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11 years ago

First, look at this:

http://creationsafaris.com/ar_dinic.htm

The Laws of Chance

Could chance create life?  Few seem to realize how dumb chance is.  If you randomly selected 10 numbered coins, it would take 10 billion tries to expect to get them in order 1 through 10.   Selecting day and night, every 5 seconds, chance would take 1500 years—just to count to ten!  How much longer to create life?

Some people claim that improbable things can happen.  “In enough time,” they say, “a million monkeys typing on a million typewriters could reproduce the works of Shakespeare.”

This is a faulty analogy, because:
1. There isn’t enough time. The universe had a beginning, far too recently for chance.
2. Typewriters break down, and monkeys get distracted—and die.
3. The letters don’t remain on the page!  In the “primordial soup,”  where life supposedly arose by chance, the useful molecules would have been destroyed faster than they could have formed.

Point one ASSUMES that the Earth is too young, since these Creationists are already attached to the notion that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. Point two ignores that both typewriters and monkeys can be replaced. Point three is also an unfounded assumption. Molecules can be assembled in increasingly complex arrangements in an organic soup in certain conditions. Only in extreme heat or other radiation would complex molecules be torn into smaller parts.

On another page of this website, we find a long list of logical fallacies.

http://creationsafaris.com/crevbd.htm

Among them we find:

Circular Reasoning (begging the question, special pleading, petitio principii, a priori reasoning)
Definition:  Assuming what needs to be proved.

Either-Or Fallacy (false dichotomy)
Definition:  Presenting only two possible alternatives when others are justified.

Which these Creationists are themselves guilty of!

Returning to http://creationsafaris.com/ar_dinic.htm, we find:

The Eye

Your eyes are better than any computerized closed-circuit TV system, producing color, stereoscopic high-resolution motion pictures.  Each lens is made up of 22,000 fine layers of transparent cells stacked in rows like crystalline bricks.  Unlike man-made lenses, it has a graduated index of refraction, and is flexible, allowing variable focus (try that with glass lenses!).  It has a diaphragm (iris) that can adjust to light intensities of 1000 to 1.  The cornea is slightly flattened to minimize spherical aberration.  The inside of the eye is dark to reduce stray reflection.  It has its own lubrication system, protective shields and a system of muscles to move both eyeballs in tandem.

The eye can also detect brightness differences of 100 million to one.  The retina has 125 million rods and cones; rods act like a high-speed black and white film, and cones act like a fine-grain color film that can perceive eight million differences in color.  Muscles keep the image moving so as not to saturate these delicate cells.  The center of the retina is densely packed with cones, each with its own optic nerve leading to the brain.  Your eyes operate without your conscious effort, and can work for a lifetime without needing repairs.

At the logical fallacies page, we find

Card Stacking  (selective use of evidence)
Definition:  Listing all the points in your favor while ignoring the serious points against it.

Serious points against the vertebrate eye being designed by intelligence are found here:

The eyes of vertebrates

Even more damning is that the wiring of the retinas of vertebrates are done BACKWARDS, with the cones and rods embedded underneath the optic nerve fibers, thus making the fibers highly vulnerable to damage! This also results in a “blind spot” where the optic nerve leaves the eye. By contrast, the eyes of cephalopods are wired forwards, with the neural receptors on top of the fibers and with no blind spots. It would seem that the mutations that created vertebrate eyes, by accident, placed the retinal fibers and the receptors in the wrong order, and because the design was just effective enough to work, there was no cause for natural selection to correct it later.

Finally, all vertebrates have only TWO eyes, which would put the animal at a serious disadvantage if one eye was damaged. Again, this reflects the fact that natural selection usually only gives organisms what they need at the time, without foreseeing what would be most useful to them. The so-called “four-eyed” fish really has only two eyes, but they are highly modified into two sections to enable it to see both underwater and in air at the same time. Don’t you think an Intelligent Designer would have actually given these fish four eyes for real?

Another example of their hypocrisy
11 years ago

http://creationsafaris.com/rc_spin.htm

Creation Science is...

1. A Motivation to FITNESS (Ps 139, I Cor 10:31)

If the body is a product of chance, why not get drunk, experiment, or be lazy?  But if it is a masterpiece of God’s design, it should be kept in peak condition.

Note: Passages like I Tim 4:8 (“bodily exercise profits little”) and II Cor 12:9 (“strength is made perfect in weakness”) and Jer 9:23 (“let not the mighty man boast”) do not argue against exercise, but against boasting about it, and having wrong priorities.  Exercise can even promote godliness because it requires godly attributes such as self-control and discipline.  Prov. 24:5 says “A wise man is strong, and a man of understanding increases power.”

2. A Motivation to WISDOM (Ps 8, Ps 24:1)

Environmental crises are threatening life on earth and require wisdom to sort through complex and competing interests.  Humanists have no foundation for conservation – if evolution were true, why not compete for resources? – but Christians do have a foundation.  Our guiding principle: Psalm 24:1   we are not owners of the planet, but stewards.

I don't recall Darwin or other scientists using evolution as an excuse to "get drunk, experiment, or be lazy" or to "compete for resources"? Plus evolution is NOT merely a matter of chance!

Returning once again to the logical fallacies page, we find:

Straw Man
Definition:  Caricature, making your opponent’s argument seem ridiculous so that it is easily knocked down.

If you are defining logical fallacies, doesn't that imply that you shouldn't be using them yourself?

11 years ago

http://creationsafaris.com/ar_dinic.htm

The Universe and Earth

The universe itself is finely tuned for our existence.  If any of the fundamental quantities of physics were altered, like the constant of gravity or the charge on the electron, life would not be possible.  The solar system we live in has many attributes that would, if altered, rule life out as well; Jupiter, for instance, sweeps most dangerous asteroids and comets safely out of harm’s way.   The earth is massive enough to support a dynamic interior with a solid crust; if much larger, the crust would melt, and life would be impossible.  Earth’s distance from the sun and moon are just right to maintain livable temperatures.  Its tilt allows for seasons and circulation of the atmosphere.  Its moon is the right size and distance for tides to refresh the oceans.  The apparent diameter of the moon is perfectly matched to the apparent diameter of the sun, allowing for the awesome beauty of a solar eclipse.  Other “coincidences” could be cited.

This sounds like confusing cause and effect. Life on Earth is adapted via natural selection to the specific conditions of Earth, but that does not prove that Earth was made for life by a higher power. Also, while life as we know it might not be possible in a different universe, maybe some other kind of life could arise. And how does that square with the mass extinctions we know occured, possibly due to those "dangerous asteroids and comets". Why would a Creator even allow such thing in His heavens at all?

http://creationsafaris.com/crevbd.htm

Non-Sequitur
Definition:  “It doesn’t follow” – confusion between cause and effect; bad use of syllogism.

This post was modified from its original form on 19 Nov, 14:32
More nonsense here!
10 years ago

http://www.creationministries.org/faq.html

5. Are you concerned that scientists will one day find proof of our origins?

They’ve already found volumes of proofs but they have made accepting their findings an impossibility by ruling out the correct cause of our origins before they started their testing. Take a group of mathematicians, for instance, who have ruled out the number 2. No matter what, 2 can not be considered as a possible answer. Next, they set out to answer the equation 1 + 1=? Well, they’ve made it impossible to come to the correct conclusion, unless they are willing to admit their initial assumption was wrong.
Likewise, "billions of years leading to Darwinism" biased science (falsely so-called - 1 Timothy 6:20) rules out Creation as even a consideration. No matter how many principles of science Darwinism violates, no matter how much evidence screams intelligent design or global flood, etc, special creation is not allowed to be considered. They’ve ruled out the correct answer based on their religious bias and therefore, unless they accept that their religious assumptions are wrong, they will never arrive at the true answer to our origins. My hope is that God will allow science to continue to find that His Word is true. Word for Word and cover to cover!

This is an assertion based on no evidence whatsoever. How can they condemn us for being biased, then? Creationism is not so much "ruled out" as it is proclaimed as non-science because there is NO WAY to rule it out (because the Creation could still have used natural selection as His tool for creating)! But as long as hypotheses based on the theory of evolution are consistent with all the evidence we have available for testing, evolution is considered scientifically valid.

From the Uncommon Descent blog
9 years ago

12 March 2009A Word About Our Moderation PolicyBarry Arrington

Some commenters have raised questions regarding the propriety of recent posts and UD’s moderation policy. UD’s moderation policy is fairly simple: As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opening this site up to nasty juvenile name-calling fests like one see so often at Panda’s Thumb.  But if you keep your comments restricted to ideas and not attacking people, you should have no problems passing muster here.

What about the “God-bashing” and the defenses of God that have appeared in these pages? God can take care of Himself. We at UD feel no need to protect Him from defamation. Bash away. Those who are offended by (or disagree with) the bashing are welcome to post such defenses as they deem appropriate. There are limits, however. This site is not intended to be a forum for extensive religious debates. Religious issues inevitably come up from time to time and people should feel free to discuss them from both sides when they do. But the moderators will exercise their judgment and gavel discussions that stray too far a field from the purpose of this site for too long.

I personally find the God-bashing disturbing. So why do I allow it? As one of my colleagues has aptly said, the wiser course, when someone attacks God is to let those UD commenters who are theists respond to the charges. Our readers will then be in a position to see: (1) that UD, unlike the Darwinists, doesn’t ban or censor ideas; and (2) that theism in general and Christianity in particular is quite capable of defending itself against lies, distortions, illogical arguments, and misunderstandings. Our role is not to censor ideas but to provide a forum where hard questions can be discussed calmly, fully, and fairly, and we trust that when that happens truth will prevail.

Certainly there is risk to this approach. Some will reject truth and embrace error. But the consequences of pursuing the alternative course – ignoring or even running from the hard questions – would be far worse.

Finally, some have asked whether we should even discuss “eripheral issues” at UD, such as Darwin’s racism or the implications of ID for the theodicy. This site is devoted not only to scientific theories of origins, but also to the metaphysical and moral implications of those theories. Plainly BOTH Darwinism and ID have implications beyond the science. Certainly Darwinsts like “intellectually fulfilled” atheist Richard Dawkins understand the metaphysical implications of Darwinism and talk about those implications ad nauseum. What hypocritical balderdash for anyone to suggest a double standard prohibiting those of us with a different point of view from doing the exact same thing from our perspective – and we will continue to do so.

And then a few days later:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/note-to-ud-contributors/

15 March 2009Note to UD ContributorsBarry Arrington

The moderation policy does not apply to you; you are held to a higher standard. I expect your posts to have at least some tangential relationship to Darwinism, ID, or the metaphysical or moral implications of each. The purpose of this site is not to provide a place for you to jump up and rant on one of your pet peeves.  DaveScot will no longer be posting at UD.

See here for more details:

http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2009/03/memory_hole_preserving_a_post.php

Uncommon hypocrisy
9 years ago

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/uncommon_hypocrisy.php

Category: Creationism
Posted on: March 30, 2009 2:54 PM, by PZ Myers

I thought that silly Intelligent Design blog, Uncommon Descent, was going to have a new and enlightened comment policy, in which people would be allowed to criticize ID without risk of deletion. That's what they said, at least. You knew it couldn't be true: they're already sharpening the knives to get rid of a persistent critic.

Someone by the name of skeech is cluttering up UD with impervious sophistry and wasting a lot of our time.

His/her latest thesis is that "according to biologists…" there is a "credible possibility that small incremental changes could have developed massive increases in biological information in a short time -- followed by stasis."

So, skeech assures us that "biologists" are universally agreed upon this proposition?

Yes, biologists are universally agreed upon that. Skeech was being very conservative in his description — it's more than a 'credible possibility', both relatively rapid changes and patterns of stasis have been demonstrated. The "this and this" mentioned were links I won't repeat to the absurd Phil Skell and some ID guy at an evangelical Christian college. I guess those are the "biologists" he's talking about (Skell, by the way, is a chemist). I'll have to remember to waggle my fingers in the universal air-quotes gesture whenever I'm talking about the "biologists" on the side of creationism.

Then the real foolishness begins.

Darwinian evolutionary theory is a boiling, ever-changing, amorphous cloud that is impenetrable and completely immune to critical analytical scrutiny. It was designed that way, for obvious reasons.

That's an amazing glimpse into the creationist mindset — apparently, they see design everywhere. Evolutionary theory was not designed. It evolved. There are a great many contributors to it, all pushing the boundaries in different directions, which is why grasping the depth of the idea is beyond these guys — it takes a lot of work to keep up with the literature, and the details can be bewildering (just try keeping up with all the comparative molecular biology work on developmental genes, for instance; it's a deluge of papers right now). However, the core principles are straightforward and can be grasped by most people with a little effort.

Now watch: the angry kook emerges. How often has poor Albert Einstein's corpse been dragged out and made to dance in defense of every new loony idea?

It should be noted that the "scientific" consensus in the early 20th century was the steady-state universe theory (that is, the universe is eternal, and has no beginning and no end). Those subscribing to the consensus were wrong (including Albert Einstein), and they put up a big fight until the end, when the evidence became overwhelming.

Continental drift theory was also ridiculed.

Wegener was the first to use the phrase "continental drift" (1912, 1915)… During Wegener's lifetime, his theory of continental drift was severely attacked by leading geologists, who viewed him as an outsider meddling in their field.

Where's Galileo? He forgot Galileo! We need to be able to use the "They laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown" line! I need closure.

Oh, well. The operative phrase up there is "the evidence became overwhelming". The evidence for Intelligent Design creationism is less than overwhelming; it's definitely not at the level of "impressive". It hasn't even reached "thought-provoking" or even "hmmm…maybe". It seems to be stuck at "non-existent". They can invoke Einstein and Wegener as patron saints when they actually have something persuasive other than their religious certainty that there must be a designer.

The criticism we always hear from Darwinists is: Outsiders are not permitted to question the dogma, because they don't understand the subtleties and the "science."

You're allowed to question it, of course. It's just that when your criticisms reveal a dazzling degree of ignorance of basic biology, we're going to laugh and dismiss your arguments out of hand. And of course, evolution is science — it's not the ersatz "science" beloved of creationists.

Uncommon hypocrisy, part 2
9 years ago

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/uncommon_hypocrisy.php

The essence of Darwinian philosophy, presented as "science," takes about 15 minutes to learn and understand: Random variation and natural selection explain everything -- never mind the details, we'll make up stories later to explain away the anomalies, contradictions, and improbabilities.

In the meantime, just have faith, and don't ask any annoying questions.

This is not science, it's religious indoctrination.

Wait, what happened to the "amorphous cloud"? Suddenly evolution is something you can grasp in 15 minutes. Yes, it's true, though: random variation and selection are the basic principles that explain everything. But no, the details are important — we've got a century and a half worth of details, evidence, that we can go over. It'll take a lot more than 15 minutes. We don't need to make up stories (even though some do, admittedly), we can leave that to the defenders of myth.

I am amused that that little UD rant was prompted by a guy asking annoying questions, getting the administrators of UD to complain falsely that real science doesn't let you ask annoying questions, while they do their best to suppress critics who ask annoying questions. The growing hypocrisy is just one more reason their blog is increasingly irrelevant…that and their vacuity.

Isn't it nice of me to give them a link that will vastly increase their traffic? I should probably stop doing that.