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Darwin's Birthday, Interventionism's Infancy


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February 12th is Darwin's 201st birthday. On that day, coming give a sermon at the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford -- the liberal-thinking place I always loved to attend on Sunday mornings -- will be the Rt Reverend Professor Dr Sir John Polkinghorne. He was always my great, great hero among all academics. You could say he was to Cambridge what Keith Ward is to Oxford: *the* big name in the overlap between science and religion (he's a theoretical physicist). He's coming to speak about evolution, presumably to present a liberal's case for reconciling Christianity with Darwinian theory.

 

I first met him about 15 years ago, when I was in my late-ish tewnties and he I think was still the Master of Queens' College Cambridge, in the gents' toilet of the Oxford union. Over the urinal, we talked and I mentioned my name. He instantly recognised it as he knew my book -- and academic philosophy of science text, incorporating Christian theology at the end -- and said he'd found it really interesting. He was delighted to meet me, even if we were both urinating at the time ;-).

 

Then, I believed in Darwinian theory, albeit with a theistic skew; I believed in academic science; I believed in the Jesus narrative; I believed in the expanding universe thoery (associated with big bang theory). Now I don't believe in any of those. When I sit next to him at Chapel lunch (which I very possibly will), I don't know whether he will recognise me -- and I say that not in the physical sense, as I'm fifteen years older, but also in the doxastic (i.e. belief-centred) sense. I don't believe in any of those, now. I wonder what I ought to say to him.

 

Anyhow, in a different section on this group, there have been repeated calls for a new thread, in this section, introducing people here to Interventionism -- the most famous protagonist of which is Lloyd Pye -- as an alternative to Darwinian theory. The following piece is a Must Read for all those interested in the idea that there might be holes in Darwinian theory:

 

http://www.whale.to/b/pye.html .

 

Next up: big bang theory gets the same treatment as Darwinian theory.

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I only have one question, if all of these theories are unsupported by evidence and yours are so well supported, why do you think your ideas are rejected by the scientific community?

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I only have one question, if all of these theories are unsupported by evidence and yours are so well supported, why do you think your ideas are rejected by the scientific community?

 

This is easy to answer -- it's all in that Lloyd Pye article (they're not *my* theories, as you suggest). They are all cowards who get rejected by their peers if they speak heresy, and thereby contradict the work of their seniors. The research grants go to those who conform.

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So the shared markers in the DNA has no meaning? The aliens made it that way to make it look like we are related to the primates?

 

You'll have to expand, as I am not a genetic biologist.

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So the shared markers in the DNA has no meaning? The aliens made it that way to make it look like we are related to the primates?

 

You'll have to expand, as I am not a genetic biologist.

By looking at the DNA and the mutations, we share more mutations with the chimps than we do with other apes. And we share more mutations with primate than we share with other species.

 

The shared mutations were either created by a designer to point us in the wrong direction or we share ancestry.

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So the shared markers in the DNA has no meaning? The aliens made it that way to make it look like we are related to the primates?

 

You'll have to expand, as I am not a genetic biologist.

By looking at the DNA and the mutations, we share more mutations with the chimps than we do with other apes. And we share more mutations with primate than we share with other species.

 

The shared mutations were either created by a designer to point us in the wrong direction or we share ancestry.

 

I don't think we can really know what any of this amounts to, given that we share more than 65% of our DNA with... wait for it... bananas.

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I don't think we can really know what any of this amounts to, given that we share more than 65% of our DNA with... wait for it... bananas.

And?

 

We share about 95% (or more) DNA with the chimps. And slightly less with gorillas. And even slightly less with monkeys. And even less with lemurs. And so on.

 

Of course we share DNA with bananas. We share DNA with all living things. And depending on how far away we are in the ancestral tree, we will share different amounts of mutations.

 

There are synonymous point mutations that we share, as humans, and animals. And we share non-coding DNA sequences with the chimps. Why would non-coding DNA exist at all if it was designed? Such a waste!

 

We can see the exact same pattern between shared ancestry between human beings today. Markers have been an important tool to establish how Homo neandertalis and Homo sapiens migrated from Africa.

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We share about 95% (or more) DNA with the chimps. And slightly less with gorillas. And even slightly less with monkeys. And even less with lemurs. And so on.

 

Of course we share DNA with bananas. We share DNA with all living things. And depending on how far away we are in the ancestral tree, we will share different amounts of mutations.

 

There are synonymous point mutations that we share, as humans, and animals. And we share non-coding DNA sequences with the chimps. Why would non-coding DNA exist at all if it was designed? Such a waste!

 

We can see the exact same pattern between shared ancestry between human beings today. Markers have been an important tool to establish how Homo neandertalis and Homo sapiens migrated from Africa.

 

 

I thought Lloyd Pye's point, or (implicit) hypothesis, was that it has been a process of progressive splicing, mixing and matching, and general exercising of lab techniques to get the desired results.

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Nothing in science has greater evidence than the mechanism of evolution. I suggest studying at least a little science before adopting any crackpot theories about it.

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I thought Lloyd Pye's point, or (implicit) hypothesis, was that it has been a process of progressive splicing, mixing and matching, and general exercising of lab techniques to get the desired results.

Are you saying that Pye's hypothesis is that the scientists doing the DNA comparisons are lying and constructing the evidence?

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I only have one question, if all of these theories are unsupported by evidence and yours are so well supported, why do you think your ideas are rejected by the scientific community?

 

This is easy to answer -- it's all in that Lloyd Pye article (they're not *my* theories, as you suggest). They are all cowards who get rejected by their peers if they speak heresy, and thereby contradict the work of their seniors. The research grants go to those who conform.

 

 

Bah, I was expecting something interesting, not the rank conspiracy theories I have heard a thousand times. No evidence for any of your claims, no big deal because no evidence is exactly what you would find if there was a conspiracy right? All this amounts to is a self fulfilling delusion. Everyone got it wrong except this one brilliant guy and his few kooky followers....please.

 

If the evidence was truly as strong as you suggest it WOULD become real science eventually. When Einstein published relativity he was dismised as crazy by most physicists but over a period of about two decades the studies done proved his theory until the physicists who didn't believe him were dismissed as crazy. Science can, and HAS gone through such transitions multiple times so your claims of some dark shadowy conspiracy among scientists does just not fit the facts.

 

Give me a break, you are not a skeptic.

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I don't think we can really know what any of this amounts to, given that we share more than 65% of our DNA with... wait for it... bananas.

 

Are you trying to disprove evolution with this statement?.....because if so, you suck at it.

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Are you trying to disprove evolution with this statement?.....because if so, you suck at it.

Be nice now. This is the Colosseum, and he wanted a place to talk about his views on this topic.

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Are you saying that Pye's hypothesis is that the scientists doing the DNA comparisons are lying and constructing the evidence?

 

You'll have to elaborate as to which comparisons you are talking about but I can only say that fudging and biased selectivity in regard to publication is indemic to the culture of research-level science, as has been confirmed to me repeatedly through my own experiences and through those of others.

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Are you saying that Pye's hypothesis is that the scientists doing the DNA comparisons are lying and constructing the evidence?

 

You'll have to elaborate as to which comparisons you are talking about but I can only say that fudging and biased selectivity in regard to publication is indemic to the culture of research-level science, as has been confirmed to me repeatedly through my own experiences and through those of others.

Like Pye's own research? So if I can't trust any scientist or their results, should I still trust a non-scientist fiction writer for having the Truth™?

 

There are multiple tests done, by different people and different scientists, so you are basically suggesting that there is a whole worldwide conspiracy to flat out lie about the results from DNA sequencing. I find that extremely hard to accept.

 

Consider that scientists are competing about recognition, which leads to many scientists actually trying to replicate other scientists experiments and find faults with them. There is a level of recognition to find errors in other scientists work, so I don't subscribe to the notion that they all work together as a unit to lie, fudge, and deceive everyone and each other.

 

Sorry. Pye's conspiracy hypothesis does not sound plausible.

 

And when it comes to specific facts, comparisons, etc regarding evolution, I do not consider myself to be here to educate you about it. I'm just trying to get your view on these issues.

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When Einstein published relativity he was dismised as crazy by most physicists but over a period of about two decades the studies done proved his theory until the physicists who didn't believe him were dismissed as crazy. Science can, and HAS gone through such transitions multiple times so your claims of some dark shadowy conspiracy among scientists does just not fit the facts.

 

 

Wrong again. Read this:

 

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/academ/whatswrongwithrelativity.html

 

Don't forget that you, if you are a 'true ex-Christian', were once parroting the kind of things a preacher said, to those who asked probing questions about Jesus. Now you seem to be parroting the rhetoric of Dawkins and his lap dogs. It's time to change yourself *from the soul*.

 

I submitted the link to Lloyd Pye's work not because I myself am going to get any kind of a lift from it, but because I thought it might interest people. I am not going to keep wasting my time with slaggings-off, the likes of which I was subjected to in the Rants and Replies section. I thought the Colosseum was supposed to be better in this regard. It's up to you whether or not you want to be seriously critical -- or, instead, ludicrously dismissive -- of what authors who present alternative theses have to say, but don't expect me to be part of any bickering.

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Sorry. It's not worth serous consideration. Referring to those who have actually studied science and reached consensus through repeated experiments, trials and studies as "lap dogs" is not helpful as regards your dislike of bickering.

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There are multiple tests done, by different people and different scientists, so you are basically suggesting that there is a whole worldwide conspiracy to flat out lie about the results from DNA sequencing. I find that extremely hard to accept.

 

Consider that scientists are competing about recognition, which leads to many scientists actually trying to replicate other scientists experiments and find faults with them. There is a level of recognition to find errors in other scientists work, so I don't subscribe to the notion that they all work together as a unit to lie, fudge, and deceive everyone and each other.

 

Sorry. Pye's conspiracy hypothesis does not sound plausible.

 

If you want to inflate the whole thing by using language such as 'worldwide conspiracy', it's up to you. But if you go any distance up the research ladder in academe, you'll realise that this is not any conspiracy theory, it's just the way it is. It has long been as such. Why do you think no theological journals publish the all-important debate over the authenticity of Josephus' Golden Testimony (a forgery, of course)? I am afraid there are agenda that simply permeate everything, to the cost of freedom of the diffusion of evidence and reason. Here's an extremely good website on that subject:

http://www.suppressedscience.net/

-- although I really don't want any more abuse from list members for having posted another link of this 'alternative' orientation. People here can take it or leave it.

 

And remeber, of course, what I said, in the Rants and Replies section, about Dawkins being an academic bully. It only takes a few letters written by the likes of him -- containing the odd veiled threat -- to the appropriate editors, to maintain the academic status quo when things get uneasy.

Incidentally, what do you make of Climategate? </rhetoricalquestioning>

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So the shared markers in the DNA has no meaning? The aliens made it that way to make it look like we are related to the primates?

 

You'll have to expand, as I am not a genetic biologist.

By looking at the DNA and the mutations, we share more mutations with the chimps than we do with other apes. And we share more mutations with primate than we share with other species.

 

The shared mutations were either created by a designer to point us in the wrong direction or we share ancestry.

 

I don't think we can really know what any of this amounts to, given that we share more than 65% of our DNA with... wait for it... bananas.

 

Not only that, but they are perfectly shaped for the human hand and conveniently wrapped for freshness and sanitation. :HaHa:

 

Don't get mad; I'm just having fun. I can't dismiss Pye until I've read him, can I? But before I check him out, I have one observation: Doesn't this sort of thing just kick the can down the road? Is it turtles all the way down, or do we get to a creator at some point?

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Referring to those who have actually studied science

 

Yeh, well it might come as a surprise, but I myself have done as much -- and no, I am not just an Internet scientist.

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If you want to inflate the whole thing by using language such as 'worldwide conspiracy', it's up to you.

But it would be worldwide. :shrug:

 

But if you go any distance up the research ladder in academe, you'll realise that this is not any conspiracy theory, it's just the way it is. It has long been as such.

I see.

 

Why do you think no theological journals publish the all-important debate over the authenticity of Josephus' Golden Testimony (a forgery, of course)?

Theology? I thought we were talking about science and scientists?

 

I am afraid there are agenda that simply permeate everything,

An "agenda" is exactly what a "conspiracy" is. You say it's not a conspiracy, yet there is an agenda.

 

 

to the cost of freedom of the diffusion of evidence and reason. Here's an extremely good website on that subject:

http://www.suppressedscience.net/

-- although I really don't want any more abuse from list members for having posted another link of this 'alternative' orientation. People here can take it or leave it.

I looked up Hueyatlaco, and it seems like there have been some studies done. It's an anomaly, that's true, but it doesn't speak against evolution. It only speaks against the possibility of an earlier migration of hominids.

 

And remeber, of course, what I said, in the Rants and Replies section, about Dawkins being an academic bully. It only takes a few letters written by the likes of him -- containing the odd veiled threat -- to the appropriate editors, to maintain the academic status quo when things get uneasy.

Incidentally, what do you make of Climategate? </rhetoricalquestioning>

I have mixed feelings about the whole global warming story. I think there's some truths and some politics in it.

 

But I do find the evidence for evolution to be many times stronger than any evidence for global warming. I have studied live apes and looked at fossils. I have read about the results from experiments and sequencing of DNA. The only way those things would be wrong would be if scientist not only fudge the truth, but blatantly construct lies. And as I said, I find that very hard to believe.

 

Just by a cursory comparison of the pages you've linked to, and the very detailed research papers I've seen, your websites do not stand a chance. They don't carry the weight of deepness and thoroughness of a true study.

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But I do find the evidence for evolution to be many times stronger than any evidence for global warming. I have studied live apes and looked at fossils. I have read about the results from experiments and sequencing of DNA. The only way those things would be wrong would be if scientist not only fudge the truth, but blatantly construct lies. And as I said, I find that very hard to believe.

 

Just by a cursory comparison of the pages you've linked to, and the very detailed research papers I've seen, your websites do not stand a chance. They don't carry the weight of deepness and thoroughness of a true study.

 

All I can say is

 

1) A skilled researcher can package and present a finding -- whether it be to do with DNA sequences or anything else -- in such a way that it looks entirely consistent with orthodox findings, even when it is not. That's an old one.

 

2) I sent the Pye article to my sister, who is a Professor of zoology at a leading University in the UK (and whose tutor, as a I said, was Dawkins). She didn't reply. I sent it to her again, pressing her for a response. Again. she didn't reply. And I sent it round other academic biologists. Likewise, they all just keep silent. My challenge to you is to find an academic biologist who has a serious rebuttal of Pye. Surely, not *all* of them would just dismiss it as rubbish -- even if it was rubbish -- without saying *why*?

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All I can say is

 

1) A skilled researcher can package and present a finding -- whether it be to do with DNA sequences or anything else -- in such a way that it looks entirely consistent with orthodox findings, even when it is not. That's an old one.

Ok. But it would be a large amount of scientists doing this on a consistent basis.

 

I can't trust Pye to be any better. He's not even a scientist, and I should trust him more?

 

So why shouldn't I believe a Mormon or a Christian when they come and present the same kind of "don't trust the scientists, trust me," argument?

 

2) I sent the Pye article to my sister, who is a Professor of zoology at a leading University in the UK (and whose tutor, as a I said, was Dawkins). She didn't reply. I sent it to her again, pressing her for a response. Again. she didn't reply. And I sent it round other academic biologists. Likewise, they all just keep silent. My challenge to you is to find an academic biologist who has a serious rebuttal of Pye. Surely, not *all* of them would just dismiss it as rubbish -- even if it was rubbish -- without saying *why*?

I think they're just dismissing it as fringe crackpot pseudo-science.

 

You're still strongly suggesting that there is some kind of conspiracy.

 

And I have looked into a couple of rebuttals of Pye. They are out there. You just have to look. Not everyone can jump at every crackpots new "theory" and refute them. People do not have time to be busy refuting every crazy idea that's out there.

 

I looked a little at Pye's "findings" with the starchild (I think it was called), and I found scientists who refuted it, and I think the scientists explanation made a lot more sense than Pye's.

 

I have to go with what is more reasonable and make more sense.

 

If we just accepted every little fringe idea, then gravity is caused by invisible pixies and socks disappear from the laundry room because of sock-gnomes.

 

Are there scientists who fudge the data? Absolute. I don't doubt that. But to this extent? Highly unlikely.

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I can't trust Pye to be any better. He's not even a scientist,

 

 

On what grounds do you say this? Is it just because he got fed up with being immured in academe and went off to be a novelist (among other things)?

Incidentally, 'science' and 'scientist' are well recognised as being so nebulous as to be worthless in any assessment of credentials. Anyone can call themselves a scientist.

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