Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Join Us on Friday to Discuss "Thoughts on Science: Evolution versus Intelligent Design (Part I of an indefinite number of parts)"

Rufina Kim has organized the second meeting of her group Thoughts on Science. We will meet on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 5 pm in room 5253 of the Medical Sciences Building on the University of Toronto St. George campus. The meeting is scheduled to end at 7:30 pm.

Here's the description form the Facebook page ...
Discussion of the controversies that lie within the question "How did organisms on earth come to be?"

Ideally, an equal number of evolutionary biologists and creationists will attend.

All are welcome, even spectators.
When I open a page of Darwin I immediately sense that I have been ushered into the presence of a great mind. ... When I read Phillip Johnson, I feel that I have been ushered into the presence of a lawyer.

Richard Dawkins (1996)
Please join us. The last meeting [What Is Science? - Still No Answer!] was a lot of fun.

Here's a list of some topics we could discuss. If you can only read one then choose Creationism Continuum because it helps if you understand the meaning of "creationism."

The Discovery Institute Presents the Case for Magic
Five Myths (?) About Intelligent Design Creationism
How Do Intelligent Design Creationists Define "Creationism"?
The "Intelligent Design" Version of Creationism
Creationism Continuum
Casey Luskin "Explains" Intelligent Design Creationism
A Torley Defense of Irreducible Complexity
Blown Out of the Water
"Impossible" Molecular Machines
Will the Real IDiot Please Stand up?

And here, for no particular reason, is a quote from George Orwell.
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four


22 comments :

  1. Dear Prof Moran

    First things first, separate design from creationism, that will be an good starting point. As much as atheists want them to be the same they are not, ID might have religious implications but it follows the scientific evidence not any holy books.



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    1. Just one question why are there no topics on real legitimate evolutionary problems? Mmmmmm a pissing contest! I should have known it has nothing to do with critical thinking or the search for truth.... Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me!

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    2. Just one question why are there no topics on real legitimate evolutionary problems?

      You're more than welcome to show up and raise those problems if you think it has anything to do with Intelligent Design Creationism.

      Or, you could sit in on my class on evolution—but be careful, if you come to my class you might actually learn something.

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    3. Prof Moran

      I'll take a stab at it :)

      Question 1.

      How did chemistry create life? How did all these amino acids come together to make a protein? How did these hundreds of proteins come together to make a cell?

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    4. Those aren't evolution problems, they're Origin of Life issues.

      Why can't the bullshittitionists never seem to get the difference?

      Evolution only works once you have imperfectly self-replicating entities. The areas of research working on that problem is prebiotic chemistry and physics, and while evolution may be part of the story at some point, it's not the whole story.

      It's like saying childhood has problems because it doesn't explain childbirth.

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    5. Rumraket

      Stop deflecting please OOL is relevant to evolution. Without life there would not be any evolution now would there?

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    6. Correct, then surely the origin of life explains the origin of the first entity capable of biological evolution, not the other way around.

      Way to buttfuck your own argument Andre.

      Let's make my analogy more explicit. Conception, the fertilization of the egg by sperm, is not explained by the process of embryonic development. While some of the chemical processes involved are related, the process as a whole is not the same.

      The coming together of gametes to produce a zygote, is not explained by the development of an adult organism from a zygote. Again, subcomponents of these two processes may be related, but the whole process is not identical. One can not be called upon to the explain the other.

      It's the same with the origin of life. Evolution would certainly have started at some point around the formation of the first self-replicating entity(specifically, when it started replicating and differential reproduction was manifest), but it does not explain prebiotic chemistry. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous. If you really think so, then why even stop at the origin of life? Why shouldn't evolution also explain plate tectonics and the formation of the solar system then?

      There's really no way around this. Evolution explains how life changes once it exists and imperfectly replicates. It should not be expected to explain everything about how life comes to exist to begin with. It's not a deflection, it's logic.

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    7. How did these sexual reproductive systems evolve by random mutation but just so happened to do it in a very non-random way..... how is that for luck.... but let's take it back a bit, OK so the first cells came alive all good with me but how did this first cell that surely did not have any consciousness decide to survive... did evolution know right there and then that survival of the fittest is relevant? How did that work? Sounds to me as if natural selection and random mutation was pre loaded....

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    8. Just popped into my head, the first replicating cell singing, Gloria Gaynor's I will survive..

      At first I was afraid I was petrified Kept thinking I could never live Without you by my side But then I spent so many nights Thinking how you did me wrong And I grew strong And I learned how to get along

      And so you're back From outer space I just walked in to find you here With that sad look upon your face I should have changed that stupid lock I should have made you leave your key If I've have known for just one second You'd be back to bother me

      Go on now go Walk out the door Just turn around now 'Cause you're not welcome anymore Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I

      I will survive Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive I've got all my life to live I've got all my love to give And I'll survive I will survive, hey hey

      It took all the strength I had Not to fall apart Kept trying hard to mend The pieces of my broken heart And I spent oh so many nights Just feeling sorry for myself I used to cry But now I hold my head up high

      And you see me Somebody new I'm not that chained up little person Still in love with you And so you felt like dropping in And just expect me to be free But now I'm saving all my loving For someone who's loving me

      Go on now go Walk out the door Just turn around now 'Cause you're not welcome anymore Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I

      I will survive Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive I've got all my life to live I've got all my love to give And I'll survive I will survive, oh

      Go on now go Walk out the door Just turn around now 'Cause you're not welcome anymore Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I

      I will survive Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive I've got all my life to live I've got all my love to give And I'll survive I will survive I will survive...

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    9. How did these sexual reproductive systems evolve by random mutation but just so happened to do it in a very non-random way..... how is that for luck
      You don't understand random processes at all it seems. There's nothing intrinsically mysterious about how randomness gives rise to patterns and order. The simplest demonstration I can think of off the top of my head is this:
      http://youtu.be/J7AGOptcR1E

      Creationists have some deep-seated aversion to random processes. They just can't fathom how something random could work.

      .... but let's take it back a bit, OK so the first cells came alive all good with me but how did this first cell that surely did not have any consciousness decide to survive... did evolution know right there and then that survival of the fittest is relevant? How did that work? Sounds to me as if natural selection and random mutation was pre loaded....
      Evolution is not a conscious entity you bloody idiot, it doesn't "know" anything. Differential reproduction due to natural selection is inexorably the consequence of variation in a population. You'll always get variation when you have imperfect reproduction. Once a cell makes copies of itself, those copies will have mistakes(mutations) in them. There is differential reproductive success amongs the different copies, because the different copies have different properties and those different properties make the cells either better or worse adapted to the environment. This is so elementary I can't for the life of me fathom how you can't instantly see this. That has to be a troll question, nobody can be this stupid.

      I'm done responding to you, you're an idiot troll who just realized he doesn't have an argument and so can offer nothing but goofy clown-behavior in place of actual questions and arguments.

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  2. @Andre Gross

    Look up cdesignproponentsists to begin with.

    Heck, even in the ID "papers" you'll find all the usual creationist arguments recycled over and over again. Endlessly debunked stuff like the "abrubt appearance of the cambrian explosion" and gaps in the fossil record, attacks on punctuated equilibrium as being "ad-hoc excuses" and countless variations of the "were you there?"-canard.

    It's creationism camouflaged in a lab-coat, they're fooling noone.

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    1. I've heard this nonsense a million times, time to do some research on the subject yourself instead of hanging on other people's lips!

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    2. I've done the research, I speak only facts. Read their "publications", it's standard creationism.

      Oh by the way, ever heard of the wedge strategy document? Oopsie.

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    3. Yes and the wedge strategy conspiracy theory is as true as Zeitgeist!

      http://www.discovery.org/a/2101

      Read it follow the evidence and move on!

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    4. They don't disown the document, they just try to couch the terms of the document in more reasonable terms. All your link shows me is an attempt at damage control. Is this supposed to be reassuring?

      Let's look at some utterings of some of the main ID guys:

      Mike Behe:
      Our intelligence depends critically on physical structures in the brain which are irreducibly complex. Extrapolating from this sample of one, it may be that all possible natural designers require irreducibly complex structures which themselves were designed. If so, then at some point a supernatural designer must get into the picture. I myself find this line of reasoning persuasive. In my estimation, although possible in a broadly permissive sense, it is not plausible that the original intelligent agent is a natural entity. … Thus, in my judgment it is implausible that the designer is a natural entity.” “Reply to My Critics” Biology and Philosophy 16: 685-709, 2001.

      William Dembski:
      My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ.” William Dembski, ‘Intelligent Design’, p 206

      …but let’s admit that our aim, as proponents of intelligent design, is to beat naturalistic evolution, and the scientific materialism that undergirds it, back to the Stone Age." “DEALING WITH THE BACKLASH AGAINST INTELLIGENT DESIGN version 1.1, April 14, 2004”

      Phillip Johnson:
      This [the intelligent design movement] isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy.” World Magazine, 30 November 1996

      The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ and ‘In the beginning God created.’ Establishing that point isn’t enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message.” Foreword to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science (2000)

      Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” American Family Radio (10 January 2003)

      And this is merely scratching the surface.

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    5. Ever seen a disclaimer before? Individual views may not reflect the company view? Since when can people not have personal views? You have a personal view and as much as I disagree with it I will defend your right to have that view with my life! So these are personal views and I see no wedge..... seriously I know you believe Zeitgeist to be true!

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    6. Let me rephrase that I can see why you think evolution, aka simple to complex style is true. They call it feeble minded.

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    7. Andre your Dishonesty Institute apologetics are becoming an embarassment to look at. Phillip Johnson fucking started the ID movement. It's nothing more than a tactic employed to circumvent the separation of church and state, in order to get christian creationist doctrine into schools and science class. It has nothing to do with science, as the main guy basically admits in my quote above.

      No, these are not just mere opinions held on the sidelines by the ID proponents, those are IN FACT the goals of the ID movement. Judeo-christian religious doctrine and nothing less.

      Cdesignproponentsists. Google it. An standard creationist textbook almost litterally became an ID book over night. Isn't it funny how the "science" of the two are so identical you can replace the word creationsm with intelligent design and still get the same book? Don't give me your feeble-minded bullshit, when you guys and your tactics are more transparent than intergalactic vacuum is to neutrino-radiation.

      Yes, you guys lost this argument back in 2005.

      Also, what is this zeitgeist thing you speak of? I know what the word generally is used for in german, but I have no idea what relevance it has here.

      Also wrt "why I think evolution, aka simply to complex style is true", what the fuck is "style" in this context?

      You seem to have a nasty habit of thinking you know what goes on in my head.

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    8. Is it 2013? Seriously let's have a look Prof Moran, a brilliant scientist, does his personal views influence his science? Oops yes it does. You yack about the wedge document, but I have not heard you say anything about the double standards that are so evidently displayed. Oh as a former lack of belief, Christians must fuck off and God is an arsehole atheist I know what's going on in your head. Been there done that and I actually wasted money on buying the T-shirt. Did I ever tell you how intellectually bankrupt your worldview is?

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    9. Oh and the style I was referring to is this; Your style of evolution that you worship is like gungam style, its a joke!

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    10. I have no good response for your deep and penetrating analysis here. Well done Gross, I had to pick up a bible-and-prayer kit complete with robe, strawmat and sandals and become a christian again after this incomprehensibly scathing refutation.

      What a fucking joke.

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  3. Good luck on the meeting. Creationism wants more, not less, discussion on these matters.
    Why is creationism a mysetery in its DNA?

    It all starts with a belief in the bible as the word of God and so Genesis etc tell about origins or other interventions in nature.
    That is YEC etc.
    Then there is a general belief in God as a actual creator of nature and that the fingerprints are evident over nature. That is ID.
    Then a belief in a creator without the fingerprints.
    That is the rest or other religions etc.

    It is most apparent in North America because Puritan/Evangelical Protestant Christianity was most popular here.
    Then a general higher level of intelligence that forces greater need for evolution etc to prove its case and therefore greater scepticism or denial is the result .

    Wrong ideas have a hard time proving themselves and especially as more attention is given.

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