Saturday, December 31, 2005

Jewish Community Heats Up with Intelligent Design

If Judge John E. Jones thought he could speak the last word on the question of teaching intelligent design in public schools, apparently not everyone agrees. Here are a couple of links, one revealing that the controversy about intelligent design has become hot in the Jewish community (even before Judge John E.Jones' inanity), and one with some followup analysis to the Dover, PA, court case.

(I) Jewish community heats up with Intelligent Design controversy

Here is a link for a great read with a couple of quotes

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3123&program=News&callingPage=discoMainPage

Moshe Tendler, an influential Orthodox rabbi and Yeshiva University biology professor, urged a crowd of Jewish scientists and intellectuals to spread the word that Darwin was wrong. "It is our task to inform the world [about intelligent design]," he implored. "Or the child growing up will grow up with unintelligent design.... Unintelligent design is our ignorance, our stupidity."

Speaking about the arguments of Intelligent Design advocate William Dembski: "His words make sense," commented Annale Fleisher, a seventeen-year-old senior at Miami Beach's Hebrew Academy. "Saying life comes from evolution is like saying a library was made by someone spilling a bottle of ink."

(II) And for the Discovery Institutes take on the legal aspects of the Dover Decision, here is another link with a couple of quotes:

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3115&program=News&callingPage=discoMainPage

Dr. John West: ā€œUnlike the ACLU, we want students to learn more about evolution, not less ... they also need to learn about some of the scientific evidence that challenges parts of the theory.ā€

DeWolf: ā€œā€¦ But our governmental structure provides for a multiplicity of voices, including the United States Congress, state boards of education, and legislatures, whose views are quite different from Judge Jones' about the value of teaching the controversy. To borrow from Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the controversy have been greatly exaggerated."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Flying Spaghetti Monster creator's chilling fate and Judge John E. Jones a ton wrong

Have you heard of "The Flying Spaghetti Monster"? It was created by a guy named Bobby Henderson in Roseburg, Oregon. Henderson suggests that his FSM is the intelligence behind the ID movement. There was discussion and figure of FSM in an Oregonian article by John Foyston, September 10, 2005.

It seems we have two choices:
(1) Mr. Henderson actually does worship an entity which he himself has created (an activity called idolatry in the Bible), or
(2) the purpose of his FSM creation is simply to mock the true Creator God and to mock all people who wish to honor the true Creator God. If this is multiple choice, I think we all know the answer is 'to mock'.

With his 545,000 Google search results (way back in September, 2005), it seems Henderson has mocked very successfully. But the Bible says, "God is not mocked." To contemplate Mr. Henderson meeting the Almighty is chilling indeed.

But what about folks like me? I do not apologize for the fact that I am a creationist and I believe the God of the Bible is identically the Intelligence which is so evidently behind everything we see. All the pieces add up too perfectly to be objectively denied. For sure, The Intelligence is not some FSM mockery. The Dover, PA, decison by Judge John E. Jones was a tad right and a ton wrong in that: (1) Judge Jones was a tad right when he observed that testimony was not exactly forthright about the role of faith in the board's decision, and (2) Jones was in outer space (the ton wrong) when he insisted that a faith motive invalidates any scientific endeavor. Many of the greatest minds in the history of science (Sir Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell for example) found faith in God as their greatest motivation for their work in science - which they considered as "seeking to know God's thoughts after Him."

Creationists need to be more bold to disallow some artificial separation of faith motive from science. Since both have one Author, they are of the same seamless cloth. We have the right to present facts, even if our motive is a faith motive. This is where I would agree very much with some of the more conservative creationists who have some discomfort with the ID movement's lack of clarity in identifying the Intelligence in question. He (not "she") is YHWH (Jehovah in the KJV) who identifies Himself as "I AM WHO I AM." I suspect the Great I AM does care much for our disingenuousness if we dance around His identity.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Infringing on Someone Else's patent

Read the great article about Judge John E. Jones' pontification in the NewMediaJournal.us.

Tony Rubolotta hits the mark.

Final question deals with question of intellectual property. Maybe when man creates nano-machines, we will be infringing on Someone Else's patent.

Find it at:

http://www.therant.us/staff/rubolotta/12282005.htm

Respectfully (and in this case indeed respectfully), DU

Fitness Fun and Acronymnical Inanity

Hmmm ... why am I at it again? Obsessive I guess. Woke up this morning wondering how I could lose a few pounds and my mind wandered back to my all-time favorite tee-shirt seen gracing a rotund tummy on the ferry from Long Beach to Catalina. It said "Physically phffft!" And then of course my mind leaped to the question of species fitness.

Was Darwin clued in to "fitness" for the "fittest"? Darwin's curious notion about new and improved species by random processes has been propped up by Neo-Darwinian population geneticists long after the blissful genetics- ignorant demise of Sir Charles himself. Problem is, the human population is getting less fit, not more fit. As I stand on the scale checking my current tonnage, I am just a microcosm. Physically phffft indeed!

So, how about "fitness"? Population geneticists would say "fitness" is reproductive success due to superiority of the whole organism ("phenotype"). In that vein, yet another humongous crack is showing in the just-so fairy tale of human evolution. According to M. Kimura (Theoretical Aspects of Population Genetics, Princeton UniversityPress, 1971), fitness has low heritability. And according to J. F. Crow (The high spontaneous mutation rate: is it a health risk?, PNAS 94:8380-8386, 1997), the fitness of the human population is degenerating at a rate of one to two percent per generation due to mutational loading. If even only one percent, that would mean that human "fitness" would overall decline by more than 75% in only 150 generations. Taking a typical generation to be 30 years, that means more than 75% loss of fitness in the last 4,500 years (i.e., in the approximate period since the Biblical flood of Noah).

Maybe Darwin was standing on head when he saw everything going up. Propping up a dead Darwin is task enough,but propping him up on his head means for sure that the old boy is a-comin' down.

Well, time for some acronymnmania. When I got into this blog and was reading (er, trying to read) about blog posting, I was informed all about What You See Is What You Get , or "WYSIWYG" (pronounced wizzy-wig) editing technology. Looking at the long and very creative list of legitimate and illegitimate children of WYSIWYG has spurred me upward (or maybe downward?). I guess we could acroname the human population as WYSIAGAIIEGTG, that is "What You See Is As Good As It Is Ever Going To Get."

Whizzy-Aggie-Egg-Tag? Sounds like a food fight in a Texas Tech men's bathroom.

What a lousy way for me to get ready to eat breakfast.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Forensic Science vs. Empirical Science: take 1

Wow, just think! Yesterday I could not even spell blogggger, and now I are one. I guess federal Judge Jones in the recent Dover, PA, school board case put me over the edge and into the blogosphere.

Anyway, I am really tired of seeing the creation and intelligent design movements slammed instead of fairly and carefully evaluated.

More about the recent Dover, PA, court judgment later. For now, one example a few months ago was Evan Cornog's polemic "A new wind to inherit" (Oregonian, August 22,2005). Cornog and the rest of his ilk (such as Dover's Judge Jones) don't get it. They are clueless about the distinction between empirical-operational science and forensic-historical science. Empirical science has to do with how things work day-to-day, requiring observability, repeatability, and falsifiability. Forensic-historical science seeks to understand the if and how of a one-time event (for example, to ask "Did O.J.do it?"). Evolutionists almost invariably make the fundamental error of insisting that only operational science ("natural" processes without intervention) can be used to explain origins. To make that error once could be excused, but to arrogantly perpetuate it is preposterous and fundamentally dishonest. More later.
Respectfully, D.U.