A Trojan Horse for Creationism

A Trojan Horse for Creationism

There are 1536 comments on the Truthdig story from Mar 8, 2013, titled A Trojan Horse for Creationism. In it, Truthdig reports that:

I watched in shock the summer before my sophomore year of high school as my home state, Louisiana, passed a law that opened the door for the teaching of creationism.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Truthdig.

The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1315 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
Intelligent Design .. a lesson in probabilities
Let's say I dump onto the floor one million tooth picks .. and spread them out over a wide area ...
total random placements .. right ??.. no design .. no guidance .. all the tooth picks landing where ever nature deems .. right ??
How long will it be before I could discover a letter of the alphabet or a number ??.. The probabilities would be rather good .. right ??....
I think I see a "4" .. and there's a couple of "Tees" .. oh, there's an "H" .. and I've got "Xs" all over the place .... so far so good .. right ??
Now how about a word .... there's an "IT" ...
over there is the word "AT" .. you get the idea ?.. still not much of a problem .. well .. let's kick it up a notch ..
How long would you stare at these tooth picks before you see the word "TRANSPORTATION" ??..
My guess is that you could stare all day and all night for however long you desire to stare .. good luck ... Or how about this one ..
How long until you see a 13 word sentence: "JACK AND JILL RAN UP THE HILL TO FETCH A PAIL OF WATER" .. How many years of your life do you have ??..
This is starting to sound ridiculous ( correct ).. Oh, but wait .. there is still more ...
How long will it take in-order for those one million tooth picks to "accidently" spell out the Gettysburg Address (1863)??
all correct spelling and punctuation ....
Nice analogy. But English is not the only language. Numbers are all there, each toothpick itself is a number "1". That means we can find any number we like from 1 to one million. You did not realise this because your understanding of reality is severely limited. Plus your analogy also doesn't take natural selection into account.

Plus also notice that you are COMPLETELY reliant on analogies.

You have never once been able to provide direct evidence.

Wonder why that is?
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1316 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
"natural selection"
you see folks .. this is where the atheists
Atheism?

Darn man, you know this is just an admission that your alternative to science is Goddidit with magic?
His-truth wrote:
get real stupid ... they attempt to mix the concept of Un-unconscious un-guided .. chaotic-randomized / space and earth driven / natural forces and processes .. no design ... no intelligence
.. and the word "selection" ... inorder to "select" something .. one must first have a mind / a thought / a decision / a plan / an agenda / a conclusion and a satisfaction of that conclusion ... can a bag of lifeless dead hammers "select" anything ???... it takes intelligence to recognize intelligence ... sorry atheists ... but willful ignorance won't get you there ... and I'm sure your little box of denial is very comforting .. carry on
Not really. Your hammers example is not even relevant as it's not even a working analogy. Your toothpick example at least was, even though it was seriously flawed to the point where it broke down completely.

If we have a bunch of elk with half that have lost their fur due to a mutation, then all of a sudden they are thrust into a new ice age, which group will have a better chance of surviving? The bald elk or furred elk?

No you can go ahead and tell us this ice age was a deliberate act by God. Keep in mind that you won't find many meteorologists today saying weather patterns are the workings of invisible deities.

“the end-times is now”

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#1317 Mar 17, 2013
"If you step off the edge of a building a natural process [gravity] will guide you to the ground"

yes indeed .......

right ... now .. apply that same natural process to the ordering and sequencing in DNA .. quite another story indeed

“the end-times is now”

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#1318 Mar 17, 2013
The Dude wrote:
No you can go ahead and tell us this ice age was a deliberate act by God. Keep in mind that you won't find many meteorologists today saying weather patterns are the workings of invisible deities
I'll teach you once again ......

The difference between patterns and codes

PATTERNS occur naturally .. no help required from a 'designer'... Many patterns occur in nature without the help of a designer .. snowflakes .. tornadoes .. hurricanes .. sand dunes .. stalactites .. rivers and ocean waves ... These patterns are the natural result of what scientists categorize as chaos and fractals .. These things are well-understood and we experience them every day

CODES .. however .. do not occur without a designer ... Examples of symbolic codes include music .. blueprints .. languages like English and Chinese .. computer programs .. and yes .. DNA

The essential distinction is the difference between a pattern and a code .. Chaos can produce patterns .. but chaos has never been shown to produce codes or symbols ... Codes and symbols store information .. which is not a property of matter and energy alone .. Information itself is a separate entity.

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#1319 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
"If you step off the edge of a building a natural process [gravity] will guide you to the ground"
yes indeed .......
right ... now .. apply that same natural process to the ordering and sequencing in DNA .. quite another story indeed
Yeah, gravity would not have much effect on DNA. But put it under the natural processes of chemistry and evolution will result.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1320 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
<quoted text>
blah blah .......
Frequently described as “the Cambrian Explosion,” the development of these new animal types required a massive increase in genetic information.“The big question that the Cambrian Explosion poses is where does all that new information come from?” says Dr. Stephen Meyer, a featured expert in the documentary and author of the book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. Growing evidence suggests that the creation of novel genetic information requires intelligence, and thus the burst of genetic information during the Cambrian Explosion provides convincing evidence that animal life is the product of intelligent design rather than a blind undirected process like natural selection
Actually the Cambrian explosion is evidence of evolution and zero evidence of ID. That's why Meyer didn't provide any mechanisms. On the other hand soft-bodied organisms of the pre-Cambrian are followed by hard-bodied organisms of the Cambrian. And the "explosion" is due not to a sudden increase of genetic material (which ID cannot account for) but rather that fossilization became far more common after organisms developed hard-bodied shells.

As usual even the big fancy-smart ID "scientists" are avoiding telling us what the "scientific theory" of ID is. Just like you.

So seriously H-t, since even the big heavy-hitters such as Meyer are such complete failures, what chance did you think YOU had coming here, eh?

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#1321 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
<quoted text>
I'll teach you once again ......
The difference between patterns and codes
PATTERNS occur naturally .. no help required from a 'designer'... Many patterns occur in nature without the help of a designer .. snowflakes .. tornadoes .. hurricanes .. sand dunes .. stalactites .. rivers and ocean waves ... These patterns are the natural result of what scientists categorize as chaos and fractals .. These things are well-understood and we experience them every day
CODES .. however .. do not occur without a designer ... Examples of symbolic codes include music .. blueprints .. languages like English and Chinese .. computer programs .. and yes .. DNA
The essential distinction is the difference between a pattern and a code .. Chaos can produce patterns .. but chaos has never been shown to produce codes or symbols ... Codes and symbols store information .. which is not a property of matter and energy alone .. Information itself is a separate entity.
If codes store information then the geologic column is an example of "code". All sorts of information is stored there.

You are trying to bend your definitions so that DNA cannot be considered natural. That is a form of begging the argument. A logical fallacy.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1322 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
pass on their genes .. an agenda
the animal must east more food .. the plan
to survive and in hard times .. a recognition of environment
Smallness may be selected .. oops!! you tripped again
before they mate ... desire ??.. oh yes, the desire
The only desire there is simply to survive. Animals cannot control what genes they pass on, and if you asked most of them probably most wouldn't care what characteristics their lineage would lead to millions of years after they were already dead. Nor could they do much about it if they did.
His-truth wrote:
now .. apply all of this to a bag of "natural" dead hammers
No need. Hammers are not naturally occurring self-replicating organisms. Your analogy fails as always.

“the end-times is now”

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#1323 Mar 17, 2013
did you learn The difference between patterns and codes dude ??..... Y/N
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1324 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
"but it was not the origin of complex life" .. so what was was the origin
"which have relatively complex cells" .. complex indeed ... even more complex than Morse code ?????
"Stromatolites show evidence of microbial life" ... life ??.. now were talking DNA
How did new biochemical pathways .. which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence .. originate ?... Every pathway and nano-machine requires multiple protein/enzyme components to work ... How did lucky accidents create even one of the components .. let alone 10 or 20 or 30 at the same time ..
Simultaneous changes are not necessary. Emergent properties takes care of that.
His-truth wrote:
often in a necessary programmed sequence
"Programmed" by what and how?

Keep skipping, skippy.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1325 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
<quoted text>
FFS = skeerd of thought / typical .. especially thought that contradicts FFS's religion .. you know .. that non-religion of only "tolerant" thought ... psych !!!!!
Actually we're waiting for you to present any thought.

You can't.

Everything you've done is copy-pasted from sources you don't even understand anyway.

And I've asked you every day for a week now to present something that demonstrates your case. If I were intolerant of the possibility of a "scientific theory" of ID I would not have asked you for it many many many times over.

Since: Aug 10

Hollis Center, ME

#1326 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
<quoted text>
FFS = skeerd of thought / typical .. especially thought that contradicts FFS's religion .. you know .. that non-religion of only "tolerant" thought ... psych !!!!!
i never claimed to be non religious. I went to church today, as I do most weeks.

Why are you so afraid of the real point of this thread?

“the end-times is now”

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#1327 Mar 17, 2013
If codes store information then the geologic column is an example of "code". All sorts of information is stored there.

only the information YOU apply ..

Here .. allow me to teach you once again ..

If there are pebbles below a rapids There are pebbles below a rapids .... There is NO CODED INFORMATION associated with them .. unless you measure their size .. in which case you have created information to describe the pebbles ... based on your chosen symbols and units of measurement ... Same with orientation of sand dunes .. layers of hailstone .. Those objects represent only themselves ... there is no encoding / decoding mechanism within these material objects ... such as there is in DNA .... If someone says the layers of a hailstone are an encoding mechanism .. I reply that there is no convention of symbols .. nor is there a decoding mechanism
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1328 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
How did blind chemistry create mind / intelligence .. meaning .. altruism and morality ?
Chemistry does that every day. Since you've provided no alternative intelligent mechanisms instead then there is no reason to presume it even exists.
His-truth wrote:
If everything evolved .. and we invented God .. as per evolutionary teaching ... what purpose or meaning is there to human life ?...
Life is what you make it. Evolution makes no theological claims. So it is not "anti-God".
His-truth wrote:
Should students be learning nihilism (life is meaningless) in science classes ?
Nope, since nihilism is stupid. And far more closer to creationism than you realise. Which is why we've had a number of nihilists coming here arguing against evolution on these very forums in the past.
Gillette

Packwood, IA

#1329 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
<quoted text>
CODES .. however .. do not occur without a designer ... Examples of symbolic codes include music .. blueprints .. languages like English and Chinese .. computer programs .. and yes .. DNA
Codes and symbols store information .. which is not a property of matter and energy alone .. Information itself is a separate entity.
if DNA used public key cryptography based on some base 4 number system with a little computer in the cell to read it, error check it, and flawlessly implement it, that would be evidence for a designer. But that's not what we see AT ALL.

DNA is just a set of sloppy protein recipes. It is full not just of mutations, but of duplication errors of all types, some of which lead to new functions, some of which cause failure, and most of which can corroded into nothingness, but remain forever in our genes.

A designer would occasionally refactor the code--removing the trash and normalizing things--but we don't see this either.

We see most codes for common proteins and enzymes being modified over time, even when the new forms are functionally identical to the old.

This is not something a designer would waste energy on, but it is what you expect of a mindless system that works by amplifying helpful traits, pruning harmful ones, AND IGNORING THE REST.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1330 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
"If you step off the edge of a building a natural process [gravity] will guide you to the ground"
yes indeed .......
right ... now .. apply that same natural process to the ordering and sequencing in DNA .. quite another story indeed
No problem. It's called chemistry. Since that's all DNA **IS**.

You claim intelligence is another valid explanation. Yet you provide zero evidence and zero mechanisms.

That's not our problem.
Gillette

Packwood, IA

#1331 Mar 17, 2013
Creationist Claim CB180:

The genetic code is a language in the normal sense of the term, since it assigns meaning to arbitrary symbols. Language is obviously a non-material category of reality; the symbolic information is distinct from matter and energy. Therefore, life is a manifestation of non-material reality.

Response:

The genetic code is not a true code; it is more of a cypher. DNA is a sequence of four different bases (denoted A, C, G, and T) along a backbone. When DNA gets translated to protein, triplets of bases (codons) get converted sequentially to the amino acids that make up the protein, with some codons acting as a "stop" marker. The mapping from codon to amino acid is arbitrary (not completely arbitrary, but close enough for purposes of argument). However, that one mapping step -- from 64 possible codons to 20 amino acids and a stop signal -- is the only arbitrariness in the genetic code. The protein itself is a physical object whose function is determined by its physical properties.

Furthermore, DNA gets used for more than making proteins. Much DNA is transcribed directly to functional RNA. Other DNA acts to regulate genetic processes. The physical properties of the DNA and RNA, not any arbitrary meanings, determine how they act.

An essential property of language is that any word can refer to any object. That is not true in genetics. The genetic code which maps codons to proteins could be changed, but doing so would change the meaning of all sequences that code for proteins, and it could not create arbitrary new meanings for all DNA sequences. Genetics is not true language.

The word frequencies of all natural languages follow a power law (Zipf's Law). DNA does not follow this pattern (Tsonis et al. 1997).

Language, although symbolic, is still material. For a word to have meaning, the link between the word and its meaning has to be recorded somewhere, usually in people's brains, books, and/or computer memories. Without this material manifestation, language cannot work.
References:

Tsonis, A. A., J. B. Elsner and P. A. Tsonis, 1997. Is DNA a language? Journal of Theoretical Biology 184: 25-29.

“the end-times is now”

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#1332 Mar 17, 2013
"If I were intolerant of the possibility of a "scientific theory" of ID I would not have asked you for it many many many times over. "

all I can say is that a man convinced against his will is un-convinced still .. par for the course
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1333 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
<quoted text>
I'll teach you once again ......
The difference between patterns and codes
PATTERNS occur naturally .. no help required from a 'designer'... Many patterns occur in nature without the help of a designer .. snowflakes .. tornadoes .. hurricanes .. sand dunes .. stalactites .. rivers and ocean waves ... These patterns are the natural result of what scientists categorize as chaos and fractals .. These things are well-understood and we experience them every day
CODES .. however .. do not occur without a designer ... Examples of symbolic codes include music .. blueprints .. languages like English and Chinese .. computer programs .. and yes .. DNA
The essential distinction is the difference between a pattern and a code .. Chaos can produce patterns .. but chaos has never been shown to produce codes or symbols ... Codes and symbols store information .. which is not a property of matter and energy alone .. Information itself is a separate entity.
Repetition, already dealt with. H2O is a code. If information is a separate entity (and I agree) then DNA exists without the need for an intervening intelligence, same way rocks would exist with or without us. Since rocks also contain "information" just as DNA does.

Keep trotting out your fallacious analogies while avoiding presenting direct evidence.

That's the difference between us. We can use analogies to explain things and THEN provide actual direct evidence to support our claims.

You can't.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#1334 Mar 17, 2013
His-truth wrote:
did you learn The difference between patterns and codes dude ??..... Y/N
Yes. You did not. What is the DNA "code"?

Come on H-t, since you claim this is supposed to be so simple you should have no trouble providing it.

I've been waiting since page 1.

That was a week ago.

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