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Do I have to draw a picture?

Since the Oozer Zealots don't read or think, typing any more, is pointless. Maybe a picture will sum the whole thing up.

manknowledge.jpg

Now- The numbers might change a little by the year 3005 -- we'll never know.... But if you don't accept the basic premise of this graph, you are either hopelessly stupid or hopelessly egotistical. You may pick one or both. But you certainly are no scientist.

'nuff said.


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Comments (122)

Who are you arguing against... (Below threshold)
andy:

Who are you arguing against? No one, to my knowledge has stated that (a) we know everything or (b) we won't know more as time goes on.

Are you a farmer, perchance? 'Cause you're mighty good at making strawmen.

I'm pretty sure now that 'P... (Below threshold)
jeff:

I'm pretty sure now that 'Paul' is a character created to make fun of creationists. Shame on you

At this rate, 2005 will be ... (Below threshold)

At this rate, 2005 will be refered to as 1426 in 3005.

I wonder if the evolutionis... (Below threshold)
jim warren:

I wonder if the evolutionists are aware of the extremely limited number of mitochondrial DNA strands that exist in the 6 billion inhabitants of our little world. There are only 7 mitochondrial strands for all women of european descent, which means that there were only 7 european women at a point in the not to distant past. The same roughly for African and asian. This is not a debatable point.

What explains it, oozers?

Looking over your continuan... (Below threshold)
andy:

Looking over your continuance of the "oozer" strawman, here's an article on the topic:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/mitoeve.html

Now, I know, Talk Origins is evil and liberal and all that other muckety-muck, but the bottom line appears to be that the title of Mitochondrial Eve changes "hands."

I suspect DS or Pharyngula can provide a more thorough response, should they still be interested in participating in a discussion with someone like Paul.

Andy, I've never said Talk ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Andy, I've never said Talk Origins is evil. I've never said anyone was evil.

I hesitate to type because you will not read this and I know you will never stop to consider if I have a point. But I'll try anyway... (boy I learn slow)

I tell ya what... reread this post (it is short) 5 or 6 times. Now go read everything I have written about the topic as viewed thru the lens of this post.

Andy, if you do that you you find that rather than this being a strawman as you claim, every word I've written was the long way of saying what I am saying above.

I just found a way to say it with a graph.

You can choose to get my point or not. It really is up you.

I've never said anyone was evil. Just that they have missed the point because the simple word "evolution" sends people into a tizzy....

You can choose to look at the larger picture I am painting or you can call it a strawman... Your choice.

Well .. 'Oozer Zealots' wou... (Below threshold)
BumperStickerist:

Well .. 'Oozer Zealots' would make an excellent name for a garage band.

Paul, you're engaging in the equivalent of Pythagoreans trying to 'squaring the circle'.

Sure - the ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter is just so *damned* useful that it has to be planned ... designed really... and oughtn't we really be able to take a circle and unfold it to make a square using only a compass and an unmarked straight edge?

Once you realize that, no matter what approach you try the task falls outside the tools you have, then you're left with belief.

The next 1,000 years of development and expansion of awareness of biodiversity and life's origins won't reveal God's - or what ever energy equivalent you choose - signed original work order.

That knowledge might be extended due to the work of people who believe in ID, much as an understanding of geometry and arithmetic were developed by people who were, by modern standards, religious nut jobs.

I'm all for beating up on strict Darwinian orthodoxy or pointing out that Evolution is a theory. I've seen the ugly side of people who's fundamental beliefs are challenged - try saying 'Ohm's Theory' among a group of electrical engineers -

But ... most ID people are beating up a form of Darwinism, which wasn't the same Darwinism at the time the guy who published his findings and theories died.

There's a bit of a strawman angle to that.


fwiw - I'm all for teaching an ID-involved theories class. Were I the science teacher though, the urge to precede every lecture by playing a tape with a series of harp-riffs to indicate a dream sequence would be strong ... very strong.

But, hey, God would approve.

I have faith in that.

Paul, you could have simply... (Below threshold)
andy:

Paul, you could have simply said "we don't know everything about the origin of life or all of the mechanisms behind evolution." I don't think anyone here would have argued with that.

Instead you turned it into a rant against evolutionary theory, a concept which you defined to your own liking in the very post.

That we don't know everything doesn't mean that we don't know enough to have strongly supported scientific theories (keyword: scientific) that best fit our observations and continue to be supported by said observations.

No one claims that evolutionary biology is a static field with all the answers - well, no one except the imaginary boogeymen against whom you argue.

BumperStickerist, I've been... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BumperStickerist, I've been 100% consistent arguing against BOTH creationism AND the oozers.

But you have proved my point about people not reading and leaping to stupid conclusions when they see the word "evolution."

thanks

Thank you andy for not read... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Thank you andy for not reading.

Wow, Paul, just when I thou... (Below threshold)
Roadtripper:

Wow, Paul, just when I thought you couldn't possibly post anything dumber! Anything for traffic, I guess....

So, will you be quoting a source for this graph or is it yet another of your assinine fabrications? Perhaps this would more accurately refer to your [i]own[/i] level of knowledge rather than mankinds'? Oh, but that still wouldn't work--the bar at 2005 is above zero. And the notion that you could learn anything on the subject within a thousand years is utterly ridiculous.

Whoa. You made up so... (Below threshold)

Whoa. You made up some numbers, plugged them into Excel, and made a graph? Not only that, you invented a single-dimensional parameter called "knowledge" (what, by the way, are the units for that?), and made a baseless thousand year forecast?

That graph is a wonderful example of pseudoscience. I'm stealing it.

What I'm getting out of Pau... (Below threshold)

What I'm getting out of Paul's posts is:
Too many people call Evolution Theory a theory while treating it as proven.

More information might lend strength to the theory, but it could just as easily weaken it. Those who assume that Evolution Theory is just a step or two away from becoming Evolution Law and then argue on the basis of that belief to deride Creationists/IDists are being shortsighted at best, and hypocritical at worst.

Someone truly committed to science would be open to the possibility that ID could just as easily be proven in the next decade as Macro-Evolution, going wherever the actual evidence leads, and would take either result as equally fine. It is clear from the style and substance of responses to Paul's comments that many people would have a negative emotional reaction to the discovery of additional evidence for ID; indeed, they refuse to acknowledge that it has any aspect of accuracy or utility, demanding that it not be taught in school.

Which is an ironic form of censorship, in my opinion, since all ID really does is posit an answer to the several significant problems with Evolution Theory. Refusing to acknowledge the Evolution even has problems, or arguing/assuming that those problems have already been answered/resolved is a reaction remarkably similar to religious faith.

Except that Paul isn't even coming down that strongly on ID's side, and he still gets savaged as if he was.

Please note: I am only arguing for people to be open to all logic and evidence rather than a subset that reinforces their views. I'm no longer arguing for or against Evolution Theory or ID.

What I'm getting out of ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

What I'm getting out of Paul's posts is:
Too many people call Evolution Theory a theory while treating it as proven.

More information might lend strength to the theory, but it could just as easily weaken it. Those who assume that Evolution Theory is just a step or two away from becoming Evolution Law and then argue on the basis of that belief to deride Creationists/IDists are being shortsighted at best, and hypocritical at worst.


Nathan, please, don't try to make these people think.

They just aren't that good at it.

Why the amount that we know... (Below threshold)
Joe L.:

Why the amount that we know will increase, the unknown and the unknowable are and will always be infinite.

Good lord, Paul... the hors... (Below threshold)
Pete:

Good lord, Paul... the horse... it's dead... please leave it be.

What a ridiculously obvious... (Below threshold)
Orac:

What a ridiculously obvious strawman argument, Paul!

No one has claimed that we won't know more about the origins of the diversity of life in the future, nor has anyone claimed that the Theory of Evolution may not require modification in the future in response to new evidence.

No one.

Please give it up, Paul. You're only digging yourself in deeper and deeper with each post. I'm suggesting this as friendly advice. I don't like to watch the slow motion train wreck that your posts on evolution have become, and I hate to see a person so thoroughly embarrass himself because he is too proud to reverse course.

The point that Paul seems s... (Below threshold)
Nerd:

The point that Paul seems so hell-bent upon missing is this: a good scientist does not reject, out of hand, new evidence that contradicts current thinking. Indeed, he embraces it. That is the nature of the scientific process.

However, the key word here is "evidence". No scientist is going to take absurd speculation, unfounded in any demonstrable way, seriously. When scientists ignore the babblings of people like this, it isn't because they are not open to new interpretations of their data: it's because these are NOT interpretations, at all, but weird emanations from left field.

It's like this:

Hungry Guy: Look, a delicious ham sandwich!

Scientist (sniffing the sandwich): Actually, judging from the smell, I believe this is a delicious PASTRAMI sandwich.

Paul (who hasn't even looked at the sandwich, since he is occupied with his own lunch): I must disagree. This is a dog's bottom sandwich, no two ways about it. Yes. Definitely dog's bottom.

Hungry Guy and Scientist: No, it's not.

Paul: Hammers! Hammers!

Ye gads.

Paul has been painted virtu... (Below threshold)

Paul has been painted virtually as a Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christian for questioning evolution and he's the one creating strawman arguments? Uh, HELLO!!!

Yes, Paul is the one using ... (Below threshold)
Orac:

Yes, Paul is the one using straw man arguments. His entire post and graph is nothing but one big straw man argument, for the simple reason that no one who has criticized him is claiming that our scientific knowledge won't increase in the future or that the Theory of Evolution won't require modification on the basis of new data someday. He's attacking an argument that no one has actually made.

Paul's argument is also a nonsequitur, because it does not follow from the observation that scientific knowledge will increase by some unknown amount in the future that the present scientific understanding of evolution is incorrect. It's possible, even likely, that some aspects of our understanding are, but simply pointing out that our scientific knowledge is likely to increase over the next millenium doesn't prove that.

Sadly, Paul's a regular font of logical fallacies these days.

I get it Paul, I understand... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I get it Paul, I understand what you are saying and probably why you are saying it. If you're like me you don't know the truth in the matter and all these people attacking you obviously aren't too far removed from swinging in trees themselves. I think your chart is overly optimistic though, the people railing against you now will never advance their understanding and I'm afraid the same will hold true for their offspring. A pie chart might help, if it's a banana cream pie.

"Someone truly committed to... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Someone truly committed to science would be open to the possibility that ID could just as easily be proven in the next decade as Macro-Evolution, going wherever the actual evidence leads, and would take either result as equally fine. "

Just note, I would say there is also a third possibility that we are unaware of yet.

I admit my bias is towards the "GOd did it" approach, but I absolutely agree with Paul that there are evolution zealots out there they don't like to hear anyone even suggest there are some serious flaws in the theory, when it comes to explaining how life went from particles to people.

Someone truly committed ... (Below threshold)

Someone truly committed to science would be open to the possibility that ID could just as easily be proven in the next decade as Macro-Evolution, going wherever the actual evidence leads, and would take either result as equally fine.

Depends what you mean by "ID", I guess. If you mean just harping on quirks and lacunae in evolutionary theory, perhaps. Yes, evolutionary theory may have some holes or exceptions (but we'll only find that out by showing that there's some other mechanism responsible for certain observations; e.g., neutral drift and so on). Evolution doesn't have to be responsible for all observations, nor is it likely to be (although it is apparently responsible for so many that it is scientifically irresponsible to dismiss it). But that's hardly "proving" ID, any more than it's proving the "elephants on turtle backs" theory.

If you mean proposing some other mechanism, involving "intelligent design", and showing that it is responsible for certain observations, and that it holds up to experimental validation, you're going far beyond what any IDers are doing. No one, for instance, has proved that an intelligent designer of any shape or form is capable of designing and creating the bacterial flagellum. Why should we take seriously any "theory" that fails to do what it so stridently complains that the accepted theory does not do?

Cheers,

Paul, I've got some anthill... (Below threshold)

Paul, I've got some anthills in my yard that could use a good stirring up. ;-)

Paul's argument is also ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Paul's argument is also a nonsequitur

Oscar it is not a non-sequitur because it is a graphical representation of what I was trying to say but people did not want to hear. .

Since I presume you agree with my generic point in the post, then if you took the time to read the rests of the posts, you would (thru clinched teeth be forced to) agree with them as well.

In the end, it is easier for the lazy to call me a bible thumper than actually think.

My over-riding point is/was that "we don't know jack" about all "this stuff." (you define "all this stuff") And no amount as tagging me a bible thumper can change that.

Non-sequitur? Nope.

Strawman???? Is calling someone a bible thumper a strawman when that person SPECIFICALLY argued against creationism? You tell me.

My other argument is that when people hear the word "evolution" they make stupid assumptions.

You clearly did that the first time. Care try better the second?

Sigh. *Rolls eyes*<p... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Sigh. *Rolls eyes*

Anybody other than me notice the bottom of the post where Paul picked a Category?

Paul, you're getting addicted to this.

Which is an ironic form ... (Below threshold)

Which is an ironic form of censorship, in my opinion, since all ID really does is posit an answer to the several significant problems with Evolution Theory. . . .

Ummm, no, it doesn't. But feel free to show that I'm mistaken here. What's the "answer"?

. . . Refusing to acknowledge the Evolution even has problems, or arguing/assuming that those problems have already been answered/resolved is a reaction remarkably similar to religious faith.

Care to trot out someone who doesn't acknowledge that evolution is a dynamic field of research, and that the answers aren't all known right now? There's tons of "problems": things that need to be worked out. Lots of areas ripe for investigation. None of this refutes the basic principles of evolutionary theory or the overall explanatory power of evolutionary theory to account for the observations of biology, paleontology, etc.

HTH.

Cheers,

I wonder if the evolutio... (Below threshold)

I wonder if the evolutionists are aware of the extremely limited number of mitochondrial DNA strands that exist in the 6 billion inhabitants of our little world. There are only 7 mitochondrial strands for all women of european descent, which means that there were only 7 european women at a point in the not to distant past. The same roughly for African and asian. This is not a debatable point.

What explains it, oozers?

well, 1) you are wrong, 2) the number of "lineages" (not strands) that scientists usually identify are concerned with particular alleles on loci on the mitochondria DNA. in other words: there are "seven lineages identified by sevel common alleles on one locus." that does not exclude the possibility of other lineages/alleles which exist in such low frequencies that they are discarded from the discussion. in any case, if you divided a population into all the unique mtDNA strands, then you would many more lineages.

I get it Paul, I underst... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I get it Paul, I understand what you are saying and probably why you are saying it.

I'm saying it because the zealots give science a bad name. From my first post I predict the nuts would go loco and geeze was I right.

The irony, that they are blind to, is that while they think they are defending science they are turning it into religion. No room for discussion, attack anyone who says anything and label him a bible thumper.

Next they will all be moving to Salem and looking for witches.

And the final bit of twisted humor is that they call me "anti-science" It's funny or sad, not sure which.

Paul's premise that knowled... (Below threshold)
Anyone but Michael:

Paul's premise that knowledge will increase during the next thousand years is not NECESSARILY true. During that period, we could experience the following:

1. A new Dark Ages presided over by the AntiChrist.

2. The Battle of Armageddon.

3. The return of Christ at the Apacolypse.

4. Judgment Day.

5. The casting of Oozers into the Abyss.

6. The final debunking of Darwinism among the faithful in heaven.

Oh shit, have I outed myself as a Thumper?

I thought you were saying i... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I thought you were saying it because the people attacking you have shorter attention spans than the chimps they may or may not be descended from. If a single one of them has actually read your other posts on the subject they must not have understood them. It does make the case for evolution if you look at it that way, but it would make the case for evolution skipping multiple generations in certain families, some of these guys are clearly failing to keep up.

Paul's premise that know... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Paul's premise that knowledge will increase during the next thousand years is not NECESSARILY true.

I STAND CORRECTED!

If the oozers burn the heretics at the stake we might regress. I had not considered that.

If a single one of them ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

If a single one of them has actually read your other posts...

Heh- read this.

This guy tries to make the case I'm a bible thumper. Geeze how stupid can some people be?

But you are show up for the Wed on-line prayer service here at Wizbang huh?

Could we just wipe the reco... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Could we just wipe the record clean and start from the beginning? This series of threads has evolved entirely too much. And let's not even consider the gaps. [Looking for that big button labelled B-A-N-G]

Paul - for all you... (Below threshold)
BumperStickerist:

Paul -

for all your self-proclaimed reading comprehension skills, you're being called a 'stalking horse' for the Creationists, not a Creationist yourself.

{You also managed to miss the self-contained point in my previous comment - but thanks for proving my point}

You might be going for an Asimovian 'every man' approach to scientific subjects - the origin of life in this case. You might even like science quite a lot.
But, judging from your arguments and willingness to engage in debate, yours seems to be an unrequited love.

Stalk on, Paul ... stalk on.

C'mon, Bumperstickerist,</p... (Below threshold)

C'mon, Bumperstickerist,

Paul DID TOO respond to my 'stalking horse' post.

He called me an 'idiot.'

Paul, let me see if ... (Below threshold)
Doran:

Paul, let me see if I have got this right. Your concious effort to stir up a hornet's nest of controversy is predicated on the notion that Biological Evolution is for its believers as much of a religion as is Christianity for the Fundies. From this, you claim in various tangential ways, that numerous claims made by Evolutionary Biologists either have not been proven or could just as easily be explained through an alternative theory (ala Intelligent Design). Reading over your original post on Genetic Repair mechanisms found by geneticists at Purdue, I hope I have clearly encapsulated your argument

The critiques you raise of evolution, such as "we dont know jack about the origin of species" and the "astronomically improbable" of evolution, are regular tropes of those who push Creationism as well as Intelligent Design. This is not to say you are a rabid Fundie (as far as I can tell), but that you are using arguments of creationists to bolster your notion that Evolutionary Biology is more a religion then science. I hope you have looked over TalkOrigins of late, for its many refutates of creationist/IDer complaints. Also if you regularly read scientific literature whether on the physical or organic sciences, you will note that no one claims to have all the answers, but in the case of Biology, Evolution (which includes mechanisms such as natural selection, geographical isolation, genetic drift, etc.) is a comprehensive and powerful explanatory theory. The "zeal" you see from PZ, Andy and many other commentators merely stems from defending their discipline from attacks by those spouting claims which have already been thoroughly debunked dozens of times.

Hopefully this has been enlightening, or at least for those new to this train wreck, a responable summary.

A month ago, I created two ... (Below threshold)
Josh:

A month ago, I created two blogs, as an experiment. At The Evolution Project, I catalog some (but not all) of the research which demonstrates or uses evolutionary theory. At The Non-Evolution Project I catalog research which uses supernatural theories of life (or any alternative to evolution). The difference is striking.

Check it out for yourselves.

The Evolution Project has collected evidence of speciation, evolution of new structures and complex new metabolic pathways, all since the beginning of the year.

People who claim that our knowledge is incomplete are right. People who claim we know almost nothing are wrong.

"The irony, that they are b... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"The irony, that they are blind to, is that while they think they are defending science they are turning it into religion. No room for discussion, attack anyone who says anything and label him a bible thumper.

Next they will all be moving to Salem and looking for witches. "

And this Paul is why they continue to "misunderstand you" because deep down they know this part of your opinion is truth, but they don't want to admit it.

"From this, you claim in various tangential ways, that numerous claims made by Evolutionary Biologists either have not been proven or could just as easily be explained through an alternative theory (ala Intelligent Design)."

Although, I am not sure he is arguing that ID is that alternative theory, only that there is possibly some other unknown explaination (C).

His point right now, is that there is still a lot of unknowns, and far more of those than knowns when it comes to the "ooze" part of the evolution theory.

'Anyone but Michael' has a ... (Below threshold)
-v-:

'Anyone but Michael' has a good point. A thousand years ago we knew much less than we do know (probably the 'several orders of magnitude' that you referred to in another thread, Paul). But a thousand years before that we probably knew about the same, if not a little more (the West certainly knew more in 0AD than 1000AD, but Asia and the Middle East made up for some of that by 1000AD). A millennium before that we knew a lot less, and I'm going to hazard that a millennium before that (2000BC) we knew about the same.

So based on the evidence, there's a reasonable chance we won't know any more! It would certainly be foolish to assume that, or pretty much anything else, over a 1000 year timeframe.

One of those frequently deb... (Below threshold)

One of those frequently debunked Creationist claims is "no evidence of inter-species evolution." Paul repeated that claim, with "we can not document ONE time in history that it has happened." (emphasis mine)

When shown the list of hundreds of transitionary fossils, he called them "30 or 40 'questionable' fossils. Which ones were questionable? Why call hundreds, '30 or 40?'

I detailed this on my blog post today. (Trackbacked above)

Paul's response was that I was a 'paranoid idiot.'

(Dorian I don't always ask ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

(Dorian I don't always ask this, but read the whole thing thru before you start your reply on this one please.)

>>Paul, let me see if I have got this right. Your concious effort to stir up a hornet's nest of controversy is predicated on the notion that Biological Evolution is for its believers as much of a religion as is Christianity for the Fundies

Nope- Not at all.

For SOME people, "Biological Evolution" (as you called it) is indeed a religion. Any mention of the world and they got nutz. CLEARLY you can be both rational and believe in EB. (your term) However the replies I'm gotten (themselves) prove that many people that this WAAAAY too serious.

Can ya deny that one? (keep reading ;-)


>> From this, you claim in various tangential ways, that numerous claims made by Evolutionary Biologists either have not been proven or could just as easily be explained through an alternative theory (ala Intelligent Design).

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.

For about he 1.6 millionth time. I don't have a better theory! In fact I've said on multiple occasions that the present ones are the best we have. I AM saying that "best" is a relative term. Our "best" today suck. see my graph.

>> Reading over your original post on Genetic Repair mechanisms found by geneticists at Purdue, I hope I have clearly encapsulated your argument

No you have not. Thru either miscommunication or prejudice (or a smidgen of both) you have drawn drawn the wrong conclusions. I hope my current comments made my point more clear.


===second paragraph===

>>The critiques you raise of evolution, such as "we dont know jack about the origin of species" and the "astronomically improbable" of evolution, are regular tropes of those who push Creationism as well as Intelligent Design

We also both breath air and drink water. What does that prove exactly?

>>The critiques you raise of evolution, such as "we dont know jack about the origin of species" and the "astronomically improbable" of evolution, are regular tropes of those who push Creationism as well as Intelligent Design

hmmm That two people who both disbelieve a point use similar arguments should seem rather obvious. -- That means I disbelieve what they disbelieve, that does not mean I believe what they do. (got that?)

>>Also if you regularly read scientific literature whether on the physical or organic sciences, you will note that no one claims to have all the answers, but in the case of Biology, Evolution (which includes mechanisms such as natural selection, geographical isolation, genetic drift, etc.) is a comprehensive and powerful explanatory theory.

GREAT WE AGREE!

>>The "zeal" you see from PZ, Andy and many other commentators merely stems from defending their discipline from attacks by those spouting claims which have already been thoroughly debunked dozens of times.

I am not them. (past combatants) Yes, they are projecting past battles on to what I am saying today. Steven asked me why I argued for ID and I had to explain that I never said any such thing.

If the morons (sorry) would read, I actually agree with them far more than the creationists... But I have to say, the creationists are not near as whacky as this crew!

>Hopefully this has been enlightening, or at least for those new to this train wreck, a responable summary.

Not irresponsible but flawed. I hope I was more clear.

No, Paul, your graph and "a... (Below threshold)
Orac:

No, Paul, your graph and "argument" (such as it is) are a nonsequitur, your whining otherwise notwithstanding.

You simply point out that we will probably have more scientific knowledge in the future than we have now. So freakin' what? That doesn't tell us whether that new knowledge will refute our understanding of evolution, which seems to be one of the implications behind your silly graph. In fact, the new knowledge we uncover very well might solidify and support our current understanding of evolution. As you put it, we just don't know.

In fact, the very premise of your post can be questioned. It is not a given that we will have more scientific knowledge in 1000 years than we do now. We very likely will, but there is no guarantee. What if there were a nuclear war that destroyed most major economies and plunged the world back into a Dark Age. What if a meteor hit the world? What if fundamentalists took over the major governments and banned the study of sciences that they didn't like? None of the above are very likely, but they're not impossible either.

I stand by my characterization of your post. I also stand by your characterization of it as a strawman, because it is. Once again, no one has said that we won't discover more or possibly have to revise the theory of evolution in the future.

Finally, as others have pointed out, you are incorrect to say we "don't know jack" about evolution/speciation. We actually know quite a bit. There's lots and lots more to learn, but it's a mischaracterization to claim we don't know very little.

The hole you're digging for yourself just keeps getting deeper and deeper, I'm afraid.

lol! Check out this line f... (Below threshold)

lol! Check out this line from the Politburo trackback:

Paul claims he is not a Creationist. He posts endlessly, "debunking" Evolution, but never Creationism. He never met a Creationist talking point that he didn't like.

Ah, okay. I guess that means that since this joker has never posted anything debunking the existence of pink polka-dotted pussycats from Pluto, that means he actually believes in them!

Josh when I get a minute, I... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Josh when I get a minute, I'm going to blog your links. Might be tomorrow so patience grasshoppa.

--------

V- You are right is that "we have learned a lot recently." (paraphrased) But if there is one thing we've learned about how we learn, it is that the more we learn, the faster and the more we learn. (got that?)

IOW- Remember the guy who wanted to close the patent office back in the 1700's because 'everything that could be invented has been invented'? -- Don't be that guy.

>>No, Paul, your graph and ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>>No, Paul, your graph and "argument" (such as it is) are a nonsequitur.

Then you don't know what the word means.

>>You simply point out that we will probably have more scientific knowledge in the future than we have now. So freakin' what?

Yes, so freaking what???? Why the howls from your whole crew. (could it be zealotry?)

>>That doesn't tell us whether that new knowledge will refute our understanding of evolution,

Never said it would.

>>In fact, the new knowledge we uncover very well might solidify and support our current understanding of evolution. As you put it, we just don't know.

GOOD WE AGREE!

>In fact, the very premise of your post can be questioned. It is not a given that we will have more scientific knowledge in 1000 years than we do now. We very likely will, but there is no guarantee.

THEN BY ALL MEANS make that argument and not that I am a bible thumper. If you think "we've peaked" as scientists OK. I don't believe that, but by golly, you run that idea up the flag pole and see who salutes.

>>What if there were a nuclear war that destroyed most major economies and plunged the world back into a Dark Age. What if a meteor hit the world?

Any thing can happen! Do you realize how stupid you look making this argument? "Evolution (or whatever term you pick) must be true because we might have a nuclear war." Yeah, that's pure science dude.

>>What if fundamentalists took over the major governments and banned the study of sciences that they didn't like?

I don't think you guys have much chance of doing that.

>>None of the above are very likely, but they're not impossible either.

And you might read my post and realize you jumped to wild conclusions. Anything can happen.

>>I stand by my characterization of your post.

Then lucky for you, you are still wrong.

>>I also stand by your characterization of it as a strawman, because it is. Once again, no one has said that we won't discover more or possibly have to revise the theory of evolution in the future.

What about the nuclear war you promised?

>>Finally, as others have pointed out, you are incorrect to say we "don't know jack" about evolution/speciation. We actually know quite a bit. There's lots and lots more to learn, but it's a mischaracterization to claim we don't know very little.

And when a child learns to count to 100 they are convinced they know a lot too.

As we get older and wiser we know better.

Paul: "I never avoid a ques... (Below threshold)

Paul: "I never avoid a question. ... I just delete the inconvenient ones."

[Paul Adds: No Commissar I deleted you for whining. I answered you in excess of 15 times. You are a child. So I will answer people like Dorian who (so far) seems capable of having a rational discussion. But I'll delete whiners, you bore me saying the same 3 thing over and over for 3 days. And frankly, you are just too dumb to entertain me.]

Apple computers suck.... (Below threshold)

Apple computers suck.

ROFLMAO... (Below threshold)
Paul:

ROFLMAO

You'll have to forgive Paul... (Below threshold)
Mark:

You'll have to forgive Paul, he's one of those guys that is so convinced of his own logic he dismissing all else. He doesn't even think his way through a problem, he just assumes he is correct.

But, now I'm acting like he is, attacking the person, not the idea.

Since there is no actual information in this post to attack or disagree with, though as a former Physics TA I must say you didn't put units on your graph. 'Knowledge' is a category like 'length', what exactly is 2 knowledges?

But I once saw Paul post that there has never been an observation of one species evolving into another. Ironically, even the young Earth creationists over at AIG concede this point, showing Paul really hasn't tried very hard to research the issue at all, yet types as if his infinite wisdom and logic are far greater than all others.

OK Orac... LETS HAVE SOME F... (Below threshold)
Paul:

OK Orac... LETS HAVE SOME FUN....

(call it evolution, EB, I don't care what you call it... I'll call it "life stuff")

If you had to guess Orac.... 1000 years from now how much more (or less) will we know about all this "life stuff" than we do today????

There's no wrong answer. (OK I lied ;-)

P

Boring?YES<... (Below threshold)

Boring?

YES

Whereas I'm so nice I even ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Whereas I'm so nice I even provide phrases like "he dismissing all else" just to make everyone else feel better about themselves and their own intelligence! lol

What's interesting to me is... (Below threshold)
Heater:

What's interesting to me is the conception Paul seems to have, of the meaning of 'we don't know jack' (about the beginnings of life).

Any such general or vague statement (say A1) is ultimately to be understood relative to another case of knowledge (say A2), that the speaker has (or claims to have), which, in the speaker's mind, can be compared to A1, in order to provide some meaning to it. What else can A1 mean, otherwise? It's too vague: Jack compared to what? What jack? Which jack?

So, A1 = "we don't know jack about evolution",
A2 = ?

Certainly A2 cannot reside in a scientific conception, since evolution is as firmly established as any other scientific theory; Paul's making the implicit claim that A1 is *less* certain than A2. If A2 cannot be naturalistic, therefore, it must be super-naturalistic, and must be *more* sure than most of science. This leaves very few options open. Paul MUST be a creationist, in order for 'we don't know jack' to make any sense. This seems to contradict his statements to the effect that "All I'm saying is that we'll know more about science in a thousand years".

He is, therefore, making an implicit claim for creationism. Otherwise he's speaking nonsense. Either of these seem about as likely.

Mark did you read your own ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Mark did you read your own link?

"British scientists have now found that it is almost impossible to mate those in the Tube with the ones still living above ground, thus suggesting that they have become a new species1  (or almost so)"

So you "almost" had a point. LOL

If you had to guess.... ... (Below threshold)
Jody:

If you had to guess.... 1000 years from now how much more (or less) will we know about all this "life stuff" than we do today????

However much more there is, I'm pretty certain you'll still dismiss it all as "jack" with a wave of the hand and a cute picture...

>>>Paul MUST be a creationi... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>>>Paul MUST be a creationist, in order for 'we don't know jack' to make any sense

Heater, You don't know jack.

OK OK OK OK OKI'm ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

OK OK OK OK OK

I'm a bible thumper. You've outted me. I didn't even know I was a bible thumper but by golly I am! I called Kevin and we arranged weekly prayer services on Wizbang. You are all required to attend and give testimonials.

Now? How does that make your theory any better?

[Note to any people who may be religious. The "bible thumper" stuff was not meant to offend. It was to mock them, not you. -P]

Apparently a few of you don... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Apparently a few of you don't get the reference.

You Don't Know Jack

It's a game people.

RE: Paul's post (March 28, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Paul's post (March 28, 2005 03:27 PM)

>> [From Orac - March 28, 2005 03:11 PM] What if there were a nuclear war that destroyed most major economies and plunged the world back into a Dark Age. What if a meteor hit the world?

Any thing can happen! Do you realize how stupid you look making this argument? "Evolution (or whatever term you pick) must be true because we might have a nuclear war." Yeah, that's pure science dude.

Paul,

Not to nitpick (OK, I'm nitpicking), but you have taken Orac's observation completely out of context. Orac was talking about the potential loss of scientific data that could be instantaneously obliterated by catastrophic (natural or man-made) events. Such a loss could contribute to our misunderstanding of the world as we know it since it would contribute to diminution of our collected scientific knowledge. That would be a valid point that does not incorporate some direct attribution to support/refute evolution per se. He was challenging your premise of an inevitable projected expansion of what is "known". I don't know where you came up with your twisted interpretation.

Back to your regularly scheduled oozers vs thumpers dialogue.

Paul, there are a few other... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Paul, there are a few other examples like the one I linked to as well (like this -- but this is my favorite simply because of who is saying it. This isn't a line of debate anyone who has looked into the data actually uses anymore. If you are going to argue against evolution at least update your arguments.

While you don't have to agree with AIG, I'd suggest you read their Arguments we think creationists should NOT use FAQ. Although I believe they are completely wrong, I've found AIG to be the most honest of the anti-evolutionary groups. They believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible and work very hard to make it work. They claim nothing else, really. (Sure, they fool themselves from time to time, but who doesn't do that?)

Paul, The point he... (Below threshold)
Heater:

Paul,

The point here is that, very often, we hold presuppositions that we don't know about ourselves; we see tham only after analysis. Your implicit presupposition seems to be that you expect a degree of certainty from a scientific theory that no scientific theory can give you. Even geometry can give you a probability of 1, only if we accept certain axioms in the system.

But science is not deductive, as geometry is. Evolution is, as of now, if I may make up a number (wish I had a pretty picture too...) 99.9999% certain.

Now no scientist would ever *expect* more from evolution than this, it would seem absurd!

If you do expect more, it would seem that you require evolution to live up to super-naturalistic standards. Which it will never do. Not in the year 3005, or 10005 or 100005. Never.

You're not talking within the domain of science.

>Not to nitpick (OK, I'm ni... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Not to nitpick (OK, I'm nitpicking), but you have taken Orac's observation completely out of context.

Yeah I know-- but turn about is fairplay.

Basically the debate has gone like this today:

Paul: We don't know jack compared to what we will know in (oh) 1000 years.

Oozers: You're a bible thumper!

Paul: No, I'm really not.

Oozer: Yes you are! You are a bible thumper in disguise!

Paul: No I'm really not... now can we get on with the debate?

Ozooers: Well we might not know more in 1000 years because so a war or something! (SO we must know everything today ~implied)

Paul (as you noted I said this via sarcasm) OK OK Absent war, space aliens eating us and other dooms day scenarios, can we discuss how much we are likely to know in 1000 years????

Oozers: You're a bible thumper.

-----

The nuke war thing was a red herring. They just won't admit we are academically still children. So I mocked them.... so sue me.

Paul:Point taken.<... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Paul:

Point taken.

As the old man Socrates said:

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

I see that you are not arguing against modern evolutionary biology, but merely bringing up the point that some people argue for the rigid correctness of current ideas with a decidedly religious fervor.

But most of all I am saddened by a trend I am just beginning to discern among my colleagues. I sense that some now wish to mute the healthy debate about theory that had brought new life to evolutionary biology.

-Stephen Jay Gould

It's not a good idea to get too full of ourselves, after all we have only been around these parts for a hundred thousand years or so...and alot has gone on in the past 4.6 billion years.

Nobody has a patent on truth.

Over and out.

Exactly, Heater. Nothing i... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Exactly, Heater. Nothing in science is really proved, we just get data and a consensus people who have reviewed, analyzed and argued over the data. Even Relativity and QM haven't been 'proved', in fact we know that one or the other is at least somewhat wrong. As Brian Greene says:

The problem is this: There are two foundational pillars upon which modern physics rests. One is Albert Einstein's general relativity, which provides a theoretical framework for understanding the universe on the largest of scales: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and beyond to the immense expanse of the universe itself. The other is quantum mechanics, which provides a theoretical framework for understanding the universe on the smallest of scales: molecules, atoms, and all the way down to the subatomic particles like electrons and quarks. Through years of reasearch, physicists have experimentally confirmed to almost unimaginable accuracy virtually all predictions made by each of these theories. But these same theoretical tools inexorably lead to another disturbing conclusion: As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right. The two theories underlying the tremendous progress of physics during the last hundred years -- progress that has explained the expansion of the heavens and the fundamental structure of matter -- are mutually incompatible.

>If you are going to argue ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>If you are going to argue against evolution at least update your arguments.

WHAT! We've learned new stuff???? Can't be... Everyone here says we already new it all! I'm shocked, just shocked!

Oh I guess NOW we know it all... Right?

(if you don't get that point then I can't help you)
---------------------

>>>Evolution is, as of now,... 99.9999% certain.

Heater... Heater... Oh come now Heater....

99.9999% ????

Oh come on.... Turn off Mister Rogers and join us in the real world.

But most of all I am sad... (Below threshold)
Paul:

But most of all I am saddened by a trend I am just beginning to discern among my colleagues. I sense that some now wish to mute the healthy debate about theory that had brought new life to evolutionary biology.

You can say that again

OK New Rules:<... (Below threshold)
Paul:

OK New Rules:

Since the debate is now one of quantity... I want every one record.

If you are going to say I'm wrong that we will learn exponentially more about "all this life stuff" in 1000 years. How much will we learn in 1000 years???

Alternatively you can tell me what percentage of the whole picture we have today?

Heater takes the field for the religious evolution zealots with "We know 99.9999%"

Commissar you can play again too if you give me a number and don't whine.

AnoymousDrivel,Pau... (Below threshold)
Orac:

AnoymousDrivel,

Paul was clearly misrepresenting what I said because he know it shows that his premise is not necessarily a valid one. He latched on to my examples simply because he couldn't address the underlying point. My fault there; given Paul's inability to defend his points without resorting to straw man arguments and nonsequiturs (among other logical fallacies), I should have chosen my examples more carefully.

But, to answer Paul. My guess is that scientific knowledge about biology will probably expand in 1000 years. So what? That wasn't my point. My point was that the expansion of human knowledge is not inevitable, and there are scenarios in which knowledge might not expand that much or might even contract. Indeed, European civilization went through just such a period for several hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire. (They didn't call it the Dark Ages for nothing.) Your premise appears to be that knowledge of biology will definitely expand considerably. That is a flawed premise, because it's not necessarily true.

>>>Evolution is, as of now,... (Below threshold)
Heater:

>>>Evolution is, as of now,... 99.9999% certain.

Heater... Heater... Oh come now Heater....


Paul, you're missing the point. The number isn't important. As I said, "if I may make up a number...".

The point here is, no sane scientist would doubt that the evolutionary theory is an *excellent* theory; it explains a *lot* very elegantly. If it isn't 99.9999, it's 99.01, or 98.988767614. Whatever, it doesn't matter. The exact figure is a red herring.

Ooops. Looks like while I w... (Below threshold)
Orac:

Ooops. Looks like while I was typing my last comment that Paul discovered a new logical fallacy: The false dilemma.

Paul, It's time to... (Below threshold)
Heater:

Paul,

It's time to distort what I was saying, obviously. You quote me thus:
(i) "We know 99.9999%"

What I said was:
(ii)"Evolution is, as of now,... 99.9999% certain"

a) As I said, the exact number doesn't matter. I doubt you could even compute that number.
b) There's a HUGE difference between (i) and (ii). Think about it.

I don't know the context of... (Below threshold)
Mark:

I don't know the context of the Gould quote, but this always happens. Science may be objective but actual scientists aren't. The reason why science works is all these scientists get paid to criticize each other and then some young guys come along and throw the kings off their mountain.

(I simplify, of course, but you get the idea.)

Some ID arguments are actually interesting, and some have even been published in real science journals, but they tend to fall into two categories: 1. "looked into it, nope it isn't a problem" and 2. "yep, we're working on that one".

While some scientists may sound like they are preaching the "religion of evolution", many do not. On the other hand, all IDers and Creationists have a very specific agenda based on their religion and faith. When IDers come up with real arguments scientists actually look into it (if only to get them to shut up, but still...) -- the system seems to work. Hell, the system has worked wonders throughout the past several hundred years -- it's amazing what we know now.

>Paul was clearly misrepres... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Paul was clearly misrepresenting what I said because he know it shows that his premise is not necessarily a valid one.

No I was mocking you. "We might have a nuke war..." Get real
=========

>>The point here is, no sane scientist would doubt that the evolutionary theory is an *excellent* theory; it explains a *lot* very elegantly.

Heater you missed me earlier.

EZs (evolution zealots) LOVE to say their theory(ies) is "elegant."

OOOOKAAAY The creationist say simply "God did it all."

Now since that is considerably more elegant than what you believe, are you going to switch sides?

As I said earlier, If we are scoring on elegance, the creationists win by a mile.

NOW- Got a better line?

ooops sorry heater- Unlike ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

ooops sorry heater- Unlike you guys have no reason to misquote you.

OK you pick the number and what it represents. (confidence, known knowledge, you pick)

Mark read your link, have t... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Mark read your link, have to agree with Paul, did you actually read it.

Also, please come back to me, when those mosquitos turn into something that isn't a mosquito anymore.

Paul said: "If we are scori... (Below threshold)
Heater:

Paul said: "If we are scoring on elegance, the creationists win by a mile...NOW- Got a better line?"

Why yes, I do. Evolution is more elegant, and is not absolute bull. That is, it's supported by massive amounts of evidence. Why are we going through this again? Why? WHY? It's been settled many years before.

MARK MARK MARKYou ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

MARK MARK MARK

You said:

"While some scientists may sound like they are preaching the "religion of evolution", many do not. On the other hand, all IDers and Creationists have a very specific agenda based on their religion and faith"

If I've said it once I've said it 1000 times. In order to believe EITHER theory you must take a leap of faith... the difference is the religious people will admit it.

My problem is (as it is evidence by my replies) is that the so-called scientists are often more zealous than the real religious.

I say something as simple as "We'll know a lot more in 1000 years" and some jackass says "Not if we have a war."

It surpasses real debate and becomes stupidity.

Actually, Paul, elegance in... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Actually, Paul, elegance in theory means elegance in showing how to justify the observable. Creationists have a really hard time with the simple fact that fossils of simple creatures have been found the older layers of earth and as you move up you can see a pattern of increasing complexity. Is God trying to trick us? Did something happen during the Flood to cause smaller creatures to be buried first, the opposite of expected results? What exactly is going on here?

For evolution, the answers are elegant.

BTW, science is the quest for finding natural causes for natural phenomena. Saying Apollo pulls the sun across the ski may be elegant, but it isn't science, even if we didn't know what we now know. Check out the Parable of the Beekeeper.

And which side has more zea... (Below threshold)
Paul:

And which side has more zealots?

They've been plenty of (real) religious people come thru here and make a few comments and leave. The evolution zealots pounce in droves.

Just an observation.

Posted by: Paul at March 28... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Posted by: Paul at March 28, 2005 04:32 PM
Alternatively you can tell me what percentage of the whole picture we have today?

I have it on good authority that it is 42 though some speculate 43. Nimrods, I tells ya'... 43, pffft.

PS - Follow the link only if you don't mind reading spoilers. Traverse at your own peril.

>Actually, Paul, elegance i... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Actually, Paul, elegance in theory means elegance in showing how to justify the observable.

"It's in the bible"

I'm not a creationist but if the issue os one of elegance....

>For evolution, the answers... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>For evolution, the answers are elegant.

OK how did we get here-- in 100 words or less.

Paul, You have a c... (Below threshold)
Heater:

Paul,

You have a central question. It isn't quantifiably answerable; however, we *can* express a degree of confidence in the answers:

1) Will we know more a thousand years from now about human origins?
Answer: Why, yes, obviously, assuming that we don't all die from a diet of rotten gorilla colon.

This leads to the question: "How much more will we know?" And there's no simple answer to this. We'll come to know a LOT more, but quantifying it is impossible (and fully unneccesary, and probably misleading).

From the answer to (1), you seem to conclude that the current theory (whatever it is, let's say it's "evolution"), is weak.

That's not a valid move. By that reasoning, everything we know, by definition, is weak, just as weak as evolution.

You need to show that evolution is weaker, right now, in March 2005, than its rivals. It isn't. It's so very strong, right now, compared to ID, say, that we may express a very high degree of certainty in it. Say 99.99 %.

In saying this, we are NOT saying that we know 99.99% of everything.

We'll probably know a heck ... (Below threshold)
SonOfOoze:

We'll probably know a heck of a lot more chemistry and physics a thousand years from now, too, but nobody calls organic synthesis 'just a theory', because no one fears that they'll be thrown into hell for believing it. Some people think they are in hell when studying it, but that's different...

AD I get it w/o the link...... (Below threshold)
Paul:

AD I get it w/o the link.... Too chicken?

====

Ok boys and girls, it's been fun.. I'm probably done.

Dorian if you answer me, take a second to email me, I may or may not check this thread again.. I do have a life you know.

Of course I read the AIG si... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Of course I read the AIG site I linked to. If you are looking for someone watching one kind of creature evolving into another right before our eyes, I can't help you out. There is a great deal of evidence in the fossil record of this happening, but you can't say "this fossil is the father of that fossil" etc., etc. What you can do is date the fossils, look for similar features and notice a progression. There are many, many examples of that. Proof? No. But pretty solid evidence.

The fact that we have observed one species evolve into another at all, even at the most technical level, I found to be fairly interesting. Once you have a split as documented it doesn't take much imagination to picture further changes as time goes on.

Oh, btw, I agree with Paul's assessment that knowledge increases over time, obviously, but why should this lead to some nihilistic view that what we understand now is worthless or too incomplete to make any decisions? It's almost like saying you should never buy a computer because in a few years there will be much more powerful computers for the same price. True, but so what?

Ok. The funny thing is tha... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Ok. The funny thing is that IDists and Creationists usually arent even talking about the theory of Evolution, even when they think they are.

The theory of evolution isnt about all the ooze and much as much as its about speciation and diversification...like the old example of the giraffes necks getting longer over time due to selective pressures.

Evolution isnt about what created life, or how it started...its about how it has changed over time.

Creationists get all ruffled about ideas that conflict with a literal interpretation of Genesis. Basically, they feel that a small group of Bedouin pastoralists had all the answers about 3000 years ago, and that ideas that have been discovered more recently are all bunk. See what happens when people get dogmatic?

Creationists (who are generally Christian) also overlook the fact that their religion isnt the only one that has a complex, and very old, mythological tradition. Many cultures have them, and some are even older than the Judeo Christian stories.

Paul's point is basically that we dont know everything, which is true. We know some good things now, but soon we will know more. Ideas change pretty quickly...just read an anthropology or biology book from 1950.

When Tu-chai-pai made the world, the earth was the woman, the sky was the man. The sky came down upon the earth. The world in the beginning was a pure lake covered with tules...

-Beginning of Diegeno Indian Creation Myth

Steven Hawking might have other ideas about the origin of earth. Does it matter?

Josh when I get a ... (Below threshold)
Josh:
Josh when I get a minute, I'm going to blog your links. Might be tomorrow so patience grasshoppa.

--------

V- You are right is that "we have learned a lot recently." (paraphrased) But if there is one thing we've learned about how we learn, it is that the more we learn, the faster and the more we learn. (got that?)

IOW- Remember the guy who wanted to close the patent office back in the 1700's because 'everything that could be invented has been invented'? -- Don't be that guy.

And don't be the guy who burned down the library at Alexandria. We know a lot. Your graph is at best misleading.

Say we measure knowledge by pages written (this is a horrible metric, but something's better than nothing). In 1000 years, there will be at least 100 times as many pages (of new material) published. But the interesting question is whether any of those pages will provide data which , for instance, causes us to cast Einsteinian relativity by the wayside? What about quantum theory? Evolutionary biology? Germ theory? Atomic theory? Newton's theories?

You'll note that some of those theories have conflicts of various sorts. Newton's theories have been updated, rewritten, and supplanted in different ways, but there are excellent reasons for the continued dominance of Newton, despite the fact that relativity explains the universe better.

Similarly, modern evolutionary biology isn't what it was in 1859, when Darwin and Wallace published. It isn't what it was when Dobzhansky said "Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution." It isn't what it was a year ago.

Those statements are correct, and had you said that, you wouldn't look quite so silly.

Evolution is the grand unified theory of biology. Physicists are still working on their grand, unified theory, and every new discovery in string theory or astrophysics is (rightly) taken by the public as a sign of the strength of the fundamental principles of modern physics. New data come in (more and more pages generated), but the amount by which earlier theoretical work is changed decreases. The big questions get answered, and the problem is working out the details.

Your graphic is bogus because it lacks a metric, and you don't distinguish the nature of knowledge.

When we find life on other planets, and understand how it has changed through time, we will increase our knowledge greatly. The amount of new knowledge relating to life on earth will be relatively small. We are likely to find that life on other planets evolves through natural selection and other well-understood processes, but if they don't, that adds data without eliminating any existing knowledge.

I've put 100 papers a week into the Evolution Project. Those are new data, but they don't undermine the principles of modern biology. I've put nothing into the Non-Evolution Project. You'll just have to trust me that there hasn't been anything to put there. That means that lots has been published which supports modern biological theory (doesn't prove, that's not what we humans do) and nothing has come along and refuted it.

It isn't just the quantity of knowledge that changes, but the type.

josh wrote:Your... (Below threshold)
areaman:

josh wrote:

Your graphic is bogus because it lacks a metric, and you don't distinguish the nature of knowledge.

I think the graph is meant to be facetious Josh.

RE: Paul's post (March 28, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Paul's post (March 28, 2005 05:02 PM)
AD I get it w/o the link.... Too chicken?

LOL. Nah, but how often can I a) use that answer and b) have such a short response mean so much? It has as many levels as the Earth has geologic strata.

I'm afraid this oozer won't get pinned down to a particular number (excepting of course the universally applicable "42") since it's a silly exercise. I liken it to the mind-boggling curiosity of "How many pieces of string does it take to reach the Moon?".

I have more "faith" that science does a better job of explaining my existence on our big blue marble than anything that any religion has to offer. I don't need to bang people over the head with my zealotry because it has no impact on my "beliefs". I'll continue to analyze what science presents and evolve along with its expanding knowledge all the while discarding the most frivolous and disproven. Some eureka moment may turn everything on its head and we'll reanalyze under a new paradigm. I'll let the thumpers think whatever they want and we'll all coexist until one of us wants the other's steak dinner or mating area. Then, of course, we'll engage and only one will leave the prairie alive. It's that evolution "survival of the fittest" thing.

Paul - you've been clearly ... (Below threshold)
ronaprhys:

Paul - you've been clearly caught in several logical fallacies on this very post (non sequitur, straw man, and the false dilemma), and you've even managed to imply things and then deny them - not quite the same as lying, but close. Then, when people point out the fallacies, you appear to either
a) mock them
b) resort to more logical fallacies

At no point in this entire post have I seen you address the fallacies, nor your misquotes, correct the implied falsehoods, or even come up with any concrete evidence for your points. It's just amazing, actually.

If you'd like, I can come up with definitions of each of the above, along with examples of them throughout your posts. However, I'm not sure it'd do any good (much like this debate is doing nothing to further science, evolution, ID, or creationism), so let me know if you'll actually answer them rather than just resort to mocking and I'll be more than happy to post again.

I doubt that the graphic is... (Below threshold)
Josh:

I doubt that the graphic is facetious, but it doesn't matter. The argument is the same regardless of the graphic.

Knowledge will increase, but all knowledge isn't equal.

Any metric Paul puts on knowledge would be flawed. This is the massive hole in his argument, and his graphic is perfect at illustrating the error.

ADrivel wrote:I... (Below threshold)
areaman:

ADrivel wrote:

I'll let the thumpers think whatever they want and we'll all coexist until one of us wants the other's steak dinner or mating area.

Thats what it all comes down to...

lol

I want people to know me :(... (Below threshold)
Jack:

I want people to know me :(

I think the graph is mea... (Below threshold)
Ben:

I think the graph is meant to be facetious Josh.

Oh, clearly biting satire. Or is it irony? A pun? Observational humour? Zany madcap humour? In any event, Bravo!

Sure, we're all laughing WITH him, not AT him... ;)

Josh:The post is c... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Josh:

The post is catagorized under "humor" so I wouldnt take it all too seriously.

I dont know how you would actually put a "metric" on knowledge like that...

I guess what I see is a basic point, that being the fact that in the future we should have a greater udnerstanding of evolutionary biology, anthropology, genetics, etc. That is, assuming that we dont nuke ourselves. The assumption is that we continue to study and investigate those fields.

Paleoanthropology is a good example. Sure they have some good finds and ideas about the australopithecines, but the samples are limited, and chronologies can radically change with new finds when the data set is so small. We have interesting ideas about human origins, but by no means are they definitive...

Pauls graphic is meant to be humorous. He's saying that he thinks we will "know more" in the future, and hopefully we will. I dont care about getting into the technical faults of a humorous graph, personally. Dont worry about it...you seem to have a good grasp on evolutionary ideas. Paul is just saying that we havent nailed it all down, and I agree with that.

Paul, your chart would be m... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Paul, your chart would be meaningful if it showed our level of knowledge one thousand years ago as well. At the relative scales you represent, it would have to be a negative number.

What happened to the other thread where we were supposed to provide answers in the approved Pauline format? I spent an hour writing something up, and then *poof* the thread was closed.

I want people to know me... (Below threshold)
jill:

I want people to know me :(

I have never forgotten you.

Ben:You know its b... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Ben:

You know its been a while since I've seen high quality zany madcap humor. Oh, the good old days.

a.m.

RE: Jack's post March 28, 2... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Jack's post March 28, 2005 05:56 PM
I want people to know me :(

Who is Jack, really?


PS - Is there something subliminal you're not telling us? Are you pretending to be someone else?

I gotta admit, watching you... (Below threshold)

I gotta admit, watching you stir up the people who worship Darwin is even funnier than those Canadians stirring up the global warming industry. Nice work, Paul.

For the record: I agree that evolution is currently our best, most workable theory. However, I also think it's about as close to the truth as pre-Einsteinian physics. We don't even know the parts we don't know, to paraphrase the great philosopher Donald Rumsfeld.

Who is Jack, really?... (Below threshold)
areaman:

Who is Jack, really?

I think this "Jack" is really....

Kaiser Soze.

There. I said it.

Pro evolution posters have ... (Below threshold)
bobvcs:

Pro evolution posters have said "evolution is a fact" and that no "sane scientist" would not believe in evolution. If evolution were indeed considered to be a fact we would not have the many quotes in publications by evolutionary scientists who offer the various theories of evolution (and doubts about)?

What we know through the study of genomes shows that the information for change must already be there and is not determined by environment and selectivity (such as thinking about why the giraffe has a long neck).

There are literally thousands of sane scientists who believe in intelligent design. Anyone denying this has simply not tried to find out.

We have all been exposed to the teaching of evolution over periods of years. We know the theory of evolution. How many of those who reject
intelligent design have spent as much time examining it as they did evolution? Not to say that everyone would be convinced but that they could at least argue about a subject they knew something about.

RE: areaman's post (March 2... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: areaman's post (March 28, 2005 06:24 PM)
Kaiser Soze.

There. I said it.

Heh. I actually had my sights a little higher - perhaps even inspired.

"Is God trying to trick us?... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Is God trying to trick us? Did something happen during the Flood to cause smaller creatures to be buried first, the opposite of expected results? What exactly is going on here?"

Okay, just a hypothesis, but larger animals generally have legs and can run faster, and run to higher ground. So just guessing, maybe the larger animals got to higher ground, and weren't caught up in the waters where the silt and other stuff was burying all those smaller things. Then they got covered up by the water, and rotted away, leaving very little behind to get buried.

Anybody But Michael:<... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Anybody But Michael:

I just noticed your post earlier in this thread. Why are you using that name? Are you making fun of me? Are you trying to imply that I am some kind of stupid Thumper?

Michael:Are you re... (Below threshold)
Anybody But Michael:

Michael:

Are you really so stupid that I have to explain this to you?

RE: Just Me's post (March 2... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Just Me's post (March 28, 2005 07:15 PM)
Okay, just a hypothesis, but larger animals generally have legs and can run faster, and run to higher ground. So just guessing, maybe the larger animals got to higher ground, and weren't caught up in the waters where the silt and other stuff was burying all those smaller things. Then they got covered up by the water, and rotted away, leaving very little behind to get buried.

You mean like, for example, humans running from a tsunami of historical proportions?

Anybody But Michael:<... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Anybody But Michael:

Up yours!

Michael:Yo Mama!</... (Below threshold)
Anybody But Michael:

Michael:

Yo Mama!

Paul writes: For ... (Below threshold)
s9:

Paul writes: For about he 1.6 millionth time. I don't have a better theory! In fact I've said on multiple occasions that the present ones are the best we have.

...For some value of 1.6 million...

Anyway, this is the first time since I started hassling him about it that Paul has actually answered the questions I put to him in the last three threads on the topic. (You won't find any of my previous posts of the questions, because he deleted them all rather than answer them. I don't understand why he felt the need to do that. I posted the questions on my [shared] weblog, for reference purposes.)

Ye ghods, what a wanker Paul is... I have to agree with PZ Myers above. The graph he produced for this post was just astonishing in its degree of whackery. He's finally been badgered into admitting that he accepts that the modern synthesis theory of evolution is the best scientific explanation for the origin of life— he has no other theory he prefers over it.

He just likes whining about how much it sucks. And he likes transmitting the bogus claims and arguments of creationist anti-science nutjobs. And he especially likes calling all the people he's castigating for accepting evolutionary theories about the origin of life by the name "oozers"— even while he will, when pushed, finally admit that he's an "oozer" himself.

A wanker of high degree, I say.

Anybody But Michael:<... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Anybody But Michael:

I am soooo stimulated by an intellectual debate like this.

Michael:You stupid... (Below threshold)
Anybody But Michael:

Michael:

You stupid Thumper. You wouldn't recognize a real debate if it kicked you in the ass!

Anybody But Michael:<... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Anybody But Michael:

As I pointed out long ago, Paul put this thread in the Humor category, and YOU ARE A JOKE you stupid Oozer. You are going to hell!!

Paul:OK, we are sp... (Below threshold)
Michael and Anybody But Michael:

Paul:

OK, we are spamming your comment thread. Feel free to delete. But this was SUPPOSED to be humerous, right?

RE: Michael and Anybody But... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Michael and Anybody But Michael's post (March 28, 2005 07:41 PM)
...But this was SUPPOSED to be humerous, right?

Au contraire. Death match, best two out of three falls for the world title. "Evolving Ooze" vs "Creative Thumpers". Winner's dogma reigns the mount with subsequent extinction of loser's folly into the abyss. The sands of time will purge all evidence of this clash of titans until it's uncovered anew by a bunch of confused spelunkers seeking a new "truth". And then we'll have the rematch.

Pro evolution posters ha... (Below threshold)
Ben:

Pro evolution posters have said "evolution is a fact" and that no "sane scientist" would not believe in evolution. If evolution were indeed considered to be a fact we would not have the many quotes in publications by evolutionary scientists who offer the various theories of evolution (and doubts about)?

What we know through the study of genomes shows that the information for change must already be there and is not determined by environment and selectivity (such as thinking about why the giraffe has a long neck).

bobvcs, instead of regurgitating the same old lies and canards, why not try to educate yourself on the issue? I recommend Talk.Origins for an obvious novice like yourself. While you're at it, you might want to brush up on the entire methodology of science, of which you're clearly wistfully ignorant. Some factual basis might give your comments that extra ZING.

Anonymous Drivel:R... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Anonymous Drivel:

ROFLMAOL.

Thanks.

bobvs: Read Dawkins' The Bl... (Below threshold)
Rob:

bobvs: Read Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker. Also, please let us know how Intelligent Design is more than just an unsupported hypothesis.

AD: heh. I was th... (Below threshold)
ginabina:

AD:

heh. I was thinking 42!

I'm all for debate-- And I ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I'm all for debate-- And I don't even shy away from name calling...

But when "yo momma" actually becomes the most intellectual comment in the last few hours, I think it's time to say good-night.




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