alleles for genes in a population over time. This is the one that nobody questions: If the red-haired guy is the secret sneaky fucker and has sex with all the women, all the kids of the next generation will have red hair.

Macroevolution is usually the broader question - how do species arise? - and the answer given is usually "speciation with branching", that backs up into TENS.

There is a logical leap that usually seems like the bridge to far that is taught in BIO 101 that because microevolution, therefore macroevolution. The Dennett poster on the right column "Atheist Logic" is poking fun at him having made this very claim in his book - because Physicists get so much right, Biologists must be right, too, since they're both on the payroll and grouped in the same department.

There's a similar jump - because we can get such broad variation from mutation in asexual (budding/cloning) populations, therefore, the same mechanism must create species in sexual populations.

There are all these jumps. I remember being told things line up on the centromeres in mitosis and meiosis and sexual reproduction. I remember being shown the ultimate picture of chimp vs. human chromosomes, and then being told a story that the human chromosome was just the result of two chimp chromosomes smashed together. I asked how those smashed ones would line up on the centromeres. I was called an idiot for asking such a stupid question by a professional biologist. Perhaps this would be less contentious if they weren't such assholes, which is also the request for a nice lunch to explain the mechanism.

Blogger Outlaw X March 12, 2014 11:07 AM  

If anyone could prove to me that God did not creat man through an evolutionary process I sure would be open to the matter. But as I see it there is too much evidence to the contrary that I just can't see him as the type that just says pop Adam and Eve were created as full grown adults in the garden, beside we know from scripture that were indeed other people on Earth as pointed out by God and Cain in Genesis.

Anonymous Anonymous March 12, 2014 11:07 AM  

Here's the question I asked my son when he came home from school one day and dismissed those who question....not deny...evolution....How did gills turn into lungs:...and back again...? What caused such a mutation?

Aaron Investigates

Anonymous civilServant March 12, 2014 11:11 AM  

Is that OK, for me to say, “I don’t understand this”? Is that all right?

Yes. If one cares about the truth. But one then becomes a target.

Anonymous Cranberry March 12, 2014 11:12 AM  

jdwalker, start by reading Darwin's Origin of Species, it's in the public domain and you can get it free for Kindle (no Kindle required, download app on PC or smartphone, tablet, etc.).

The papal encyclical Humanae Generis details how Christians (Catholics specifically) reconcile the apparent contradictions between Scripture and the scientific "consensus" about evolution.

This article is a good start on some problems, and gives an overview of the current topics being addressed (or skirted) by TENS promoters.

Anonymous Truth - a few years from now March 12, 2014 11:13 AM  

Nobody ever stated that the theory of evolution was 100% fact. Obviously, science is a testing and retesting of a hypothesis and so no scientist would ever guarantee a complete truth - especially when we knew not all material facts had been discovered.

Typical science deniers, trying to destroy the name of science by inserting such blindingly ignorant assertions into our mouths retroactively!

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 12, 2014 11:15 AM  

Speaking from experience, chemists are usually more honest than biologists.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 11:17 AM  

"Speaking from experience, chemists are usually more honest than biologists."

and significantly smarter.

Anonymous Rip March 12, 2014 11:19 AM  

The only thing I'll say, without reading any of the above comments, is that he did state he understands microevolution. I think, and I'm not trying to pick nits, that the term "evolution" literally means different things to different people. It is entirely possible to believe evolution exists (it does, and can be demonstrated - but by evolve I mean adaptation and speciation) while still believing that the original structures had to be created by something more powerful than us. Big bang does not equal evolutionary theory necessarily.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 11:19 AM  

OT: As for the two VD responses in the comments, especially the second

Blogger Quadko March 12, 2014 11:22 AM  

Great post, thanks for bringing this one up.

"I love science to much to compromise it by holding to today's crippled version of macro evolution" - now that's the attitude I like to see! If everyone held to that scepticism, we could make some progress on figuring out what's going in in reality and push back the boundaries of our ignorance.

Truth
Gravity? Really? Something predictable in behavior in non-edge cases, predictions testable and repeatable in every lab down to elementary school science - in your brain that's the same as so-far-untestable, thus unpredictable, singular events in pre-history such as the development of spines from the spineless, cells from the cellless, and life from the lifeless?

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 11:22 AM  

Dammit... give us link you infuriating finnish prick.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 11:23 AM  

I thought everyone read the Alpha Game sidebar

Anonymous ZhukovG March 12, 2014 11:24 AM  

My father is a Biology Professor, with a PHD in Genetics, and is a very honest and intelligent man

He will also tell you that the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is a crock of excrement.

Anonymous Noah B. March 12, 2014 11:26 AM  

See? Organic chemistry can be fun!

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 11:32 AM  

I'll scan the pages and email them to you later Vox so you can read them for yourself.

No need, I've read it.

Blogger Me Guerrero March 12, 2014 11:38 AM  

How do you know that your feelings don't make you want to believe what you believe? honestly does any of you would get sad like this : ( if god or buddha or etc proven to be not real? I as a former Christian was like that long time ago, in the 2006 as a teenage middle school (I remember I cried) and now see me, I see everything ok if a celestial being is not real.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 11:39 AM  

I as a former Christian was like that long time ago

And - what a surprise - a current bisexual by your own admission at CH.

Anonymous MrGreenMan March 12, 2014 11:43 AM  

@Me Guerrero

And what, pray tell, convinced your adolescent mind that this was the case?

It's always interesting to hear the cold, materialist scientific explanation. Why, for example, Mr. Darwin stopped believing because the rational explanation beseeched him ...that his daughter died and no god he could imagine would allow that to happen, so, since God would not be as Mr. Darwin would have a god, he lost his faith late in life.

Blogger Tommy Hass March 12, 2014 11:44 AM  

"Tom.. its true... being from Boston is a terrible handicap..."

What place from the US isn't?

"Now consider one of the elements of evidence that many and probably most of the snarkier atheists are low grade morons; the flying spagetti monster. This recent creation is supposed to be used to debunk faith. However, it is not only recent, we know it was imagined - not created - specifically to ridicule faith, and we can say by whom and when. Conversely, none of those things can definitively be said of any Abrahamic faith, to include Islam, because there are no witnesses to testify to them. What kind of moron can equate the two, to the detriment of genuine religion?"

That's actually true.

Blogger Jesse Sullivan March 12, 2014 11:46 AM  

"Yet Congress, regardless of party, who represent coastal areas are trying to prevent vastly superior lidar based maps from going into effect. If it was really true that climate change was not happening, then they would welcome the new maps."

On the issue of more accurate flood maps: I think the reason that politicians of both parties would prefer that more accurate mapping, for the purposes of charging individuals for flood insurance, not occur is because of the thousands of additional households which would then be required to purchase flood insurance. I think that a rational insurance policy would encourage the more accurate maps as the additional costs in developing a floodplain would perhaps encourage more consideration of the risks/costs of developing a particular site. As it it politicians we are considering, and not an insurance company, the incentive is to maintain the status quo and pass the costs of developing a floodplain on to the taxpayer at large rather than risk upsetting a large portion of voters. This, coincidentally, is also why congress is in the process of repealing some reforms they made a few years ago to the national flood insurance program which removed some subsidies for flood insurance and resulted in some rather steep rate increases. It is politically much easier to just let the Feds bail flooded areas out with disaster relief.

Anonymous civilServant March 12, 2014 11:46 AM  

How do you know that your feelings don't make you want to believe what you believe?

This is in fact how most people live to one extent or another.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 11:47 AM  

Oh, don't get me started on scientology, Giraffe.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 11:48 AM  

Let's get Tom started on Scientology.

So, about that Scientology, eh, amirite?

Anonymous Adam B. March 12, 2014 11:51 AM  

I'm not sure why it's necessary to understand every enzyme, every change in the DNA molecule in order to accept the idea of evolution. It appears to me that Dr. Tour may be so deeply immersed in the nitty gritty of chemistry that he fails to see the larger picture here.

Perhaps a much better base for accepting the general validity of evolution is the understanding that nothing that exists is permanent and stationary. Everything changes, some things fast, some very slowly, but nothing in the physical world lasts. If the concept of species undergoing physical and physiological changes over time seems far fetched, it's nowhere as far fetched as the alternative, the idea that things do not change, that there is some sort of permanence in the world around us, especially over the mind boggling amount of time that they are exposed to.

And no, fish do not change into monkeys. That's a caricature of evolution that does not make any sense.
What makes sense is that some of the long gone ancestors of modern fish changed into the long gone ancestors of land animals that in turn went on their own path of changes and variations, some of which resulted in forms that thrived on solid land. That's a very different process than salmon growing limbs and fur and tail, stepping out of the ocean and looking for bananas.

Anonymous Dr. J March 12, 2014 12:03 PM  

That's a caricature of evolution that does not make any sense.


Ok Hoss, give all of us rubes an example of a speciation event that has actually been observed or produced.

Antibiotic resistance in bacteria doesn't count. Methicillin resistant staph is still staph aureus.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 12:04 PM  

"Let's get Tom started on Scientology."

20 bucks says this involves a creative description of death.

Blogger Outlaw X March 12, 2014 12:07 PM  

Ok Hoss, give all of us rubes an example of a speciation event that has actually been observed or produced.

A friend of mine tried!

We were taught evolution in school and told that living creatures adapt to their environment and change. So my smart ass friend put a toad in a pale of water so it would turn into a frog. Then he brought the dead drowned toad to school and showed the whole class and teacher. She was not happy.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 12:09 PM  

Nope, my blood pressure just can't deal with scientology today.

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 12:11 PM  

And no, fish do not change into monkeys. That's a caricature of evolution that does not make any sense. What makes sense is that some of the long gone ancestors of modern fish changed into the long gone ancestors of land animals that in turn went on their own path of changes and variations, some of which resulted in forms that thrived on solid land.

Question for you: were the ancestors of modern fish also fish?

Anonymous Amir Larijani March 12, 2014 12:19 PM  

To borrow from a demotivator from a prominent author: as with Atheism, Scientology probably makes perfect sense, after a bottle or three of scotch.

Blogger RobertT March 12, 2014 12:23 PM  

I'm a complete denier. What this guy said rings true to me, and always has. Nobody can explain sight, or smell of the feeling of touch ... Nobody can explain color. Nobody can explain intuition ... Nobody can explain imagination ... Nobody can explain dreams ... Evolutionists are stuck in a physical explanation. But all this stuff requires a spiritual element. If you get a molecule figured out, this stuff is waiting around the corner.

Blogger Feather Blade March 12, 2014 12:26 PM  

I love abiogenesis - it's such a beautifully rounded word, and the use of the Greek forms makes it sound so much more classy and... and sciency than the boring, English "spontaneous generation".

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 12:31 PM  

Directed panspermia is sexier.

Or at least more homoerotic.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 12, 2014 12:35 PM  

"I as a former Christian was like that long time ago"

I as a former atheist/agnostic, raised in Catholic culture, to Christian.

Former Christian: 1
Former atheist/agnostic: 1

Game tied.

Blogger Akulkis March 12, 2014 12:38 PM  

"I suspect that the more we learn, the less certain we will be about how it all works."

The subject of Physical Chemistry (solving chemistry problems as if they were physics problems) is, for all practical purposes, fully worked out. It's accurate to the precision of our ability to make measurements, which is at least 5 decimal places (less than 0.01% error), and considering that, in conjunction with the conservation of mass-energy and the laws of thermodynamics, there isn't ANY slop to be found in the equations.

Blogger rycamor March 12, 2014 12:48 PM  

Nate March 12, 2014 11:17 AM

"Speaking from experience, chemists are usually more honest than biologists."

and significantly smarter.


P.Z. Myers looks down from his lofty intllectual heights and scoffs (with great humility, mind you):

" he’s a synthetic chemist. I think it’s fair to say that he’s as clueless about the issues in evolutionary biology as I am of those in synthetic chemistry, but at least I have the humility to recognize that my understanding of one discipline does not imply understanding of a completely different one."

Blogger rycamor March 12, 2014 12:50 PM  

Because of course there is exactly zero relationship between organic chemistry and the mechanisms purported to occur in evolution. None. Whatsoever.

Anonymous Mr. Rational March 12, 2014 12:55 PM  

(I hate when I forget that the first attempt to post a comment disappears beyond recall, and compose in the comment box instead of off-line!)

There's a bunch of observed speciation events listed at talkorigins.org, including one in fruit flies (presumably in the lab, occurring over just 5 years), and two in mammals including the Faroe islands mouse.  The Faroe islands mouse in particular refutes the notion that substantial changes in morphology cannot occur naturally by evolution over relatively short spans (a few hundred generations).

It's no surprise that Tour claims he can't understand evolution.  It's easy not to understand something if you're motivated not to.  It's ironic that the readers here will nod their heads along with Tour when he says he doesn't understand evolution (for which there's plenty of evidence, from fossil to morphological to biochemical), but say they understand and believe in something for which there's no evidence and which runs completely opposite to all verified experience.

Anonymous Josh March 12, 2014 12:57 PM  

Alkulkis, I was referring to genetics and the like, not chemistry.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2014 1:06 PM  

"Nope, my blood pressure just can't deal with scientology today."

Ok.. but on another... less high blood pressure day... I totally would've won that bet.

Anonymous DrTorch March 12, 2014 1:14 PM  

The subject of Physical Chemistry (solving chemistry problems as if they were physics problems) is, for all practical purposes, fully worked out.

Really? Well that's going to clear out some university departments.

And guess I ought to retire right now too. Watch out Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz, my second career is about to begin!

Anonymous Porky March 12, 2014 1:16 PM  

fruit flies

Not a new species.

The Faroe islands mouse

Not a new species.

It's easy not to understand something if you're motivated not to.

Apparently.

Anonymous VD March 12, 2014 1:18 PM  

I think it’s fair to say that he’s as clueless about the issues in evolutionary biology as I am of those in synthetic chemistry, but at least I have the humility to recognize that my understanding of one discipline does not imply understanding of a completely different one."

He isn't humble enough. He didn't understand what it meant for one human being to be less homo sapiens sapiens than another either.

It's ironic that the readers here will nod their heads along with Tour when he says he doesn't understand evolution (for which there's plenty of evidence, from fossil to morphological to biochemical), but say they understand and believe in something for which there's no evidence and which runs completely opposite to all verified experience.

What is the complete opposite of ironic is the way that you evolutionary true believers are totally incapable of defending your belief systems and always - always - attempt to change the subject by attacking something that is not germane to the discussion.

Anonymous MrGreenMan March 12, 2014 1:23 PM  

@Mr. Rational

I do appreciate the examples, but these seem to fall down for sexual reproducing animals with the usual - they aren't likely to have sex:

"(Test for speciation in this case is by morphology and lack of natural interbreeding. These fish have complex mating rituals and different coloration. While it might be possible that different species are inter-fertile, they cannot be convinced to mate.)"

"(Test for speciation in this case is based on morphology. It is unlikely that forced breeding experiments have been performed with the parent stock.)"

It becomes hard to square this with the idea that a Burmese Mountain Dog is not likely to mate with a Chihuahua, but we could isolate egg and sperm in the laboratory and it could happen. One also compares - there are lots of statements one could make about human mating that would roll up into the Obsidian discussion, and they appear to be behavioral, not chromosomal barriers. When the rest of the Israelites refused to give daughters in marriage to the Benjamites - that was a cultural and behavioral barrier to intermating, but not a genetic barrier.

The fruit fly one comes closest to being a really good example, but - sterile offspring - perhaps the forced conditions could have caused some incompatibility, but this one starts to get a point on the board. The problem is - this is the prime mover; this is the thing that drives all the species we have; it should happen quite a lot, and they should be genetic barriers. You have to understand our incredulity that we're told on the one hand - never before has there been so much pressure as what humans are doing to destroy the earth - and, at the same time, speciation, which is supposed to happen most under pressure, is not happening at rapid rates before our eyes.

The plant one is an interesting one as it comes about due to a doubling of the chromosome count, and so only the hybrids can intervene - but this is also something that happens in lots of types of flowers in making a specialty hybrid. We don't usually see doubling of chromosome counts as identified as the case of speciation - the numbers don't line up as powers of two. (People have been doing this with Geraniums for a long time to create fancy colors.)

Blogger Marissa March 12, 2014 1:24 PM  

Markku, I remember reading some of J4G, and stopped when I read the obligatory "white man say mean things" nonsense. No doubt Obsidian is smarter than the average black bear, but he can't see how caring about his own race is okay while VD and CH caring about theirs is not.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 1:26 PM  

Well, Vox should get a race first, before it would be possible to care about it.

Blogger Brad Andrews March 12, 2014 1:34 PM  

So Mr. R, were those mice no longer mice but now cats?

Nope, still mice.

The "evidences" there are very lacking in substance.

Blogger Bogey March 12, 2014 1:35 PM  

I know were times throughout my life that my faith was questioned and at the time I had no answers, but I did not abandon my faith, I simply put things on the proverbial shelf until a later time when understanding would come. Was I any different than the the scientists Dr. James mentions? Was my desire not to be a hothouse lily indeed just forceful ignorance?

I must admit though, I did have a slight advantage, the notion that God can be personally known is still the most powerful statement for my faith.

Blogger Akulkis March 12, 2014 1:54 PM  

"How about scientology, Tom? One thing that gives me pause about my own faith is that if there are people stupid enough to believe that, and we know about its origins, what am I believing when we have had 2000 years to muddy the waters about its origins?

Yet it is mostly Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise that believe it, so that is a small encouragement."

There's a lot of mental illness in the world, and Hollyweird attracts it. Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disordertends to produce an attraction for acting, with BPD being the strongest. Once you understand BPD, you can see how Hollywood is rife with it.

Anonymous kh123 March 12, 2014 2:10 PM  

"(for which there's plenty of evidence, from fossil to morphological to biochemical)"

The cherries don't pick themselves after all.

Anonymous GreyS March 12, 2014 2:16 PM  

re: TENS and Global Warming-- thought this piece today from Tom McDonald was good timing:

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.

But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.


(there's a reference in there to a good previous post about Cosmos)

OpenID simplytimothy March 12, 2014 2:18 PM  

" he’s a synthetic chemist. I think it’s fair to say that he’s as clueless about the issues in evolutionary biology as I am of those in synthetic chemistry, but at least I have the humility to recognize that my understanding of one discipline does not imply understanding of a completely different one."


Don't the TENS people think life arose from the primordial soup?
Wasn't that soup--by definition--not bio-chemistry?
So, to get to bio-chemistry, inorganic material must change into organic material.
Therefore inorganic chemists should shut up.

Is that about it?

Blogger rycamor March 12, 2014 2:21 PM  

VD March 12, 2014 1:18 PM

It's ironic that the readers here will nod their heads along with Tour when he says he doesn't understand evolution (for which there's plenty of evidence, from fossil to morphological to biochemical), but say they understand and believe in something for which there's no evidence and which runs completely opposite to all verified experience.

What is the complete opposite of ironic is the way that you evolutionary true believers are totally incapable of defending your belief systems and always - always - attempt to change the subject by attacking something that is not germane to the discussion.


They really cannot understand what a conflation this is. To their mind it is full party line or SHUN SHUN SHUN. Either you are with we the enlightened superior inclusivist humanist deterministic materialists, or you are of the cismoronic knuckle-dragging racist hateist traditionalist genderist ableist privilegeist right-wingist anti-intellectual knaves who just want ta beat tha demons outa them unbelievers. And make them get haircuts and go to Sunday school.

Yep. that's what we want. Skepticism regarding the purported mechanisms of evolution are really just double-secret coded language for our Conservative plan to enforce church attendance and outlaw... veganism. And sex, of course. Let's not forget about the sex.

Blogger Joshua_D March 12, 2014 2:26 PM  

rycamor March 12, 2014 2:21 PM

Yep. that's what we want. Skepticism regarding the purported mechanisms of evolution are really just double-secret coded language for our Conservative plan to enforce church attendance and outlaw... veganism. And sex, of course. Let's not forget about the sex.


Well, I might could get behind outlawing veganism.

Anonymous Alexander March 12, 2014 2:28 PM  

The evolutionists mock you for 'a fish becomes a monkey' theory.

But a whale from a deer? That's legit, yo.

Anonymous Johnny Caustic March 12, 2014 2:36 PM  

I want to take this opportunity to thank whoever recommended Stephen Meyer's book "Darwin's Doubt" in the comments of one of Vox's previous posts. Thanks to that book, I now know what Vox was going on about in all those posts about evolutionary epicycles back in the day. It's an excellent summary of the very large holes in evolutionary theory.

By the way, abiogenesis is not the main problem. The main problem is where so much genetic information came from. While it's true that sometimes small mutations can cause big differences in organisms, the real problem is that it clearly took dramatically large numbers of dramatically big mutations to account for all the life on earth. Or a designer.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2014 2:49 PM  

I'm not sure why it's necessary to understand every enzyme, every change in the DNA molecule in order to accept the idea of evolution. It appears to me that Dr. Tour may be so deeply immersed in the nitty gritty of chemistry that he fails to see the larger picture here.

If the forces at every step are pointing in the wrong direction, how do you get from the state "basic lifeform" to "advanced lifeform"?

What would it take to get a baseball to escape earth's gravity well? If at every point of its journey, there's only the force of gravity pulling it down towards earth, then the only "upwards" force is the initial upwards velocity given as a starting condition.

If at the lowest level, there's no chemical "force" pushing the synthesis of new chemicals to build life, then evolution is dead in the water. New chemicals (proteins) are needed to support new functions that make for a new, more complex lifeform.

Anonymous Cranberry March 12, 2014 2:49 PM  

the real problem is that it clearly took dramatically large numbers of dramatically big mutations to account for all the life on earth. Or a designer.

I'm just a simpleton, so I don't understand why there still exist eukarya, prokarya and archaea since they reproduce asexually and are the basic life forms. If genetic mutation happens to one, it happens to all successive generations, no? And then the original life form no longer exists. Something else does.

I am also at a loss as to how single-celled organisms become multicellular organisms with highly developed and specialized systems to control life functions. We can affect environments to put pressure on life forms to alter DNA, why isn't this seen regularly in laboratories?

To be clear, I'm not talking about becoming antibiotic resistant (as in staph), which someone (Mr. GreenMan, I think) noted above as not an example of speciation. I wonder where the whole forming of a new organism, a complex life form, occurs. And how. Forget abiogenesis for a moment; If all life came from one single strand of RNA in some pool of goo at the dawn of time, how did it ever cohere and diversify into the life forms we know today?

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2014 2:56 PM  

Forget abiogenesis for a moment; If all life came from one single strand of RNA in some pool of goo at the dawn of time, how did it ever cohere and diversify into the life forms we know today?

In the absence of a mechanism, any mechanism, it doesn't.

It's less likely than randomizing bits on a computer's harddrive starting with MSDOS and then ending with Windows 7.

Blogger Joshua_D March 12, 2014 3:17 PM  

SirHamster March 12, 2014 2:56 PM
Forget abiogenesis for a moment; If all life came from one single strand of RNA in some pool of goo at the dawn of time, how did it ever cohere and diversify into the life forms we know today?

In the absence of a mechanism, any mechanism, it doesn't.

It's less likely than randomizing bits on a computer's harddrive starting with MSDOS and then ending with Windows 7.


NATURE! NATURE FORCED IT ALL TO HAPPEN! OVER A REALLY, REALLY LONG ... i'M TALKING REALLY LONG, PERIOD OF TIME!!!!!!!!!!11!!

Anonymous Cranberry March 12, 2014 3:21 PM  

Yeah, or God.

I sought answers to the evolution question for a long time. Evolution and it's possibilities, coupled with inadequate answers from teachers and priests to my childhood questions, made me rethink God. Now I've come back around to seeing that God is the only answer I have that makes sense.

God is the mechanism. I'm satisfied with it, but it baffles many people I know that I could embrace God as the answer (to more than just the evolution/creation question).

Anonymous kh123 March 12, 2014 3:25 PM  

"But a whale from a deer? That's legit, yo."

No no, lump them all together into Cetartiodactyla. Remember to use the Latin whenever hosing down the unwashed masses with Science.

And it's "Amen" at the end. "It's phylogenetically proven. Amen."

Blogger William Newman March 12, 2014 3:29 PM  

Tom Kratman wrote "As a statement of blind faith, that would take some beating." (In reference to Truth writing "The fact there are still discoveries to be made about evolution doesnt mean its not 100% fact. And it is.")

Meh. It's unwise, but it looks like extreme overconfidence, not blind faith.

(Deeply unwise. See Newton vs. QM and relativity for a quick demo of how it can be so impossibly hard to distinguish 100% true from almost-100% true. See Hume and Popper for some basic thinking about the limits of what we can wisely say about what we've learned by inference. See modern machine learning math --- things like PAC learning, VC dimension, and minimum description length --- for this stuff worked out to the painful level of detail needed to implement computer programs that make useful inferences for themselves, or which otherwise work closely with inferential knowledge.)

Consider: At least "and it is" is just overconfidence about what the future holds, not a commitment not to change one's mind no matter what the future holds. That's a low bar, sure. But in arguments about controversies related to Abrahamic religions, it's not a safe assumption that everyone can cross that low bar. And those that can't cross that bar have blind faith that beats Truth's expressed overconfidence like it stole something.

Imagine: a bioinformatics geek tomorrow discovers that all kosher organisms have long kosher-related passages of the Old Testament coded into their chromosomes in a forehead-slappingly obvious unambiguous scheme. And for good measure, treif(?)-related verses are coded into the others, along with technical explanations of why each one should not be eaten. And it is clear that the technical author has a grasp of biochem and other tricky stuff which is so far in advance of ours that adjectives like "godlike" naturally spring to mind. I don't know about Truth, but most of the people who today are overconfident enough to write things like "100% true ... and it is" would change their minds about to what extent life on earth was the product of natural selection.

What imaginable evidence over the next year would cause most young-earth creationists to change their minds about the Earth being less than 1M years old, or about life being designed by the God of the Bible?

Blogger rycamor March 12, 2014 4:00 PM  

Again with the binary thinking, William. Why does "skepticism about TENS" automatically equal "young earth creationist?" Furthermore, why would any information regarding natural processes (be they supportive of or contradictory to evolution) have any bearing on the possibility of a creator orchestrating the whole thing?

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2014 4:14 PM  

What imaginable evidence over the next year would cause most young-earth creationists to change their minds about the Earth being less than 1M years old, or about life being designed by the God of the Bible?

As those are beliefs about historical facts, it would have to be historical evidence. Such as a 1M year old document talking about life back in the day.

It's unlikely that such evidence exists, but it's hardly the fault of the YEC that the evidence to contradict their position hasn't been forthcoming.

Anonymous DrTorch March 12, 2014 4:27 PM  

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows.

I didn't realize it had a name. This explicitly happened to me. Some years ago I read World Magazine on-line for a few months. At one point I came across two articles about which I knew quite a bit. Both were broadcast events I had seen for myself (including pro-wrestling, about which I was fairly expert at the time.) Both re-cast the events in fictional terms to fit their narrative (which at that time was that everything was because post-modernism).

At that point it dawned on me that I had no reason to believe the other stories were any more accurate. So I stopped reading World Magazine.

I never read newspapers much anyway.

Blogger jdwalker March 12, 2014 4:30 PM  

MrGreenMan and Cranberry - thanks for the responses. I look forward to reading more about this. I don't think I've looked at biology and evolution in a decade and a half, but I'm always surprised that it doesn't seem like the academics of evolution have progressed much despite all the progress into genetics lately.

Blogger Lud VanB March 12, 2014 5:32 PM  

"As those are beliefs about historical facts, it would have to be historical evidence. Such as a 1M year old document talking about life back in the day.

It's unlikely that such evidence exists, but it's hardly the fault of the YEC that the evidence to contradict their position hasn't been forthcoming."

actually there is such evidence...folded mountain ranges along tectonic fault lines like the Himalayas for example. their every observable features indicate a process of formation that occurred over tens of millions of years and is still going on to this very day. Had they formed rapidly over the last few thousands of years, something that would be absolutely required for the global flood to have actually taken place at all since the earth lacks the volume of water necessary to cover most of its peaks, the Himalayas would not for instance show any sign of folding. They would all have to be formed with fault blocks. and that is clearly not the case.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2014 5:38 PM  


actually there is such evidence...folded mountain ranges along tectonic fault lines like the Himalayas for example. their every observable features indicate a process of formation that occurred over tens of millions of years and is still going on to this very day.


Where are your 10 millions of years of observational notes of this process? This process has been so well observed that all possible formation methods have been seen and documented?

If there are not millions of years of observation, how many years of observation were actually used to extrapolate those millions of years?

Blogger Taqiyyotomist March 12, 2014 5:40 PM  

Tom is from Southie? (Is there an echo in here?)

Me and some late-teens from north of Boston got chased out of there in the early 90's by a huge (more than 50) mob of Southie Irish lads. Swinging makeshift weapons and screaming like banshees. See, they thought my Sicilian buddy was an N-word, or maybe they also call dark Sicilians this slur as well. I never went back. It was the white Roxbury Crossing, or the white East Boston. (And, madre de dios, don't get me started on East Boston...)

Regarding this nails-on-a-chalkboard sound:

BAHSTAN

Folks from BAWSTUN shake their heads when people say that.

That would be how folks from BAWSTON pronounce "Barston".

Bar becomes BAH. Car become CAH. Harvard becomes HAHVED.

Maybe BOWAHSTON. The BOWAH is very quickly spoken. "Thought" and "Taught" are rhymes.

I thought I was taught in Boston. All three words. Very similar to Brooklyn.

Everyone else in the nation says "Oh, BAAAHSTIN", thinking they are emulating the accent. They are, but only if they are talking about some fictional place called Barston, within the Route 128 circle itself.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist March 12, 2014 5:50 PM  

Also, the "AR" sound in that region is not quite fully pronounce "AH".

There is actually a slight up-curl to the sides and back of the tongue, and if you listen CAIHfully, you'll see that "R" would be the eventual phonetic destination, if only Bostonians weren't so linguistically lazy.

Blogger Michael Z. Williamson March 12, 2014 5:55 PM  

Assuming the quote is correct and in context, you are correct. He's not being very scientific.

As presented here, his objection is simply irrelevant.

Looking at physics for example, we understand the solar fusion process, but we aren't getting the neutrino flux we expect.

This doesn't mean H-H fusion isn't taking place. It doesn't mean God does it. It just means we haven't worked all the details out.

If I find a frisbee on my roof, but I have no frisbees, it means some local kid lost it, or the wind blew it. I don't need to observe this process to conclude it.

His behavior shows a dependence upon faith rather than deduction, suggesting he's in fact religious, but lacking in faith, which is, sadly, a human failing a great many people have, and one of the things religion is supposed to address.

A scientist should feel perfectly comfortable stating, "I don't know all the details of that, but the overall observation is sound," and a religious person should feel perfectly comfortable stating, "I realize that contradicts Scripture, so clearly I have misinterpreted Scripture, and the real world does fit what God says, even if it appears otherwise."

Anonymous B Lewis March 12, 2014 6:01 PM  

"['Handwave], but the overall observation is sound,"

Blogger Taqiyyotomist March 12, 2014 6:02 PM  

Vinny Gambini: It is possible that the two yutes...

Judge Chamberlain Haller: ...Ah, the two what? Uh... uh, what was that word?

Vinny Gambini: Uh... what word?

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Two what?

Vinny Gambini: What?

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh... did you say 'yutes'?

Vinny Gambini: Yeah, two yutes.

Judge Chamberlain Haller: What is a yute?

Vinny Gambini: [beat] Oh, excuse me, your honor...
[exaggerated]

Vinny Gambini: Two YOUTHS.

Like I said, linguistically lazy. The whole lot of the Northeast. From Brooklyn to Maine.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist March 12, 2014 6:03 PM  

Thanks for the education here, Vox and ilk.

Blogger Quadko March 12, 2014 6:08 PM  

What imaginable evidence over the next year would cause most young-earth creationists to change their minds about the Earth being less than 1M years old, or about life being designed by the God of the Bible?

If you're serious, why not attack the foundational items of YEC people?
1. Skeptical to dating methods and how they are correlated outside of external validation like tree rings.
2. Skeptical to unobservable "processes covering millions of years" when there are other currently observable processes and repeatable lab processes that duplicate the behavior, like local floods laying down layered sandstone with embedded size-sorted objects.
3. Skeptical on genetic gain of information via random mutation as opposed to loss of such as proved in a lab. After all, YECs posit all cats in the world descending from some cats in the ark - that's a great deal of lossy genetic change from an uber-cat. A cat into a dog, or a reptile into a bird - that would be disproof; that a housecat and a panther can't mate (or something about a Faroe islands mouse) is "predicted", not a challenge to the theory.

There are more, of course, but if you could render the skepticism moot the way a video of the earth from space renders a "round earth" skeptic's belief moot, then you've made solid progress to your goal. Ultimately the YEC (and ID) understanding of the world are that the fundamental forces and substances of nature can be combined via applied intelligence in an efficient time span to produce everything from solar system biospheres to single celled microbes. This understanding predicts that, once we understand the world, we will be able to create organic machines - "life" - in labs and factories, and likely duplicate and improve (or break) everything we see.


Of course, "Evolution" is the name of the atheist's belief-based creation story, so atheists will believe in "naturalistic processes sans intelligence" even if everything they think now is disproved in a lab. In the face of that obvious irrationality no believer in God is going to easily give up skepticism just on the word of an Atheist without some good repeatable science to back it up.

After all, there are lots of believers in God who also believe in evolution for a variety of reasons, maybe good ones or maybe bad ones. But they don't have to believe in non-science just because Atheists can't have God anywhere in their system of understanding.

Blogger William Newman March 12, 2014 6:14 PM  

rycamor wrote "Why does 'skepticism about TENS' automatically equal 'young earth creationist?'"

I know that it does not equal that. Rereading my post I don't see why you think I was saying it equals that, automatically or not. Logically all that is necessary to support my point is that the belief is not too rare, not that it is generally shared by people skeptical about TENS. And rhetorically it seems appropriate: I'm making the point that nay, this zealot's supposed blind faith is easy to beat, consider the blind faith of quite a few zealots on the opposite side of the argument.

And I didn't choose my example here as an annoying insinuation that people on the other side are generally that particular kind of zealot. It never occurred to me that anyone would be primed to try to read it that way. To make my comparison be sensible, I wanted a set of views that are a positive belief, not just something like "skepticism about TENS" which is the complement of some positive belief. (As per Popper and others, negative and positive beliefs have quite different issues, enough so that it would be be tricky to make a sensible comparison between them.) And I wanted a belief sharp enough that it sounds almost like it could in principle be contradicted by evidence accessible to current tech: my comparison would tend to get trickier the further I went into vague deism or the further I went toward a widely-shared minimalist belief that somewhere on the planet in a tens-of-millions-of-years interval an intelligent creator at least once gave the spark of life to a cell.

Lud VanB wrote about difficulties with mountain ranges. Note that evolutionists (at least the smart ones when they are on their good behavior; not necessarily cheerleaders and trolls and such) take comparable difficulties as serious problems. In another connection to my point about 100%-true, I don't know whether Darwin specifically stated the Earth is very old, but he certainly granted that the processes he described were too slow to explain modern life unless Earth was very old, more than just a few million or even tens of millions of years. So see his response to Lord Kelvin's famous argument that by the first law of thermodynamics, the Earth/Sun system could not be old enough. (An easily accessible primary source is 6th edition of _Origin of Species_, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2009/2009-h/2009-h.htm . Kelvin was just "Thompson" at the time; you can search for that. Or you can search for "formidable objection" or "inexplicable".:-) It's an interesting frozen-in-amber fragment of a deeply puzzling disagreement between two lines of analysis.

Blogger Quadko March 12, 2014 6:19 PM  

He's not being very scientific.
He's certainly being teacherly.

Besides, I've often run into smart people mentoring by saying: "I don't understand, explain it to me" by which they mean "I don't think you understand either, especially regarding my area of strong expertise, but I'm willing to either teach you in a gentle Socratic method as I expose your ignorance or maybe perhaps very-long-shot learn something I've missed."

Blogger Markku March 12, 2014 6:21 PM  

I checked, it turns out that these Boston folks just like to put invisible umlauts in their vowels.

Then I'm sure these same people when they encounter the Finnish ä and ö are, like, WHÄT IS THIS SHIT?!

Anonymous kh123 March 12, 2014 8:44 PM  

" Had they formed rapidly over the last few thousands of years, something that would be absolutely required for the global flood to have actually taken place at all since the earth lacks the volume of water necessary to cover most of its peaks,..."

Replay from about a month ago:

"Allow me to give you an example then...Mt Everest is 29 000 feet at its peak...in order to cover that with water, you would need 3 times the amount of water that can be found on the entire earth, ice poles included."

Full stop.

But at least he's attempting to keep pace with the arguments and changing tact accordingly.

Anonymous kh123 March 12, 2014 8:47 PM  

...I will admit, the talkorigins factoid page may be a bit long for some to digest on the first pass.

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 12, 2014 9:18 PM  

Perhaps this was said a month ago, but Everest was not around before the Flood. The receding of the waters into the ocean basins sank the basins deeper, and raised the mountains. Yeah, Everest is roughly 4400 yrs. old.

Don't use 'species' since its a word without a solid definition. Use 'kind'. Forex: Wolf Kind (foxes, dogs, wolves,coyotes); Lion Kind (tigers, lions, cheetahs); Small Cat Kind (puss and bobcats).

M-Zed is writing an IOU on Darwin's cred. Problem is, Darwin is bankrupt. If he wrote an IOU on a real scientist, not a second rate experimenter and bad philosopher who's been refuted a thousand times, I could consider accepting his IOU.

Blogger tz March 12, 2014 9:45 PM  

@rycamor - my greatest gratitude, for both the PZ pointer and the quick shoot-down.

Evolution occurs without molecules rearranging themselves? Biochemistry and Microbiology are related. One might say astrophysics and quantum mechanics are somewhat disjoint, but not "evolution" which depends on a mechanism confined to chemicals - DNA, protein, etc. - and chemistry.

PZ gave the "Courtier's reply" to a fellow.

But this scientist is making the point I make in a different frame. Evolution needs a mechanism, the mechanism involves (organic, bio-)chemicals, but those who understand the machine can't understand - or more properly by understanding how the machine works find it directly CONTRADICTS what evolutionistas are saying.

@Mr Rational - it depends on the definition of "speciation". You give a specious argument. A St. Barnard cannot breed with a Great Dane, so are they two species or because they can breed with other dogs, the same?

The flying double helix rotini monster worshiped by the pastafarians and Richard Dawkins doesn't seem to be able to do anything except every few million years engineer feathers, an eye, or something else similarly complex.

When a Chemist - a real scientist chemist - looks and says a cell can't do it on it's own, and he doesn't understand, he is met with derision, not explanation.

Yet he doesn't understand. It is faith. No, worse, a cult.
That molecules that every SCIENTIFIC experiment shows cannot rearrange themselves somehow do doesn't show lack of understanding, it shows lack of faith in the flying rotini monster that sends us complete complex mutations, coins (if the teeth are left under the pillow), gifts under a dead conifer just after the winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere), and eggs on the sunday after the first full moon after the first new moon after the vernal equinox. "Rise of the Guardians" forgot Darwin. Stay Frosty.

Fruit Flies - in the "food fight video game". Dry Sophistry if not Dry Solipsism.

@SirHamster - the baseball might get to first base, or even escape velocity - it is only a matter of time. A rock can drop in temperature to near 0 degrees K then use the thermal energy to launch upwards. The probability is infinitesimal. Even in a Cosmos (formerly Sagan - "billions and billions") of years.

As I've noted before, Coppedge's "Evolution: Possible or Impossible?", although misnamed, was my turning point on the issue.

A note on YEC - at least they can claim things were created with an old appearance (Gandalf appeared old but didn't age in LoTR). Personally I don't assign an age to the earth - "I don't know". But I think those who say the dinosaurs all died out 57345271 years ago even sillier than those who say nothing existed 5734 years ago. Anything much over 1K years is speculation. 100 years needs verification. 10K wasn't recorded. I can EXTRAPOLATE backwards, but few know what extrapolation means.

Blogger Tom Kratman March 12, 2014 9:52 PM  

Taqiyyotomist:

Quite. Now imagine growing up in a place like that with the last name "Kratman."

You grow up hard and you grow up mean
Your fists get fast and your wits get keen...

There are actually a number of different accents in Boston. Broadly speaking, though, there are three classes of them, ones me might call "lower working class," "general," and "brahmin." The differences are obvious to people from there, but lost on those who are not. I had Brahmin more or less pounded into me at Latin.

As for the accent, I've lost mine...right up until the second I hit the first toll booth on the Mass Pike, when it comes back full force.

Anonymous Boetain March 12, 2014 10:16 PM  

Terrain relatively flat before the flood, so enough water to cover everything. Sedimentary layers laid down quickly, folded while still wet. Thanks for playing.

Blogger Outlaw X March 12, 2014 10:46 PM  

It's incredible how critical thinking skills of a 18 year old first realization of reality are incongruent with educated men incapable of reason . knowing the laws physics cannot discern that something coming from nothing is theoretically a serpent upon which they regularly tread knowing full well the 2nd law of thermodynamics and ignoring it with hypothetical masturbation, all the while knowing they are scientists.

They therefore use an unknown quantum conflagration that they cannot understand while knowing they cannot observe that which they claim, is nothing but faith that they pretend and speculate as a reality in which they cannot prove; then denigrate tradition in which they cannot disprove and in their narcissistic arrogance make claims which are no more than a matter of faith while calling it science. They are either fools or are dissuaded by tradition at the behest of the first liar.

Anonymous DT March 12, 2014 11:40 PM  

knowing the laws physics cannot discern that something coming from nothing is theoretically a serpent upon which they regularly tread knowing full well the 2nd law of thermodynamics and ignoring it with hypothetical masturbation, all the while knowing they are scientists.

Put in more formal terms...

The Second Law of Thermodynamics exists because of the statistical mechanics of the universe we occupy. The number of potential universe configurations with high energy entropy (i.e. dissipated energy) so vastly outnumber the potential universe configurations with low energy entropy (concentrations of energy) that any change involving energy will always select for a higher entropy configuration.

We discovered that the formulas of the Second Law work just as well with abstract information and communication systems as with the physical universe, the difference being that we're measuring the level of information and the impact of random changes, noise.

Why?

Because the same statistical mechanics govern an information system. The number of potential configurations of a hard drive or a genome with zero or low information content (high entropy) so vastly outnumber the potential configurations with high information content (low entropy) that any and every random event in the system will always select for a higher entropy configuration.

There is...literally...no greater chance of abiogenesis or an information bearing random mutation then there is that you will put an ice cube in a cup of hot coffee only to discover 10 minutes later that the ice cube became colder while your coffee became hotter. The statistical mechanics behind both are such that you can say with certainty 'this is impossible, has never happened, and will never happen.'

Life...genetic information...was placed in this universe by something outside of this universe.

Blogger Outlaw X March 13, 2014 12:09 AM  

Entropy tells us that things go from organization to disorganization. But they try to tell me the opposite is true and that mutations cause things to organize through mutation. They know better, but claim that over time things have become more organized. They violate the very laws that their science god has created and can be measured then reject their god in the name of science in order to reject the one true God. Such a pitiful transparent lie that have become log chains around their neck.

Anonymous rycamor March 13, 2014 12:41 AM  

@William Newman

I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what you're getting at, but assuming your original question was a fair one:

"What imaginable evidence over the next year would cause most young-earth creationists to change their minds about the Earth being less than 1M years old, or about life being designed by the God of the Bible?"

While not exactly a YEC myself (I am an EC), I would respond that you have to go outside of science to come up with evidence that would convince a thinking young-earth creationist. As tz noted above, extrapolating backwards over aeons isn't science. It's speculation. It may be extremely well thought-out speculation, and there may be all kinds of evidence, but it is still not a testable scientific theory. More likely the kind of evidence needed would take the form of

A. Credible documentary evidence from ancient human society that completely contradicts the claims made in the Bible. And not just a single data point (statistical blip) but volumes, enough to put the Bible claims to serious question. Now, before anyone jumps about the Bible claims of unbelievable miracles and all the "extraordinary claims require..." crap, we don't even have to go there. Just, the historical and archaeological records of kings and rulers and the ebb and flow of cultures. I say this because during modern times, in spite of all the attempts at such discreditations, practically every time an archaeologist's spade is turned in the Middle East, we find more corroboration of the Biblical accounts.

B. Credible modern evidence that the moral weaknesses and failings of human beings can indeed be cured through modern science, technology and humanistic reason. Whereas: modern history (1900 - present) has presented us with many such attempts which have all been met with abysmal failure--the ongoing collapse of the United States as a perfect example. All our social programs, our wonderful government-directed schooling, our attempts to stamp out racism, genderism, homophobism, and to legislate charity via taxing, inflating and spending, are showing themselves to not only fail, but to completely backfire, making things worse rather than better. Making any bets on whether the next two decades will turn things around or continue down the same path?

C. Direct revelation in their hearts and minds and in their personal relationships as to the failure of Biblical principles to provide for more fulfillment, peace and dignity than can be found in any other moral framework.

Not that this is a definitive list, but the point here is thinking that there could be some magical scientific "gotcha" that would suddenly turn people away from such a belief is to belie the understanding of people themselves. Belief is resilient and holistic. People generally don't take one single data point as a an end-all, be-all game changer. Certainly not when it comes to science which is constantly moderating its assertions with new data, often completely reversing course within one's lifetime (fats are good for you, fats are bad for you, oops--now they're good again).

Anonymous WaterBoy March 13, 2014 4:09 AM  

Lud VanB: "since the earth lacks the volume of water necessary to cover most of its peaks"

...or does it?

"The diamond from Brazil confirms that the models are correct: Olivine is ringwoodite at this depth, a layer called the mantle transition zone. And it resolves a long-running debate about water in the mantle transition zone. The ringwoodite is 1.5 percent water, present not as a liquid but as hydroxide ions (oxygen and hydrogen molecules bound together). The results suggest there could be a vast store of water in the mantle transition zone, which stretches from 254 to 410 miles (410 to 660 km) deep.

"It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that's present in all the world's ocean," Pearson told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.
"

Anonymous Toby Temple March 13, 2014 4:29 AM  

WaterBoy,

Talk about science biting the asses of science fetishists really hard.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 13, 2014 5:32 AM  

Genesis 7:11 certainly seems to have a bit more support...

...on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth...

Anonymous Reaper March 13, 2014 5:33 AM  

"It's less likely than randomizing bits on a computer's harddrive starting with MSDOS and then ending with Windows 7. "

If you have an image of the bits on a harddrive with Windows 7 on it, then take the same harddrive with MS-DOS on it, randomize the bits and only keep those that now match the bits in the Windows 7 image, you would end up with Windows 7 fairly quickly.
Evolution isn't random, it automatically keeps the advantages while discarding the disadvantages.

Blogger JP March 13, 2014 6:36 AM  

If you have an image of the bits on a harddrive with Windows 7 on it, then take the same harddrive with MS-DOS on it, randomize the bits and only keep those that now match the bits in the Windows 7 image, you would end up with Windows 7 fairly quickly.
Evolution isn't random, it automatically keeps the advantages while discarding the disadvantages."

Your theory breaks down when you realise that you can't just randomize bits on a harddrive platter and expect not to corrupt the file they form part of. You also fail to take into account the idea that an uncorrupted file that has been randomized won't be useful to the kernel because the kernel wouldn't a) know about the new functionality, or b) know what to do with it.

There's also still the question of who designed the kernel, bootstrapped the disk and engineered the utility that will perform the comparison between two largely incompatible operating systems. Which also leads to a further question: if we are modifying one operating system until it matches another, what operating system are we running the utility under? How does it know file x belongs to Windows 7? How does it know that the bytes "C3 F2 77" means the same in command.com and cmd.exe without knowing the context?

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 6:39 AM  

""It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that's present in all the world's ocean," Pearson told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.""

Yes...and all of it in the form of ringwoodite and olivine...CRYSTALIZED mineral formations...now...this will be on the final exam,class....how long does it take for one atomic layer of water to crystalize? hint...if its longer than 1 tenth of one second, you re still in the millions of years at the very least to form the sample that was discovered in the article, let alone the massive body of ringwoodite and olivine believed to exist in the mantle. And even doubling the size of the worlds oceans is no where near enough to cover Mt Everest. So you have hung your hat on a solution that doesn't help your position anyway for one that makes it even worse.

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 6:42 AM  

"Talk about science biting the asses of science fetishists really hard."

talk about someone who obviously never cracked open even a basic geology textbook...Olivine and ringwoode are crystalized mineral formation that would still have been mineral formation 4600 years or even 46 million years ago

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 6:46 AM  

"Genesis 7:11 certainly seems to have a bit more support...

...on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth..."

So the flood was a spring of giant Olivine and ringwoode crystals boulders erupting from the mantle and falling all over the earth? how does taking shelter in a gopher wood boat help you with that exactly?

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 6:48 AM  

"Terrain relatively flat before the flood, so enough water to cover everything. Sedimentary layers laid down quickly, folded while still wet. Thanks for playing."

wet layers of mud and sediments don't fold when rapidly compressed...they just mash together. when you graduate pre-school, feel free to rejoin this conversation.

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 6:52 AM  


"Where are your 10 millions of years of observational notes of this process? This process has been so well observed that all possible formation methods have been seen and documented?

If there are not millions of years of observation, how many years of observation were actually used to extrapolate those millions of years? "


When you understand how a given process works, its easy to extrapolate the result. And mountain range formation is basic geology

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 13, 2014 9:40 AM  

Lud, you're in a Catch-22. If things are as you say, then the compressive heat and pressure of megatonnes of overlay should merge all those lower layers together. If this does not happen because there is enough internal strength to each layer then such strength is available shortly after the sediment being laid down. And your mixing hypotheses is refuted because that internal strength would make bending recently laid layers possible.

But I rather enjoy pre-school. Naps, cookies, and crayons along with the teacher reading a fantasy novel called The Origin of the Species.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 13, 2014 10:05 AM  

To complicate things further on the HDD-Windows 7-MSDOS hypothetical. Where did all the hardware come from that can process the electrical pulses, in a timed manner and properly route those pulses in a way that makes it all work. That machine was designed by a designer.

IMO, Computer Sciences has done a quite a bit in undermining evolution, indirectly.

Blogger tz March 13, 2014 10:07 AM  

@Reaper "If you have an image of the bits on a harddrive with Windows 7 on it, then take the same harddrive with MS-DOS on it, randomize the bits and only keep those that now match the bits in the Windows 7 image, you would end up with Windows 7 fairly quickly."

So you are for Intelligent design? For to arrive at Windows 7, you already need - before randomizing the first bit - the complete information set of Windows 7 INSIDE THE SYSTEM. Otherwise you don't know which bits to accumulate and which to discard.

So these genetic mutations are being carefully directed toward an end? What is the next step? Where is it going?

On the original post, Dr. Tour could look at the immune system - Antibodies are chemicals assembled to match patterns, very unique patterns. If there is a possibility for chemical evolution it would be there as it can adapt quickly and in very diverse ways. It cannot build the structures or biochemistry of the eye and vision, but can do other structures.

I find Noah's flood an enigma. There is that wood on Ararat. And "flood" might have also involved tectonics. But I can say truly, "I don't know".

Anonymous Toby Temple March 13, 2014 10:32 AM  

talk about someone who obviously never cracked open even a basic geology textbook...Olivine and ringwoode are crystalized mineral formation that would still have been mineral formation 4600 years or even 46 million years ago

Feel free to explanation how that somehow proves your position - since the earth lacks the volume of water necessary to cover most of its peaks

I'll wait.

Anonymous Michael Maier March 13, 2014 10:55 AM  

You anti-Bible types... are you ACTUALLY saying that a God that can cause a massive flood cannot add extra water simply by willing it so? Or fuse some hydrogen and oxygen temporarily into water?

That is REALLY your stumbling point?

Blogger SirHamster March 13, 2014 11:40 AM  

If you have an image of the bits on a harddrive with Windows 7 on it, then take the same harddrive with MS-DOS on it, randomize the bits and only keep those that now match the bits in the Windows 7 image, you would end up with Windows 7 fairly quickly.
Evolution isn't random, it automatically keeps the advantages while discarding the disadvantages.


Huh, God did it, eh?

I forgot to mention - each iteration of randomization has to result in a functional and "superior" OS than what you started with. "optimal" is going to work against "advancement" at some points - which is problematic for a "constant progress" model.

Anonymous Michael March 13, 2014 11:44 AM  

God created all things, including the laws which direct and sustain the universe, from nothing. As St. John said, He could raise sons of Abraham from the rocks, if He so willed.

Imagine if you discovered an incredible work of art or beautiful piece of music but didn't know who created it. Wouldn't it make your curious what artist was responsible? Wouldn't it be intellectually absurd to presume that the art/music created itself? Seriously, what sane, rational person would do that?

Ignorance: People who think they're intellectually superior to others due to their capacity to study the material world, while shunning its Creator.

Blogger SirHamster March 13, 2014 11:48 AM  

When you understand how a given process works, its easy to extrapolate the result. And mountain range formation is basic geology

Assuming you understand the process. You're also not just trying to extrapolate one possible result of an understood process; you're claiming that no other process could possibly produce the same result as your observed process.

You dodged the question - how many years of observations were used to create the estimate?

That said, given that human history is only around 6k years, it's a rounding error compared to the estimated time. 10 millions of year of extrapolation ("educated guess") is not strong evidence, though I'll grant you that it has some mild weight. Don't overstate your knowledge.

Now, what's the uncertainty of that age estimation? +- 1 million? 5 million?

Anonymous Boetain March 13, 2014 12:31 PM  

Today in pre-school we did an experiment. We folded some wet concrete. Then we said our prayers to the Creator God and took a peaceful nap. But then Luddy started whining and woke everybody up.

And...what experiments did the old-earth genius phd geologists do to show that folding must take millions of years?

Blogger Akulkis March 13, 2014 12:58 PM  

"Alkulkis, I was referring to genetics and the like, not chemistry."

The genetics are implemented in chemistry.

There is no demonstrated mechanism for the sudden appearance of, for example, eyes. The eye depends upon DOZENS of genes -- even a monochromatic eye. Color vision only requires a few additional genes.

But the point is, you say "it's genetics"... that's like saying, "I'm not talking about bricks, boards & windows, I'm talking about building additions onto a house."

When it comes to claiming, essentially, that a pile of bricks, boards, windows, shingles, wallboard float by, and attach themselves to a house, in perfectly working order, then, yes, it IS applicable to talk about the nature of bricks, boards, windows, shingles, wallboard, etc.....

What Dr. Tours is saying is, the genetic theories of the abiogenesis proponents require the genes to VIOLATE the very, very, very well-understood laws of p-chem.

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 1:08 PM  

"Lud, you're in a Catch-22. If things are as you say, then the compressive heat and pressure of megatonnes of overlay should merge all those lower layers together. If this does not happen because there is enough internal strength to each layer then such strength is available shortly after the sediment being laid down. And your mixing hypotheses is refuted because that internal strength would make bending recently laid layers possible."

You are confusing the forces beings exerted in the crust with those taking place in the mantle. sedimentary layers in the crust are not subjected to enough heat and pressure to liquefy and fuse them all together but enough heat to render them malleable enough to be subject to folding when caught between very slowly moving tectonic plates. again, basic geology. now resume playing with your poop, little boy.

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 1:22 PM  

"Feel free to explanation how that somehow proves your position - since the earth lacks the volume of water necessary to cover most of its peaks"

Its actually quite simple. trace a radial line from the center of the earth to its highest peak (Mt Everest) and use this to compute a spherical volume. Do the same thing again but now trace your radial line from the center of the earth to the ocean level and again use that to calculate a spherical volume. Subtract your second volume from your first and the result is the volume of additional water needed to accommodate the global flood. ( an neither olivine nor ringwoode formations are water)

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2014 1:38 PM  

"Assuming you understand the process. You're also not just trying to extrapolate one possible result of an understood process; you're claiming that no other process could possibly produce the same result as your observed process. "

Yes assuming I understand the process, this is the model that I propose which fits the available data. If you can provide a set of data that show the possibility of tectonic plates suddenly moving at 15-20 miles per hour instead their know rate of a few inches per year (remembering that the estimated weight of the average tectonic plate is upwards of 4 sextillion tons), slam into one another at this speed without an energy release sufficient to atomize matter for miles around the point of impact and still manage to create delicate rock folding formations, I m certainly all ears.

Anonymous Boetain March 13, 2014 1:54 PM  

Since this is so hard to grasp, let's put it in pre-school terms:
1. Terrain relatively flat
2. Flood happens. Water covers entire terrain.
3. Mountains form as part of the general flood/upheaval process.
4. Via gravity, water gathers in the low areas and leaves the high areas dry.

Blogger William Newman March 13, 2014 1:58 PM  

rycamor, thank you for a thoughtful answer.

I want to mostly avoid Tom Kratman's "blind" with its value-judgment connotations. (Very recently more was read into my words than I intended...) So from engineering I borrow "closed loop" vs. "open loop" control.

(So why will I keep saying value-loaded "proper scientist"? Because not distinguishing proper science from the "science" of N-rays and canals on Mars is nonsense. It's like crediting all "elections" at face value without checking if they were free elections.)

Open loop uses feedback, closed loop doesn't. The point is not particularly military, but a military example, rifled bullets vs. homing missiles like the Sidewinder, nicely illustrates how neither is inherently right. Closed-loop guided missiles can be very effective, but they also can get bewildered in ways that open-loop bullets can't. And even when not bewildered they can take time to learn anything useful about what's going on.

I think your answer shows a more closed-loop resistant-to-feedback approach than proper scientists use. Roughly: for you to change your mind, an elaborate alternative theory would need to hold true, and people would need to go through the trouble of figuring it out and building a very strong case showing that it holds true.) Of course that approach is very natural starting from a premise that one can be exceedingly confident in the premise of being launched in exactly the right direction by someone omniscient. (Luke Skywalker doesn't need a guided missile for a long-range kill.) But it's a bizarre way of thinking for anyone who doesn't start from that premise (and vice versa).

"not sure anyone knows exactly what you're getting at"

"Getting at," hmm. I guess... since TK is a thoughtful influential guy it seems worthwhile pointing out his blind spot. Science done properly leads to cultural friction with people who want to run open loop because they are convinced of the special rightness of what they take from the Bible (or Marx, or in-group taboos, or whatever). Correctly diagnosing that friction is useful. It's not going away, and there are capable people on both sides. (Or, often, capable people straddling both sides. Religious or politicized scientists often draw a boundary (sometimes explicitly like "how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go," more commonly implicitly), and do proper science on one side.)

Of course "science" can be far too open-loop to deserve the name, rather like elections. Examples follow, partly 'cause slagging on them is an underproduced public good.

The long slow process of getting Margaret Mead's conclusions out of the system reminds me of the "credible documentary evidence from ancient human society that completely contradicts the claims made in the Bible" that you'd require. It seems orthodox anthropologists require something similar.

Beyond that, Popper criticized Freudianism for not making clear what if anything would be inconsistent with the theory, and AFAIK he had a point. If TK had written of Freudians' blind faith, I'd've nodded.

Even crossing my low bar doesn't make "science" proper science. My kosher-DNA example is very unlikely. It is also very unlikely that a brutal sudden Ice Age will start tomorrow. I hope few CAGW advocates would be so hardcore as to call that an "Ice Age pause" in their still-correct model.:-| So I think there's a vestigial smidgen of falsifiability, yay yay yay! In principle that may be a philosophical step up from Freudianism, but in practice it's awfully similar when one's theory can't be contradicted by any nonextraordinary outcome occurring before one retires.

Blogger SirHamster March 13, 2014 2:08 PM  


Yes assuming I understand the process, this is the model that I propose which fits the available data. If you can provide a set of data that show the possibility of tectonic plates suddenly moving at 15-20 miles per hour instead their know rate of a few inches per year (remembering that the estimated weight of the average tectonic plate is upwards of 4 sextillion tons), slam into one another at this speed without an energy release sufficient to atomize matter for miles around the point of impact and still manage to create delicate rock folding formations, I m certainly all ears.


I've given you two clear questions that you have not answered:

1. How many years of observations drive the estimate of millions of years of age?
2. What is the uncertainty of this estimate? Every measurement has uncertainty - doubly so for something that is extrapolated, not observed.

These are questions you need to answer if you wish to submit "this mountain range exists as historical evidence to counter documented historical evidence". (There are other assumptions you need to prove out as well - such as knowing the starting conditions of the mountain range)


I don't need to know anything about plate tectonics to document, "I saw a mountain explode with fire and wipe out life in this area", or "a giant flood destroyed earth and I survived in this boat God told me to build". But if you wish to say that physics prove the observation was impossible, you need a lot more evidence than you've offered.

Anonymous kh123 March 13, 2014 2:10 PM  

"Yes assuming I understand the process, this is the model that I propose which fits the available data."

Oh, I'm sure it does Mr. Lyell. I'm sure it's like the archaeological find of a coin with a date on it, or even better yet, a document.

Blogger William Newman March 13, 2014 5:02 PM  

I can't believe I (re)wrote "open loop uses feedback". That's backwards.

I have designed and built and fiddled with simple little amplifier and filter circuits that used feedback. I can easily make a clear mental picture of feedback involving wires running "backward" toward the main input. But evidently my brain hates me, or perhaps just hates editing and doesn't care about me.

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 13, 2014 6:30 PM  

Lud, I'm not confusing anything. I'm doing something I rather like to do which is take the arguement of the opposing side, and use it against them.

If your statement is correct about the malleability of crustal materials then by avoiding Spike A, you've managed to spear yourself on Spike B. Catch-22. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.

Anonymous rycamor March 14, 2014 12:14 AM  

@William...

That's an awful lot of verbal meandering. The only takeaway I have is:

I think your answer shows a more closed-loop resistant-to-feedback approach than proper scientists use. Roughly: for you to change your mind, an elaborate alternative theory would need to hold true, and people would need to go through the trouble of figuring it out and building a very strong case showing that it holds true.)

Well yes. Life is not a scientific theory, nor is it an experiment directed toward a specific theory. The phrase 'proper scientist' is something I find a bit problematic. Proper science is always vested in theory. In other words, the scientist suspects something, theorizes upon it, makes predictions based on it, then devises experiments in order to falsify that theory. Any one *falsification can invalidate the theory , while many many positive results aren't 'proof' but merely indicative of increased confidence in the theory.

*Although that in itself is problematic because falsifications can always be revisited and found to be improperly concluded.

This is not the only way to arrive at a truth, or a relative confidence in a truth. In fact, it is often problematic for the simple fact that the scientist is vested in the theory, rather than simply exploring phenomena and trying to see where they lead. You characterized 'proper scientists' as operating in an open loop, but the investment in theory makes that a little suspect. It is all too easy to blind oneself to certain findings in favor of other findings that support a theory. So really very FEW people who feel strongly about a belief are ready to abandon it at a single evidence of falsification.

Thus I say as a thinking theist, it is possible (nay, essential) to cast one's mind around all the phenomena of the world, both material (who what when where) and immaterial (love, friendship, hate, reason, etc...) and judge for oneself what explanations best fit the patterns observed. This is not to discount science *as science*, but to point out that it operates in a limited scope (the material), and is best thought of as one of the tools available to assist us in understanding life, rather than as a guiding light of its own. And the understanding must remain that science is observably less trustworthy than many other sorts of tools that lead to truth, rather than more, as the science fetishists would have us believe. Simply browse through the past century of science for a reminder of this assertion.

Anonymous Josh J. March 14, 2014 12:28 AM  

I wonder how many people living today could even prove the heliocentric model of the universe, if they had to do so 'from scratch' (i.e., can't just say Galileo or Copernicus - you have to develop the proofs on your own). Could 100 do it, from scratch? I would even spot the average college educated person a telescope for a year.

Most people, when it comes to science, don't 'know' anything (they have never proved anything or discovered anything at all). They simply 'believe' what others tell them. So it is with the average person and Evolution. And increasingly, I think, with the professionals....

Anonymous rycamor March 14, 2014 12:35 AM  

It strikes me that an example might illuminate what I mean by the last statement:

Say you and your wife are new parents and you want to raise a child in the best way possible. You can go route A and drive yourself crazy reading every single 'science-based' child rearing book you can find, from Dr. Spock onward, and chances are you will drive yourself into a nervous breakdown trying to follow all the contradictory (and often bizarre or even humiliating) advice you will find. And, your child will likely end up a screaming hellion or a basket case.

Or... you can choose route B and look around you. Find some older couples who raised some happy, confident, uncomplicated kids. See how they did it, and emulate them, or at least choose some positive attributes from these families and try to integrate that wisdom into your family. This, humanity has been doing for millenia, and the better a family holds to such discipline, traditions and moral codes, the better the children turn out. It doesn't take science to figure this out.

Scientists generally want to prove something. They often seek to overturn established thinking, and many of them smirk with aspie glee at such thoughts. This is why they should not be trusted with your children's lives. Case in point

Anonymous Toby Temple March 14, 2014 7:32 AM  

Its actually quite simple. trace a radial line from the center of the earth to its highest peak (Mt Everest) and use this to compute a spherical volume. Do the same thing again but now trace your radial line from the center of the earth to the ocean level and again use that to calculate a spherical volume. Subtract your second volume from your first and the result is the volume of additional water needed to accommodate the global flood. ( an neither olivine nor ringwoode formations are water)

So, in other words, you do understand the following:

"The diamond from Brazil confirms that the models are correct: Olivine is ringwoodite at this depth, a layer called the mantle transition zone. And it resolves a long-running debate about water in the mantle transition zone. The ringwoodite is 1.5 percent water, present not as a liquid but as hydroxide ions (oxygen and hydrogen molecules bound together). The results suggest there could be a vast store of water in the mantle transition zone, which stretches from 254 to 410 miles (410 to 660 km) deep.

"It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that's present in all the world's ocean," Pearson told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.


I mean seriously, what part of 1.5 percent water is hard to understand?

Blogger Joshua_D March 14, 2014 8:40 AM  

Toby Temple March 14, 2014 7:32 AM

"It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that's present in all the world's ocean," Pearson told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.

I mean seriously, what part of 1.5 percent water is hard to understand?


The part that could support the story of the ancient flood?

Blogger Lud VanB March 14, 2014 10:38 AM  

"1. Terrain relatively flat"

assumption with no basis in observable fact. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that terrain was relatively flat across the earth 4600 years ago and a great deal of geology facts saying that it could not have been so your premise is blown out of the water from the onset

"2. Flood happens. Water covers entire terrain."

since premise one was blown, premise 2 become irrelevant.

"3. Mountains form as part of the general flood/upheaval process."

mountain formation has absolutely nothing to do with water displacement no matter how large. water does not have the power to cause rock to fold 8 km into the air. only tectonic plates have the mass to accomplish that...and no amount of water on earth could move even the smallest tectonic plate even one inch. premise 3 now stands in ruin.

"4. Via gravity, water gathers in the low areas and leaves the high areas dry."

since everything else in your presentation has been eradicated premise 4 ceases to exists as a result.

Blogger Lud VanB March 14, 2014 10:41 AM  

"I mean seriously, what part of 1.5 percent water is hard to understand?"

what part of none of that water exists in liquid form in the mantle but rather as crystalized mineral formations that take millions of years to form?

Blogger Lud VanB March 14, 2014 10:45 AM  

"If your statement is correct about the malleability of crustal materials then by avoiding Spike A, you've managed to spear yourself on Spike B. Catch-22. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't"

no since the pressure and heat being exerted on the crust is not of the same order of magnitude as those taking place in the mantle. you re trying to equate apples and oranges.

1 – 200 of 219 Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Anonymous comments will be deleted.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts