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Initial post: Jan 15, 2013 9:15:52 PM PST
Shouldn't this book be listed under religion or sociology?

Posted on Feb 10, 2013 12:39:06 PM PST
telemantros says:
While religious and philosophical conclusions can be drawn from the scientific data, the emphasis of the argument Meyer makes is from scientific data i.e. DNA and information theory.

Posted on Feb 15, 2013 4:31:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2013 4:34:34 AM PST
T. Makinson says:
No, the "emphasis" is on misrepresentation of the Cambrian expansion, as has been much that Meyer has ever written, since he got his fellow-Creationist Richard Sternberg to publish his 'Hopeless Monster' article under false pretenses.

The 'DNA is digital information' BS is simply window-dressing, and ID has no basis whatsoever in legitimate Information Theory (the 'Law of Conservation of Information' is simply something that William Dembski pulled out of his arse).

Please note that HarperOne is HarperCollins' *religious* imprint ("The most important books across the full spectrum of religion, spirituality, and personal growth"), and has no scientific credibility whatsoever.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 8:18:25 AM PST
telemantros says:
Morning Makinson,

Three brief thoughts. You and I can only anticipate what will be contained in this book (since it is not released yet), however I think your dual claims that Meyer will use a "misrepresentation of the Cambrian expansion" and "DNA digital information" is BS are both, respectfully, ignorant of the scientific work in this area.

Taking the first claim, I doubt Meyer's plan for this book will be a "creationist rehash" of the Cambrian explosion (i.e. look at the rate of change, therefor gradualism is false). Rather, I anticipate that Meyer will point to such events as the Mamilian Radiation, Big Bloom, and Cambrian explosion as representative examples of how higher-level organizational instruction is needed to arrange new body plans and systems, as he has argued elsewhere in peer reviewed articles (e.g. Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004)).

The second claim that DNA is window-dressing and BS is radically shocking. The nobel prize lecturates and winners Watson and Crick have perpetuated a discovery that is BS? DNA as information is BS? I find that claim obtuse. Further findings in information theory and the law of conservation have also been published in peer reviewed journals; just to name two:

A. C. McIntosh, "Information and Entropy - Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009).

William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, Vol. 39(5):1051-1061 (September, 2009).

To sum, I fail to see how either of your claims (that you did not back up with justification) even interact with the peer reviewed information or Meyer's work. To suggest that DNA and information theory is bunk is to do violence to the scientific research. We have to engage the science and not make sweeping generalizations.

Lastly, the idea that if a book is published by a religious organization it is automatically a religions book seems quite odd on its face. For example, in 1971 the eminent philosopher Stuart Hackett wrote a book called "The Resurrection of Theism" originally published by Moody Press (later by Baker). Moody is a religious press, however does this mean that the book on natural theology is religious? I think not. While "religious" conclusions can be drawn (i.e. God exists), this work was philosophical in nature using philosophical argumentation and logic based on phenomena in the world. Likewise, while neither of us can fully know what is in this book (since it is not out yet), I would wager that based on previous works of Meyer's that this book will conclude to an ID conclusion (which needn't be "religious" by the way), based on the scientific data.

Posted on Feb 15, 2013 7:27:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2013 7:50:30 PM PST
T. Makinson says:
WHAT "scientific work"?

Meyer is NOT A PALEONTOLOGIST.

Sternberg, who infamously smuggled in an early version of Meyer's Cambrian claims into his final edition as editor of a journal, is likewise NOT A PALEONTOLOGIST.

The Disco 'Tute, where Meyer works, in spite of the fact that they are continually spewing wild and weird paleontological claims, HAS NO PALEONTOLOGIST ON STAFF.

As far as I know NO PALEONTOLOGIST SUPPORTS HIS CLAIMS (and I would note that you cite no paleontological support for his conclusions).

I therefore feel perfectly justified in claiming that Meyer has NO LEGITIMATE SCIENTIFIC BASIS for his claims.

As to your 'rogue's galley' of supporting actors:

Andy McIntosh: (1) McIntosh is an Engineering Professor (specialising in Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory), and has no expertise in the field of Information Theory. (2) He is a notorious Young Earth Creationist, therefore he is perfectly happy to reject whole scientific fields (geology, cosmology, etc) when they contradict his religious prejudices. This renders him a COMPLETELY non-crediblke witness on anything conflicting with those prejudices. (3) The paper you cite is published in the absolutely worthless 'International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics', published by the Wessex Institute of Technology, a notorious vanity press. You would have difficulty finding a *less* credible citation.

Dembski & Marks: (1) Dembski has no substantive track record in either Information Theory or Mathematics generally. (2) I would likewise note that Marks' expertise (as an Electrical Engineer) is in *applied* information work, not *theoretical*. (3) It is presented in an Engineering journal, not an Information Theory one. (4) It makes no mention of "complex specified information", the long-debunked concept upon which Meyer still bases his information claims. Rather it concentrates on "active information". (5) It makes no explicit claim that this "active information" provides an informational obstacle to evolution (and in fact the co-discoverer of one of the main theorems that the paper cites, the No Free Lunch theorerm, has explicitly stated that it provides no impediment to evolution).

PLEASE CITE where Myer's Informational claims (e.g. those about CSI) have been published in a credible, peer-reviewed Information Theory journal.

A book that is

1) written by somebody with NO RELEVANT SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND but a having a MASSIVE RELIGIOUS AXE TO GRIND,

2) who works for an organisation that has NO SCIENTIFIC CREDIBILITY WHATSOEVER, but likewise a MASSIVE RELIGIOUS AXE TO GRIND,

3) that is published by an imprint that CLAIMS NO SCIENTIFIC EXPERTISE WHATSOEVER, but a clear expertise in RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY

is PATENTLY a religious book.

The topic of "natural theology" is obviously RELIGIOUS NOT SCIENTIFIC. It's intent is explicitly religious, and it makes claims that have no basis in the scientific method.

(Parenthetically, I could find no indication that Hackett was an "eminent philosopher", but clear evidence that he was a Philosopher of *Religion* and that his entire world [institutions where he worked, topics he studied] was *pervasively* dominated by religion. Wouldn't that suggest certain glaring biases and blindspots in his worldview?)

"I would wager that based on previous works of Meyer's", which mimics that of a long line of creationists, going back at least to George McCready Price, that he will base his work upon misrepresented and cherry-picked scientific data, along with a whole series of logical fallacies (most obviously False Dichotomies, but also likely Arguments From Personal Incredulity), to reach conclusions that NO EXPERT IN THE FIELDS would accept.

There is a mountain of evidence (admission, similarity to Christian Theology, lack of scientific basis, etc, etc) that ID is religious. I see no reason to accept the contrary assertion.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 6:28:28 AM PST
telemantros says:
Morning Makinson,

Three brief thoughts.

You are correct in stating that Meyer is not a paleontologist, rather he has degrees in physics, geology, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science (specialty focusing in DNA) from Cambridge. As a philosopher of science, and not just a scientist, this gives Meyer more traction to answer such philosophical questions as, "What counts as science?" the very question we are discussing here, specific to this book (important: this is a philosophical question, not a scientific one). Your points about paleontology are noted, but I think they are irrelevant: again, Meyer's area of study is DNA and information theory. This is applicable to the sudden emergence of information required for new body plans in such events as the Cambrian explosion, Big Bloom and Mamillian radiation. He needn't be a paleontologist to introduce or discuss information theory with such representative examples. I'm hypothesizing here, perhaps you will be right and my anticipations of his argument will be wrong. Time will tell, but I think there is good reason to hold that his argument again will be how higher-level organizational instruction is needed to arrange new body plans and systems ( Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004)).

Secondly, you dropped the discussion on your two original claims that "DNA is window dressing" and BS and the law of CSI was "pulled out of Dembski's ass." You do, however add to the claim against Dembski by saying, "(he) has no substantive track record in ... information theory." Again, I think you would agree, that Information theory (invented by Claude Shannon), and the law of CSI (formulated by Peter Medawar) are viable. Dembski has a degree in mathematics, making your claim that he pulled this well known law from his ass quite odd. Moreover, DNA as information is well known and attributed by names such as nobel winners Wattson and Crick, Richard Dawkins, Bernd-Olaf Kuppers, etc. Instead of attacking the men's credentials, perhaps we should deal with their arguments so we don't commit a logical fallacy of ad hominem.

Lastly, natural theology certainly deals with the existence of God which is religious in a certain sense; however, my point was that this is philosophical reasoning (not theological) with the use of logic and argumentation where God is viewed as a member of an ontology vs. a being of worship (although that may be a corollary). So too with information theory, this is a scientific field which ID conclusions have been drawn (which again are not necessarily religious); it is a scientific work. Theological arguments are not made. People conclude from ID that God exists, but this is not the only conclusion. Moreover, ID is such a broad umbrella that you could hold to all the tenants of neo-darwianism (except the unguided bit), and be under the umbrella of ID. What do you think?

Posted on Feb 16, 2013 9:54:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 9:56:42 AM PST
T. Makinson says:
1) The claim that he has a "specialty focusing in DNA" is patently absurd. There is no Philosophers of DNA. While there are Philosophers of Biology, I have never seen Meyer described as such.

2) That he has no background is NOT "irrelevant" as the Cambrian Expansion is PART OF THE FIELD OF PALEONTOLOGY. It is therefore PREFERABLE if somebody writing a book ON THIS TOPIC actually has an in-depth knowledge of this topic.

3) "Meyer's area of study" IS NOT "DNA and information theory". As far as I know he has originated no claims in this area (let alone published them in any credible peer-reviewed journal). He has simply retreaded other ID pseudscientists (most notably Dembski's) claims about information in a recent (scientific-credibility-free) book.

4) According to a source Meyer himself cites, ""At present there is no evidence of a major step in body-plan complexity during the Cambrian explosion", so THERE WAS NO "new body plans" requiring purported "information". MEYER IS SIMPLY LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH.

5) The 'Law of Conservation of Information' that Dembski pulled out of his arse was the one he proposed in his 1998 paper 'Intelligent Design as a Theory of Information'. THIS "law" has never been accepted by the Information Theory community.

6) Dembski's claims about CSI, which Meyer uses as the basis for his Informational claims have no basis in Shannon Information.

7) Given the disparagement of Dembski's work by legitimate mathematicians (e.g. "I say Dembski "attempts to" turn this trick because despite his invoking the NFL theorems, his arguments are fatally informal and imprecise. Like monographs on any philosophical topic in the first category, Dembski's is written in jello. There simply is not enough that is firm in his text, not sufficient precision of formulation, to allow one to declare unambiguously 'right' or 'wrong' when reading through the argument. All one can do is squint, furrow one's brows, and then shrug. " -- David Wolpert), and his lack of publication in credible mathematical or information theory journals, I see nothing "odd".

8) I was explicitly referring to the "DNA as DIGITAL information" claim that Meyer and other IDists make. DNA is NOT DIGITAL, either (1) literally (in that it makes no uses of base 10), or (2) figuratively, as computer code is known to be a very poor analogy for it.

9) Learn what an Ad Hominen Fallacy ACTUALLY IS before you make accusations -- YOU HAVE A DEFECTIVE IDEA OF WHAT ONE IS (http://plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html should help you).

10) I DEAL WITH DEMBSKI & MARKS' ARGUMENTS: "(4) It makes no mention of "complex specified information", the long-debunked concept upon which Meyer still bases his information claims. Rather it concentrates on "active information". (5) It makes no explicit claim that this "active information" provides an informational obstacle to evolution (and in fact the co-discoverer of one of the main theorems that the paper cites, the No Free Lunch theorerm, has explicitly stated that it provides no impediment to evolution)."

11) Natural Theology is NOT SCIENTIFIC. Arguments that God exists ARE THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS.

12) ID has NO BASIS in orthodox Information Theory. Its informational basis is in a series of books that Dembski wrote but never submitted to peer review by the Information Theory community, which have been widely debunked. These are the claims that Meyer repeated in 'Signature in the Cell'.

13) ID's claims likewise have no acceptance in the scientific community. None in Information Theory. None in Biology. None in Paleontology.

14) ID isn't so much a "broad umbrella" as an ever-shifting mirage. It never makes ANY specific claim unequivocally, so is incapable of presenting a falsifiable hypothesis. It can only be debunked at a conceptual level, and/or have its (inessential) examples disproven. It is thus "not even wrong".

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 12:39:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 12:40:33 PM PST
telemantros says:
Afternoon Makinson,

This conversation is getting diverted from the original topic, i.e. whether this book is a scientific one or not. It seems that your major complaint involves the credentials of ID researchers, where they seemingly don't measure up to your standards. However, this is a double edge sword: if one has to have a specified degree to discuss the relevance of an idea, then we certainly can't take your word or mine as we don't have advanced degrees in paleontology, information theory, or biology (at least I do not have doctorates in all these areas). Yet, I believe, as no doubt you do as well, that we can have an intelligent conversation about these ideas that we have read about. Likewise, ID researchers (while some meeting your standards) can engage in the topics and arguments themselves. Moreover, all of the men i've cited from the ID movement have advanced degrees in science and have written in peer reviewed books and articles.

If the argument in this forthcoming book is as I anticipate it to be, i.e. dealing with information theory, then Meyer (as a philosopher of science) is more than capable of advancing this argument. And since he is dealing with information theory as such, this is a scientific argument with possible religious conclusions. What do you think?

P.S. Calling someone a liar is a textbook case of an ad hominem fallacy, not to mention that it is silly to comment on the incorrigible motivations behind what someone says.

Posted on Feb 16, 2013 6:46:41 PM PST
Ichthyic says:
"whether this book is a scientific one or not"

misrepresenting scientific information and data is the Dishonesty Institute's stock and trade, they would simply not exist otherwise. To say there is "science" represented in this book, like meyer's previous efforts, is like saying David Barton's history of Lincoln is filled with honest history.

This book is a lie, dressed up in white tafeta. It has no more resemblance to actual science than Obama has to a Kenyan Muslim antichrist.

sorry, but this peddling of lies and misinformation has to be called out for what it is. The empowerment of ignorance and misinformation creationism stands for has to be put down like the mangy dog it is. Americans simply deserve better, and not to be lied to by people who literally get paid TO lie.

meyer has some scientific argument to make? he can make it like EVERY OTHER SCIENTIST DOES, by publishing in the peer reviewed, scientific literature.

there is not, nor ever will be, accurate information presented by anyone who works for the Discovery Institute, because they simply are not paid for that.

Posted on Feb 16, 2013 6:48:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 6:57:50 PM PST
T. Makinson says:
Whether Meyer's work is scientific, is a matter of three questions:

1) Does it rely solely on solid science? The answer is no, it also relies on William Dembski's informational claims (Complex Specified Information, *Dembski's* Law of Conservation of Information, etc), which are unsubstantiated and have been widely criticised and debunked by professional mathematicians.

2) Does he accurately characterise scientific research? No he does not. See for example his claim on "new body plans" that is directly contradicted by a source he himself cites.

3) Does he reach conclusions that experts in the field consider to be merited? No he does not. For example Callan Bentley, a Geology Professor whose photography Meyer sought for this very book, described Meyer's work as "perversion of reason in the name of pseudoscience". Meyer's last book, 'Signature in the Cell' has been widely criticised in the scientific community.

I would suggest that Meyer's lack of a relevant scientific background is a contributing factor to his (and his fellow IDists, and his fellow creationists more general) frequent failure on these issues. Lack of a solid background makes it more difficult to distinguish solid research from fringe claims, makes you less knowledgeable of the full range of research in a field (and less invested in accurately representing it), and more likely to draw unwarranted conclusions.

Information Theory is NOT a subset of Philosophy of Science, so you have failed to demonstrate that Meyer HAS ANY CAPABILITY IN THIS FIELD. Given that he has no track record of (credibly peer-reviewed) research in this field, there is no reason whatsoever to accept this assertion. The evidence to date is that he has simply credulously accepted Dembski's discredited and debunked claims in this area.

I would further suggest that "religious conclusions" have no place in a purportedly "scientific" book.

Thank you for providing "textbook" proof that YOU DON'T HAVE CLUE WHAT AN AD HOMINEM IS! *P*R*O*V*I*N*G* (i.e. *providing evidence*) that somebody is lying is NOT an Ad Hominem fallacy. If it were, it would render impeachment of a witness (a fairly common courtroom tactic) logically fallacious, and therefore legally invalid.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 9:40:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 9:52:14 AM PST
telemantros says:
Afternoon Makinson,

You give three characteristics of what science is (e.g. accuracy, agreement amongst experts, "solid science"). The only helpful characteristic is (2), as your first point simply re-uses the term science which does not produce any clarity to the term and the third point states that there has to be agreement to be merited (agreement in the scientific community is not what makes something science). Let's do this, if you find it fair, what is "science" to you? What characteristics must be present for something to count as science vs. non-science? Perhaps we are talking past each other due to presuppositions on what science is.

And ad hominem is simply attacking someone's character instead of the argument provided, like calling Meyer a liar. Now if you could demonstrate that Meyer has lied (which again would require you to either know his incorrigible motives, and/or find a contradiction) then I agree that's not an ad hominem. However, if we move all the way back to your initial post, you simply dismiss Meyer as a liar and/or don't engage with his views on information theory and DNA instead attacking his credentials. These points are not engaging with the argument itself, rather, they are attacking the man. I'll leave the point there as it is not germane to the main discussion.

Perhaps if we can get to the root of what you think science is, this would be beneficial. Again, I see no reason why this book cannot be labeled scientific if it is appealing to information theory and DNA/body plans. You may think it is wrong, but I don't see how you could classify it as non-scientific (it certainly is not theological). What do you think?

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 2:40:01 PM PST
Ichthyic says:
a bit of background on the making of Meyer's latest:

http://blogs.agu.org/mountainbeltway/2013/02/14/the-discovery-institute-feels-sorry-for-my-students/

"I hold the Discovery Institute in the lowest regard, and it sounds like the new book will be a further perversion of reason in the name of pseudoscience. As a science educator, I could never support such an effort! I will not grant reproduction rights to any of my photos or drawings to any creationist effort such as the one you describe here."

Note that the request for picture use is being made by the Dishonesty Institute, NOT Stephen Meyer. This book, like his previous, is nothing more than propaganda, paid for by the DI.

pathetic.

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 2:42:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 2:43:39 PM PST
Ichthyic says:
"And ad hominem is simply attacking someone's character instead of the argument provided, like calling Meyer a liar."

actually, arguments that go to the character of Meyer are directly relevant to the content of the text. as such, they are NOT by definition, ad hominems, and your usage of the term is flawed.

but then, I think you actually know this, and just want to paint the long history the DI has of lying on science issues to be all just "ad hominem". which would, of course, be a lie in and of itself.

"Perhaps if we can get to the root of what you think science is, this would be beneficial" we can examine the actual science that is done in any peer reviewed journal you like. I'm betting you "don't like" though. or, would you prefer to redefine science itself like they tried to do in Kansas a few years back?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 2:49:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 2:50:14 PM PST
Ichthyic says:
" this work was philosophical in nature using philosophical argumentation"

then to repeat the subject that started this thread, why is this in the science section?

IT'S NOT SCIENCE

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 3:44:45 PM PST
T. Makinson says:
Telemantros:

1) i DID NOT "give the CHARACTERISTICS of science". I explicitly offered three "QUESTIONS".

(i) The first QUESTION i ASKED WAS "Does it rely solely on solid science?" This was NOT attempting to define a "characteristic" of science, merely to analyse whether the claims that it relies on have been accepted as scientific. Defining "characteristics of science" could easily run to whole books, and is therefore well beyond the purview of this forum.

(ii) Meyer's claims in fact rely on claims that have been widely rejected as being unsubstantiated and defective. This cannot help but damage their credibility as purported "science".

2) If a non-expert disagrees with an expert (or worse, EVERY expert) on a conclusion, who is it more reasonable to believe? This is especially true when the non-expert (i) has a demonstrable axe to grind on the subject (it conflicts with his religious views) & (ii) is a proven liar on the subject.

3) If you want to be a broken record on the "characteristics ... characteristics ... char...char...char...characteristics of science" then read a book on Philosophy of Science. I see NO POINT WHATSOEVER in debating the subject with somebody so clueless (or so obstinately wrong-headed) on the subject as to believe natural theology to be science.

4) Impeaching the *factual basis* for an argument is NOT an ad hominem, and is perfectly legitimate. Meyer bases his argument on PROVABLY FALSE CLAIMS. That cannot help but (quite legitimately) undercut the credibility of the argument.

i) Hand-waving over whether or not he is "lying" (or alternately was recklessly incompetent, or some other, equally-damning formulation) about making a claim that directly contradicts his own source, does little to rehabilitate either Meyer's reputation or his credibility.

5) (a) The book's title and subtitle MAKES NO MENTION OF "information theory and DNA". (b) Meyer has NO EXPERTISE ON "information theory and DNA". (c) WE HAVE NO DNA evidence from the Cambrian to form the basis for any conclusions on "information theory and DNA". Therefore I see no point whatsoever in engaging this area, as it appears to be completely unwarranted and unfounded speculation.

i) In 'The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories' Meyer made his claim on "body plans" in direct contradiction of one of his cited source and based his "information theory" claims on the basis of the discredited work of William Dembski. I therefore see little worth engaging Meyer on this subject, as he appears to have no solid scientific basis for his claims.

ii) Given that Meyer's claims about the Cambrian and Information in his paper have already been dissected in http://www.talkreason.org/articles/meyer.cfm , I see very little point in 'reinventing the wheel' on the subject.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 4:32:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 4:34:52 PM PST
telemantros says:
Evening Makinson,

It is always discouraging when some-one cannot have a civil conversation about such important matters as science and it's purview and scope. I have not personally attacked you in our conversation, nor have not cap-locked you to death; rather, I have tried to show you the upmost respect. Making such personal attacks on my character is an ad hominem (we are back to that conversation) and is not a logical argument. Moreover, I never claimed that natural theology is "science," although from a historical standpoint science used to be considered Natural Theology; rather, I used the book by Stuart Hackett as an example of a philosophical work published by a traditionally theological publisher. It can be done.

To the substance at issue, if you don't feel comfortable providing the characteristics of science, then how on earth can you make claims that Meyer's work is un-scientific? It seems logical to me that you would need to understand what science in fact is, in order to make such a proclamation. In addition, you continue to press the logically contradictory notion that one cannot discuss a point/topic reasonably unless they have advanced degree's in said field. While not doubt important, this would discredit our very conversation and you seem quite comfortable making claims about what is and is not, science. Why should we listen to you? Where is your science degree? The fact is that scientists can be wrong in their field, and non-scientists can be right in matters outside their field. As a philosopher of science, Meyer is well within his epistemic rights to discuss such matters.

It seems to me that Meyer's previous work is enough to indicate that he is not a "liar" and that Cambridge thought enough of him to give him a doctoral degree. You can think he is wrong, but to continue to punt to him being a liar is tiring. His previous work has been testable, follows established scientific methods, is based on empirical evidence, address hypotheses, and is peer reviewed. I have no doubt that this work will be any different.

Wish you well.

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 5:43:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 5:55:22 PM PST
T. Makinson says:
Telemantros:

I see nothing remotely "respectful" about:

1) Repeated false accusations of ad hominem.

2) Gross misrepresentation of my statements.

(a) I never stated nor implied that I was defining "characteristics" of science. (i) I make no apology for mocking your *ludicrous* over-use of that word which had no basis in my statement. It was ridiculous, so I ridiculed it.

(b) I never stated or implied that I "don't feel comfortable providing the characteristics of science". My point was (i) that such a discussion would be too long and complex to fit within this forum & (ii) that attempting to discuss that subject with somebody whose definition of "science" is so extreme as to include natural theology is likely to be fruitless. I would also add (iii) that discussing the "characteristics of science" with somebody whose sole interest in the subject appears to be to get his religious views admitted as science, does not appear to be productive.

3) Repeated and unsubstantiated assertions that Meyer is an expert in Information Theory and DNA, in spite of repeated challenges of the claim and his complete lack of any background relevant to either field (let alone their juxtaposition) or substantive research record. Argumentum ad nauseam is not respectful.

(Now having dealt with your hypocritical whining about 'respect' I'm going to start SHOUTING at you again.)

"How on earth can you make claims that Meyer's work is un-scientific?" VERY EASILY! ("How on Earth" could you think I couldn't?)

1) His work has been REJECTED by the entire scientific community (e.g. as "perversion of reason in the name of pseudoscience")

2) He bases his work on claims that likewise have been REJECTED (e.g. as "fatally informal and imprecise ... written in jello. There simply is not enough that is firm in his text, not sufficient precision of formulation, to allow one to declare unambiguously 'right' or 'wrong' when reading through the argument. All one can do is squint, furrow one's brows, and then shrug.")

This, combined with some intuitive understanding of why Dembski's claims are defective, is quite sufficient reason to likewise reject them as science.

This rejection requires neither (i) submission of an essay on "characteristics of science", nor (ii) convincing a scientifically-disengaged, religiously-obsessed Christian Apologist of my view. This is particularly true when the acceptance of his work as scientific appears to be based purely on unsubstantiated (and highly questionable) assertions, e.g. that he is an expert on DNA and Information Theory and that he bases his claims on (valid) scientific data.

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 7:02:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 7:13:29 PM PST
Ichthyic says:
"It is always discouraging when some-one cannot have a civil conversation"

lies do not constitute civil conversation, regardless of how pleasantly they are said.

"To the substance at issue, if you don't feel comfortable providing the characteristics of science, then how on earth can you make claims that Meyer's work is un-scientific"

over here, Hucklberry. I'm game to play this with you. I'll use the American Association for the Advancement of Science definition, which you can find on their website:

http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/evolution/qanda.shtml

"It seems to me that Meyer's previous work is enough to indicate that he is not a "liar"

orly?

http://recursed.blogspot.co.nz/2009/07/stephen-meyers-honesty-problem.html

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/stephen-meyer-lies-again/

you're either blind, ignorant, or lying yourself.

choose.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 7:20:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 7:21:49 PM PST
Ichthyic says:
"that he is an expert on DNA and Information Theory and that he bases his claims on (valid) scientific data. "

oh, let me help you with that one, T.

here's an analogy: I take all the data that support the theory of plate tectonics, and then make the claim that really, dolphins push the continents around. I then say that my interpretation is simply based on a "different view of the same evidence" and is therefore just as legitimate as the accepted (unrejected) scientific consensus. It's the old bait and switch game, and these clowns have been playing it for decades now, just changing the jargon to try and keep ahead of the court proceedings against them.

It's clear as hell this isn't science, since NO ACTUAL RESEARCH IS EVER DONE. They don't even publish in their own concocted journals!

It's sad that so few people seem to understand that if a real scientist actually came up with a well-tested hypothesis that REJECTS any aspect of current evolutionary theory, they'd be a scientific celebrity overnight!

they seem to think all we do is go around reinforcing each others ideas, when instead the competition within the scientific community is fiercer than the competition between Apple and Samsung!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 8:18:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 8:23:01 PM PST
Paul Burnett says:
"telemantros" wrote "the emphasis of the argument Meyer makes is from scientific data"

...and then has the religious publisher HarperOne publish it. That's not how >science< works - but that's how the propaganda-meisters at the Dishonesty Institute have chosen to play their anti-science game, hearkening back to their subversive Wedge Document.

If Meyer had any argument to make from scientific data, he would do it the way scientists do it, in peer-reviewed publications, not the way he's doing it. Can't you see the credibility gap here? This book, like his last book, published by a religious publisher, totally invalidates any claim that Meyer is making a scientific argument.

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 8:54:46 PM PST
Paul Burnett says:
While Stephen Meyer has not appeared on the cover of any actual science journals, he was on the cover as "Person Of The Year" of "World Magazine" in 2009. Unfortunately for the gullible who believe that intelligent design creationism is not religion but science, World Magazine identifies itself as a "Christian news magazine," with a declared perspective of conservative evangelical Protestantism. Its mission statement is "To report, interpret, and illustrate the news...from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God." See http://www.worldmag.com/2009/12/2009_daniel_of_the_year

So, "telemantros" - is it an ad hominem to point out that Meyer gets accolades from the fundagelicals and uniform disrespect from the world of actual science, which unanimously agrees that the intelligent design creationism that Meyer supports is not science but pseudoscience?

Meyer is director of the Dishonesty Institute's Center for Science and Culture, whose infamous Wedge Document's first sentence reads "The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built." Is it an ad hominem to point out that this makes it appear that Meyer and his organization are concerned with religion rather than science?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2013 12:23:40 PM PST
"I think not." - telemantro
Right to the point of DI.

Posted on Feb 18, 2013 5:38:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2013 3:53:09 AM PST
Paul Burnett says:
"telemantros" wrote "from a historical standpoint science used to be considered Natural Theology"

From a historical standpoint, astrology used to be considered science, as science was defined centuries ago prior to the Enlightenment. Unfortunately for our 21st century technological civilization, various proponents of darkness such as Stephen Meyer and the Dishonesty Institute are attempting to replace the Enlightenment with a new Endarkenment, replacing science as we know it today with a "new" (but actually old) definition of science, dumbing down the meaning of "science" until once again astrology and other pseudosciences could be defined as a science.

If the Dishonesty Institute and its tools and minions succeed, then their creature, the "intelligent design" flavor of creationism, would also be definable as science. That is the goal of Meyer and his fellow travelers.

Posted on Feb 18, 2013 5:56:04 PM PST
Paul Burnett says:
"telemantros" has the unmitigated gall to actually bring up Meyer's purportedly "peer-reviewed article", "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories" as published in the (up until then) peer-reviewed journal "Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington" in 2004.

The publisher of the journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, repudiated Meyer's article, and the president of the society called the editor's decision to publish Meyer's article "a really bad judgment call on the editor's part." The entire sordid mess is discussed at length in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternberg_peer_review_controversy which demonstrates at length how the Dishonesty Institute's propaganda machine works.

Posted on Feb 18, 2013 7:21:36 PM PST
Paul Burnett says:
Two actual scientists, Doug Erwin of the Smithsonian Institution and James Valentine of Berkeley, have collaborated on a new book, "The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity" - see The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity See also Carl Zimmer's article about this at http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/18/weird-youth-animal-kingdom/ - complete with lots of pictures of what some of the Cambrian fauna looked like.
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Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design
Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer (Hardcover - June 18, 2013)
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