A Challenge to both Evolution and Intelligent Design

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Arising_uk
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Post by Arising_uk » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:13 am

Hi DB,
Duncan Butlin wrote:Deary, deary, deary me. What are we going to do with you? Can’t you guys keep your eyes on the ball for one second? We are talking here about the children of the United States; how their education is being undermined by a flight of female fancy. Do you seriously question whether those children exist? That they are alive? That they are in trouble? BOTH sides agree the situation is terrible; we simply cannot agree what to do about it. And yet you gossip on about it like women, while pretending a deep concern. You hypocrites.
You tottered onto the wrong post? No one in this thread was discussing this? Still.
I don't give a toss about this apparent plight of the children of the United States as I'm a UK subject and a Europeon citizen.
In 1992, my friend in Tulsa, Oklahoma was a Sunday School teacher. He was perfectly happy to teach his class about masturbation -- in fact he recommended it as a way of avoiding pregnancy -- but did he dare mention evolution? No he did not; not one word. A deeply humiliating situation, especially for a biologist, and yet his tongue is still tied up to this day -- more firmly than ever before. And now this cancer is spreading to Canada and the UK (I don’t know about Australia).
I'm not sure that the idea of banning Evolution from Biology classes(or was it a sexual health class? Although why would you then raise it?) will get much support over here, although I take your point that some are considering allowing ID to be taught somewhere, but no-ones decided quite where yet.
So the question is what are we going to do about it? How can we capture a children’s nursery tale, that has taken over the American mind? Well how about it men, what do you suggest? What about the DNA, you say? What about entropy? Let’s see how we can define life more precisely. We better get the epistemology right. Life is but a pattern, the whole world is alive. Behold the universe, mankind shrinks into insignificance. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns!
A Call to Arms! Not heard one of those for a while, well, not since mb and ASpartacus that is. I gather we're fighting for some kind of Patriarchy . Which one? My guess would be Victorian or Edwardian?
You idiots. Let scientists talk about their esoteric concepts, in their esoteric journals (though I suspect even they go on for far too long). Open your eyes, stop gazing at the heavens (or your navels), and acknowledge what is happening right under your nose. Soon your own children will join the mess. All it is is out-of-control women’s thought, and yet you chatter along with them rather than confront them. What are you thinking of?
Nice leadership skills :lol:
You think the Patriarchial system is under threat? It appears to be doing very well, in fact the girls are fitting in very nicely now.
Come on, gentlemen, gather your wits about you, focus your minds, and start addressing the problem at hand. These fundamentalists are a formidable bunch, and they unfortunately talk a lot of sense on other subjects. But on this one issue they are propounding real evil, and they must be fought, tooth and nail. They must be defeated, and put back into the nursery where they belong. Fairy tales are all very well, until they infect the adult human brain.
What are you on about? I'll have to visit your threads as I just clicked on your wikki link.
And if anyone mentions one word about relativity, quantum theory, the uncertainty principle, the big bang, or deconstructionism (and does not receive a sound thrashing for his pains); then so help me I am going to abandon you all to your irrelevant musings, and go find a thread that makes a little more sense.
Feel free.

mark black
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Post by mark black » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:14 am

Nickolai,

In reality, living organisms are negatively entropic - and inanimate objects are postively entropic. This is a clear difference in reality. It is identifiable and observable - and not at all a matter of faith.

mb.

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Post by mark black » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:32 am

Arising,

Thanks. To some extent it's correct to say that definitions 2, 4 + 5 are examples of how concepts change as they filter out. They are applications of thermodynamic theory to other areas - but it's both correct to say that entropy is a measure of energy unavailable for work, and a measure of the disorder of a system. It would be difficult to explain, but the wiki definition is reasonably comprehensive and comprehhensible.

Your next point speak to the very issue Nickolai seems unable to understand. You say:
I do appreciate this idea that Life could be considered as ignoring a Law of Thermodynamics I'm not sure that the arguments hold up nor that they've been measured to prove it one way nor another(I guess that we don't).
But a careful reading of the wiki article contains this:
In short, according to Lehninger, "living organisms preserve their internal order by taking from their surroundings free energy, in the form of nutrients or sunlight, and returning to their surroundings an equal amount of energy as heat and entropy."
(emphasis changed)

The organism is itself negatively entropic, but does not alter the positively entropic nature of reality as a whole. It still obeys the second law of thermodynamics on the whole - but by internalzing energy, and externalzing disorder. And this is what defines the animate organism as distinct from the inanimate object.

mb.
Last edited by mark black on Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mark black » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:57 am

Duncan,

This thread is about epistemology, evolution and life. Bringing your own personal bugbear into a discussion where it doesn't belong - a sort of intellectualized mysogny, is strongly suggestive of psycho-pathology. Having read your story, I'm not suprised - but you did rather make a rod for your own back, didn't you?

I feel somewhat aggrieved that I initially supported your idea of men's studies as a contrast to women's studies, but your initial proposal wasn't steeped in the hate you clearly bear toward half the human race. Hasn't all this owned enough of your life? You won't win. Let it go.

mb.

mark black
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Post by mark black » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:04 am

Psychonaut,

Virus: parasitic life.

Psychonaut: smartass!

mb.

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Duncan Butlin
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Post by Duncan Butlin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:07 pm

Good afternoon, Arising_UK,

Wonderful! There is only one little issue to be sorted out between us, before we can start serious discussions. It’s quite forgivable, Arising -- as RachelAnn says, almost nobody can resist a little embellishment -- but you are guilty of exaggeration. If you can just see your way to apologising for the following, then I suspect we are in for an interesting time.

“You tottered on to the wrong post?”

You know perfectly well that the only practical aspect of the evolution-Intelligent Design debate is about children’s education in the United States. As you intimate, there is far less problem elsewhere. Most of the legal cases, and most of the media coverage is focussed on this aspect. Thus your suggestion that I am off-subject is a lie. You know perfectly well that I am not. I am just making you feel a little uncomfortable, that is all.

If you will have the grace to apologise for this faut pas, then I in turn will be delighted to forgive you. We can then get down to some business. Until that glorious day, I will answer you no more.
Last edited by Duncan Butlin on Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Rortabend
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Post by Rortabend » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:18 pm

You know perfectly well that the only practical aspect of the evolution-Intelligent Design debate is about children’s education in the United States.
What about science research funding? If ID took hold in some, probably mid-West, biology department, we could start to see funds be directed away from proper research. It's not just about the children, although this is of course a very important practical aspect of the debate.

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Post by Duncan Butlin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:46 pm

Misplaced message.
Last edited by Duncan Butlin on Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rortabend
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Post by Rortabend » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:03 pm

Duncan,

You've tottered onto the wrong post again. My comment about misogyny was another thread. This one is about ID and evolutionary biology. I demand an apology!

P.S. Coventry is getting quite full. You may struggle to participate on a forum if you won't speak to any of its members.

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Duncan Butlin
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Post by Duncan Butlin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:23 pm

Mark Black:

Look back at the title again, Mark, do you see that you have got it entirely wrong? You have completely forgotten to mention Intelligent Design! This shows you what a panic you are in. But you don’t really think I need suppressing, do you?, you just want to avoid being blamed by proxy, should I ever do something wrong.

But you have uttered the dreaded words, nonetheless, along with Rortabend: you too have accused me of hating all women, with not one shred of supporting evidence.

I insist that you apologise, before we speak again.

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Arising_uk
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Post by Arising_uk » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:41 pm

Duncan Butlin wrote:...If you can just see your way to apologising for the following, then I suspect we are in for an interesting time.
“You tottered on to the wrong post?”
That was the tactful one! The original was "Did you and your zimmer-frame wobble onto the wrong thread?" It appeared perfectly reasonable given your predilection for mentioning your age and the tone of your post.
You know perfectly well that the only practical aspect of the evolution-Intelligent Design debate is about children’s education in the United States. As you intimate, there is far less problem elsewhere. Most of the legal cases, and most of the media coverage is focussed on this aspect. Thus your suggestion that I am off-subject is a lie. You know perfectly well that I am not. I am just making you feel a little uncomfortable, that is all.
How would you know what I know perfectly well? Or what I'm feeling come to that? As I said, I don't give a toss what the Yanks do too their kids.

Whilst I will agree its about hearts, souls and minds and I doubt its anything to do with ID being taken seriously by the Church. In my mind the main problem is the Church takes a very long time to change and is pretty loathe to do so, especially when it concerns having to re-write their ethical theory which took so long to build after the Galileo Galilei incident. So ID is their 'blocker' until they get their act together. Now apparently you, like me, think intelligent people should not even be discussing ID and Evolution in the same breath but apparently intelligent people do have issues with both ideas, not least amongst certain Biologists. So I understand no harm in having such conversations, whereas apparently you do.
If you will have the grace to apologise for this faut pas, then I in turn will be delighted to forgive you. We can then get down to some business. Until that glorious day, I will answer you no more.
Thats magnanimous of you but it looks like it's going to be a one-way conversation and a few glorious days of silence.
Yours,
a_uk
p.s.
I'd have pulled me up for bringing the Patriarchal Restoration in. I might have apologised for that faux pas.
Last edited by Arising_uk on Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rortabend
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Post by Rortabend » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:00 pm

But you have uttered the dreaded words, nonetheless, along with Rortabend: you too have accused me of hating all women, with not one shred of supporting evidence.
On 17th November 2008, Duncan Butlin said:

So unless men are prepared to copy women and openly to campaign against them en masse (a most unnatural form of cooperation for men), we will continue to be dominated by women for the foreseeable future

mickthinks
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Post by mickthinks » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:01 pm

Can I just point out that I am not from the Intelligent Design camp either
No problem, Nikolai! I don't think Rortabend intended to implicate you in ID, and I certainly didn't think you were.

The distinction [between life and death] can be made, but it is an arbitrary distinction. It is a line drawn in the sand, nothing more.
There may not be a sharp line that everyone can agree on, but that doesn't mean the distinction is an arbitrary one. There's no obvious boundary that we might all agree on separating 'hot' from 'cold', but the distinction between a hot bath and a cold one is not arbitrary.

For the purposes of Darwinian evolution, life can thought of as the capacity to reproduce or to develop such capacity, or something along those lines. It may not always be easy to decide whether something is of a kind which has the capacity to reproduce, but the distinction is not arbitrary.

Mick
Last edited by mickthinks on Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:18 pm

[qute]Psychonaut,

Virus: parasitic life.

Psychonaut: smartass!

mb.[/quote]

Viruses contain RNA instead of DNA, and do not involve any form of intelligence.

Also, what about Prions?

mark black
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Post by mark black » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:57 am

Psychonaut,

Prions? I don't know. The last post should have read 'Parasitic Life???' - because I'm not sure it's correct. (I am sure you're a smartass!!!) And I am sure that this sort of sceptical logic chopping doesn't invalidate the whole cannon of science. This is Nickolai from another thread:
all science is based on paradox, as is any conceptual scheme. The only reason you don't see this is that it is not customary to emphasise the inherent paradoxes and so we lose the ability to see them clearly. We then go on to imagine that we have somehow triumped over paradox and that it doesn't happen anymore.

A conceptual scheme is only a strong as its weakest link. All conceptual schemes are founded on contradiction, therefore the whole scheme is rendered contradictory. And I mean the whole scheme, from top to bottom. Dwell on any of our most chereishes scientific laws for more than a moment and they soon dissolve into incoherence.
This, again, is a ridiculously overblown interpretation of a philosophical difficulty. If it were his concern, to examine, explicate and resolve these difficulties - then I'd listen, but it's not. His project seem to be to denounce the whole of human knowledge for a lack of absolute certainty, or denounce the whole of evolutionary science for the difficulty in defining life - when the problem, if there is one, lies with the fact that language is a system of signifiers.

I just don't have the time or patience for this sort of fuckwitism - but nor do I feel able to let such fucking stupid comments as those expressed in the OP go by without pointing out that they are fucking stupid. And that it's a pity, because Nickolai is clearly not a stupid person.

mb.

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