Saturday, November 26, 2016

What Do Evolutionists Really Believe?


JBsptfn has cited more propaganda from his chief source of pseudo-scientific bullshit, Pogge, who runs the creationist site Science Against Evolution.  The article he cited was written by Pogge in response to a commenter some years ago, who noted his poor grasp of scientific facts.  It attempts to dispel the notion of abiogenesis by providing a distorted view of scientific thinking on the topic and complaining that they teach this stuff in schools.  And where does Poggie get his information about what they teach in biology class?  From CliffsNotes, of course.
But, in the interest in fairness, we will quote the foremost authority on Biology (and English literature, too) most widely read by high school and college students in America. No matter what textbook is used in class, you can be sure that what the students really read is Cliffs Notes! - Pogge
The synopsis for this CliffNotes educational resource describes it as:
>what you'd expect-—and want—from CliffsNotes: a no-nonsense quick review of biology that high school and Biology 101 students can use to review biology. - Cliffs Quick Review Biology Synopses & Reviews
Obviously, Pogge never took biology himself.

But he has armed himself with sufficient knowledge of biological science from creationist websites and CliffsNotes to convince himself that he's in a position to refute anything those "evolutionists" have to say.  I don't know about Pogge, but when I was in school, I actually studied science.  I didn't try to skate by without reading reading and learning the material.  Pogge's level of scientific knowledge is indicative of his CliffsNotes understanding of the topics he writes about.  I have previously discussed Pogge and his abysmal scientific knowledge.  I feel it is appropriate to advise people like JBsptfn that Science against Evolution is not a reliable, or even a reasonable source of scientific information.

With that in mind, let's address the issue that JBsptfn raises.
If science can live with a designer, then why did scientists try to conduct an experiment in 1953 to try to show that life can form spontaneously by accident? - JBsptfn
He is referring to Miller and Urey's famous "primordial soup" experiment that was mentioned in Pogge's quotes from CliffsNotes.  In a related article, Pogge falsely claimed that this experiment failed in its purpose to demonstrate the origins of life on earth, and that it has been discredited because the simulated environment was not sufficiently like what would have existed at that time.  Neither of those claims are true, as explained here.  Its purpose was to demonstrate that the organic compounds that are the building blocks of life could be created, and claims about the unsuitability of the simulated environment have been debunked.

But JBsptfn, who gets his extremely poor knowledge of science from Pogge, thinks he has proof that atheist scientists are engaged in a futile effort to prove that life arose from non-life, and this is due to scientists' dogmatic adherence to materialism, which they cling to despite all the evidence that supposedly proves them wrong, according to Pogge.

In answer to JBsptfn's question, let me say that science doesn't need an ideology like the creationists do.  The comment he was replying to, made by Papalinton, was to note that even if materialism is shown to be false, the scientific community would take this information into account and devise new theories that are consistent with the known facts.  Religion, on the other hand has no allegiance to facts.  If materialism were proven to be true, the creationists would not abandon their religious theories.  Their theories are not based on facts or evidence in the first place.  That's the difference between science and ideologically driven pseudo-science.

Science is a process of evaluating the evidence and possible explanations, and reasoning to the best hypothesis.  But that hypothesis must stand up to testing.  If it can't, then a different one must be considered.  Pogge wants us to believe that this experiment was a failure, because he can't accept the hypothesis, due to his own ideology.  But his creationist theory has never stood up to any testing, and it will never be tested, because it is untestable.  And for that reason, it isn't science.

While it remains true that scientists have yet to produce a life form in the laboratory, this is just a matter of time.  Despite all Pogge's propaganda, they have been making considerable progress since 1953.  Sean Carroll provides an outline of the current theory of abiogenesis that is readable and easy to understand, in his book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.  Well worth reading.

35 comments:

  1. That rebuttal to Miller-Urey is from the NCSE (National Center for Science Education):

    National Center for Science Education

    On the front page of the site, it says this:

    The National Center of Science Education defends the integrity of science education against ideological interference

    Here is more about the NCSE and the education director, Eugenie Scott:

    Science Against Evolution: Is the Battle Over?

    Wikipedia: Eugenie Scott

    Pogge refers to it as the National Center for Science Eradication because they prohibit legit criticisms of evolution by pressuring politicians and school boards. Not exactly an unbiased group.

    As for the other stuff you wrote (like how I am a creationist, and about how religion has no allegiance to facts), that is just more of the type of crap that has gotten you banned from other sites.

    And, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any scientists to produce life in a lab. That is a part of an ideology.

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    1. You cite these references as if they were bad things. Of Course truth must be protected from ideological interference. That is why Eugenie Scott and the NCSE robustly challenge anything that remotely smells of religious sentiment attempting to ingratiate itself into the science classroom. There is no legitimate, unbiased criticism of evolution that is not being properly dealt with within science. And there is certainly not one skerrick of genuine extra-curricular criticism from outside the field of the sciences that could be even remotely considered legit or unbiased, and not a vehicle for peddling religious ideological interference.

      And you are right. The NCSE is a group very much opposed to the peddling of religious hokum about evolution by the likes of Pogge et al.

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    2. Btfsplk

      Evolution is not an ideology.

      And it's not going anywhere:

      http://answersinscience.org/demise.html

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    3. "...I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any scientists to produce life in a lab. That is a part of an ideology."

      http://www.jcvi.org/cms/press/press-releases/full-text/article/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell-constructed-by-j-craig-venter-institute-researcher/home/

      And Szostak's proto cells are very close to being alive.

      You really haven't been keeping up.

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    4. No, he hasn't been keeping up. The only thing he knows is what people like Pogge and Stan tell him, and they will never admit the reality.

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    5. Keeping up? These people are incapable of keeping up because they are congenitally bound to a two thousand-year-old explanatory model of the world that is simply anathema to modern empirically-driven investigative thought and understanding. They live in a contrived theologically constructed world in which all manner of gods, ghosts, souls, disembodied malevolent spirits, angels and devils go bump in the night.

      Is it any wonder that Pogge, Stan, JBsptfn view science as an existential threat and a danger to their worldview?

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    6. http://www.jcvi.org/cms/press/press-releases/full-text/article/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell-constructed-by-j-craig-venter-institute-researcher/home/

      Check this out:

      Science in Society: Synthetic Life? Not By a Long shot

      BTW, not a creation site. Just wanted to let you know before you stereotype them like you guys usually do.

      Keeping up? These people are incapable of keeping up because they are congenitally bound to a two thousand-year-old explanatory model of the world that is simply anathema to modern empirically-driven investigative thought and understanding. They live in a contrived theologically constructed world in which all manner of gods, ghosts, souls, disembodied malevolent spirits, angels and devils go bump in the night.

      Is it any wonder that Pogge, Stan, JBsptfn view science as an existential threat and a danger to their worldview?


      Wow, PapaJohn, that was poetic. I am actually in tears right now (lol).


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    7. So what is your point? The article refutes the claim made by journalists that this project produced full-blown synthetic life-forms (and nobody here is saying that). But that doesn't diminish the importance of the work. What they did is is synthesize a self-replicating genome, and that's a big step in the direction. The scientist in your cited article "is cautiously optimistic". He doesn't take the dogmatic creationist stand of people like Pogge who claim that it can't be done.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. Btfsplk

      {"...I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any scientists to produce life in a lab. ..."}

      You can quibble about Venter's project being synthetic or not but you can't deny that it's getting us much closer.

      Still haven't found the stamina to watch the Szostak lectures?
      I guess you'll have to limit your education to brief popular science articles then.

      So...hold your breath it's coming.

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  2. The NCSE has something in common with Science Against Evolution. Both advocate for what they consider to be "proper science" to be taught in schools. The only ideology of NCSE is students should be taught science consistent with the accepted theories and practices of the scientific community. Pogge, on the other hand, has a religious ideology, and he wants that to be taught INSTEAD of science. He gets his information from creationist sites. He does not understand biology. He does not understand thermodynamics. All he understands is "God did it". THAT'S NOT SCIENCE.

    The article you linked is laughable. Evolution is dying because sites like Answers in Genesis make a profit? The reason for that is that there are plenty of religious people who are stupid enough to give them money. That doesn't make their propaganda true, it just means they're saying what religious people want to hear. It has nothing to do with truth.

    And obviously, Pogge says what you want to hear. You can find religious people who agree with it, but you won't find real scientists who do. Even religious scientists who can separate their religious beliefs from the practice of science will tell you that it's not science. It's religious bullshit. You can believe it if you want. Your religion is your business. But when you try to peddle this propaganda as science, you're getting into my business.

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    1. Skep, Pogge doesn't usually use creationist sites for his newsletters. And, he doesn't have an ideology like you claim. He just wants honest discussion about evolution in the schools (unlike Eugenie Scott, who doesn't).

      And, again, what is with this "goddidit" crap? None of us (me, Stan, Hinman, Don McIntosh) have ever said that.

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    2. Pogge doesn't usually use creationist sites for his newsletters. And, he doesn't have an ideology like you claim.
      - Pogge is creationist from head to toe. His "scientific arguments" are taken straight from the creationist textbook, and he is given honorable mention by the Creation Science Hall of Fame. His tactic of denying religious motivation is intended to evade the constitutional separation of church and state, the same the rest of the "creation science" community that wants to replace science education with their religious bullshit.

      And, again, what is with this "goddidit" crap? None of us (me, Stan, Hinman, Don McIntosh) have ever said that.
      _ OK. Go ahead - right now - and deny that you think God is the designer and creator of human life.

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    3. Btfsplk

      "...He just wants honest discussion about evolution in the schools ..."

      Sorry, grade school is not the place to debate science and certainly not the place to question solid and settled science with hare brained religious crap that hasn't even been subjected to peer review.

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    4. Merrill:

      1. Peer Review doesn't guarantee legitimacy:

      WSJ: The Corruption of Peer Review is Harming Scientific Credibility

      2. How do you know what Pogge talks about on his site? Maybe you should take a visit and correct him if you are such an expert on science.

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    5. Well, Pogge doesn't have to worry about any kind of corrupted peer review process, does he?

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    6. btfsplki

      "1. Peer Review doesn't guarantee legitimacy:"

      Who said it did?
      It's still the best tool we have and religious apologetics doesn't even get on the playing field.


      "WSJ: The Corruption of Peer Review is Harming Scientific Credibility"

      You link me to an article behind a pay wall? Seriously?

      Fuck Rupert Murdoch and the 'shadow of what it used to be' WSJ.
      And fuck National Geographic for the same reasons.

      Studies getting retracted, 60 of them, is an argument in favor of peer review-not an argument against it.

      "2. How do you know what Pogge talks about on his site? Maybe you should take a visit and correct him if you are such an expert on science."

      Who is this idiot and why should I care?

      Anyone who calls the National Center for Science Education the
      " National Center for Science Eradication " doesn't deserve the time of day from me.

      Where did I claim to be an expert on science, asshole?

      In any case this was a discussion about science education-not science itself.

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    7. Btfsplk

      Oh, and where the hell did I say I knew anything about this "Pogge's" site?

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    8. Want a barrel of laughs? Check out Pogge. The topical index links to all his positions on scientific topics - chock full of misinformation and ignorance. And his Seventy-five Theses provides insight into his religious position.

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    9. Im...

      Your link doesn't work but I found the site with a quick google search.

      Hilarious.
      The "75 theses" are a magnificent parade of ignorance by someone who I suspect failed 10th grade science and biology classes.

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    10. Speaking of the 75 theses, Pogge did a write-up where he mentioned your hero (Szostak. Someone sent him a You Tube vid of his):

      Science Against Evolution: Seventy-Five Responses

      And, Merrill, I did watch that first 58-minute vid of Jack's. One thing that stood out was his mention of the Miller-Urey experiment that I talked about before.

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    11. Btfsplk

      {"....The method described in the video could easily be replicated in the laboratory. Dr. Jack Szostak did present a paper at an origin of life workshop in February, 2003, which “addressed the ability to generate new living organisms in the laboratory”. 9 That was more than six years ago, and he still hasn’t been given the Nobel Prize for his explanation of how life on Earth began. We wonder why. Could it be that his explanation isn’t scientifically valid, and can’t actually be demonstrated in the laboratory?..."

      Yes, quite the "write up".

      https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/

      And this is so precious:

      "....Abiogenesis is part of the theory of evolution. That’s why it is included in college biology textbooks in the Evolution section, as we have shown in a previous essay...."

      Typical of the level of argument this fool makes in the entire article.

      If all you got out of a 58 minute lecture is a "mention" of Urey-Miller you aren't allowed to converse with the adults any longer.

      Go away.

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    12. "....where he mentioned your hero (Szostak. ..."

      Not "my" hero, you moron.
      A nobel prize winning biologist at the top of his field with the utmost respect of every knowledgeable person in the scientific community.

      And this "Pogge"?
      What are his/her qualifications? A freaking BA in electrical engineering?

      "An Idiot Is A Genius to Another Idiot." anonymous

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    13. I don't intend to take on all of Pogge's ignorant responses in a com box. But it is noteworthy that he said: "He became so defensive that his instinctive reaction was to disagree with everything we said, even when we were simply stating general principles that are widely accepted by evolutionists. Any nit he could pick, he picked." This is a perfect description of Pogge's diatribe. Did you notice that he felt the need to put "[sic]" next to every spelling error? On the other hand, pointing out the errors in Pogge's explanations of scientific facts may seem like "nits", but Pogge is profoundly ignorant, and these are things that add substance to his misrepresentation of the truth.

      "This is important because it illustrates why one-on-one arguments are generally useless. Once someone feels backed into a corner it is human nature not to make any attempt to understand what the opponent is saying. He just disputes everything on general principle in an attempt to win the argument."

      Too bad Pogge doesn't listen to his own words.

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  3. FYI: http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2016/11/ill-be-offline-until-12-10-16.html
    JB mentioned that "Some certain troll is demonizing you" and I wonder why. I invited him to explain what he meant; here would be best I think, as Stan does not want at least 2 of us to comment on his blog directly...

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    1. Interesting that JB would mention Martin's responses to my comments at Feser's place. For the record, I have commented a few times on Feser's blog, but he never banned me, despite JB's claims. I was commenting on Feser's review of Coyne, and Martin showed up there, not to reply, but strictly for the purpose of poisoning the well against me. (You can check it out for yourself. Follow JB's link.) If you want my opinion, that's what trolls do. And that's what JB does, too.

      I have had discussions with martin, too. His arguments are poor, and he can't stand to be challenged. In that regard, he's a lot like Stan. But at least Martin doesn't claim to know more about science than scientists do. Stan, on the other hand is scientifically ignorant, and still he acts like he knows it all. Same as Pogge. I am not the "king of science", but I do know something about it, both from undergraduate- as well as graduate-level education, and from a career of working with it. (No, I am not a research scientist. As an engineer, I make my living applying real science in the real world. And theology doesn't make things work.) When I see people like Stan and Pogge make scientific claims that are blatantly false, I often feel the urge to set the record straight. And that's what they don't want to hear.

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    2. Right I thought it was strange JB would point to that thread. I went through it very quickly yesterday until I saw your name show up, and what struck me was that you barely wrote anything and that got Feser to reply with name calling right away; he even bragged about how it was indeed name calling, but an adult one, not a childish one... and then they accuse you of being disruptive? I haven't got much further so I have still not seen anything that would warrant you being banned, just like any other place where people have complained about your style. They exaggerate simply because they disagree with you.

      Martin is definitely a lot like Stan and for an obvious reason: Stan is the one who convinced him that Atheism is an irrational position. Martin came to Stan's blog as a weak Atheists, for lack of a better label, asking Stan about advice on certain positions, and was eventually convinced that Theism is correct. As far as I know, he never fully embraced that position though, in the sense that he also mentioned that he was not really into Theism either, at some point. I don't recall the details so I could be wrong... but anyway, the point is that you are correct in stating that his arguments in favor of Theism are poor, and he doesn't like to be challenged. He does not have much original thought to present but he is very good at simplifying arguments from professional philosophers, a good skill to have in itself. The problem is that these arguments are not better if put in cute infographics forms... Also, one big difference between Martin and Stan though is that Martin understands the science behind Climate Change research, and Evolution too I think. It's a good reminder that one's position on an issue such as Theism should not be indicative of other positions. Unfortunately, it is often the case...

      I also studied engineering btw :) And you are right that we don't need to have a PHD to point out flaws in arguments, or to point out where amateurs get science facts wrong. It's actually a lot easier to point out what's wrong rather than prove a position right. Replying to Pogge's faulty arguments, for example, is much easier than proving the opposite, and it's a perfectly valid way of showing what he gets wrong.

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    3. Stan is the one who convinced him that Atheism is an irrational position. Martin came to Stan's blog as a weak Atheists, for lack of a better label, asking Stan about advice on certain positions, and was eventually convinced that Theism is correct.

      That's news to me. I know that Martin is a committed Thomist (like Feser), and has a blog called Rocket Philosophy where he has written extensively about his philosophical beliefs, and assumes the mantle of the wise teacher of philosophy.

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    4. Ya that was a long time ago, before he had started his blog and before I had moved to the US, so that means at the very least 6 years already! And yes, Rocket Philosophy is his blog, on which we had discussions... that he erased because I am such an irrational person that he could not stand having my words available publicly on his blog anymore. Funny and sad!

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    5. Hmm. I wonder if he erased my comments. I haven't looked.

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  4. I have had discussions with martin, too. His arguments are poor, and he can't stand to be challenged. In that regard, he's a lot like Stan. But at least Martin doesn't claim to know more about science than scientists do.

    That's funny, Skep, because Martin says that when you don't understand something, you argue against it.

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    1. Martin tried to argue (see comments here) that Aquinas' cosmological argument is based on the concept of "essentially ordered causation", which I understand (and you can see Feser's discussion of the topic, for example), but as someone who understands causation from a more scientific perspective, I disagree. Instead I attempted to explain to him how causation works in the physical world, and it went completely over his head. Martin buys into the medieval metaphysics of Thomism, and doesn't question the scientific validity of any of it. He assumes that if I don't agree with it, then I just don't understand it. He's wrong.

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  5. So following links to Martin's blog, it seems that JB wanted to stir the pot more, posting on the latest post with nothing but pointing fingers, and nothing else to say. But he also did that on Stan's blog, where I tried to be super nice. This doesn't make a difference, JB didn't engaged again, Steven Satak wrote insults and Stan banned me again after I said we shouldn't comment on Stan blog out of respect for him.

    WOW!

    *SMH*

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    1. I hadn't noticed those latest comments at Martin's blog. If that doesn't fit the definition of a troll, I don't know what does. He's just showing up out of the blue to make disparaging comments like that. I think he's trying to get me banned in as many places as possible. What an ass.

      When it comes to sites like Atheism Analyzed, I'll wear it as a badge of honor.

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