### Dembski Nails It!

Friends, (I had to update this a little, because I wrote it late last night and I found a few typing errors.–j)

William Dembski has nailed it! You should hit his blog for the whole story and for associated comments by readers, but here’s a snippet:

The phrase that jumps out here is “least understood of all scientific theories.” Reality check: the basics of evolutionary theory are not hard to fathom — evolution is not rocket science (presumably Paula Apsell thinks she understands them). Moreover, tax payers have been paying megabucks to have their children indoctrinated in this theory. So perhaps the problem is not that evolutionary theory is poorly understood but that it is sufficiently well understood and disbelieved.”

I think ‘indoctrination’ is the right word here. In fact, I know it is. I’ll show you why below.

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Yesterday my fourth grader came home from school and told me all about the lesson he had in ‘global warming’ that day. He then astutely pointed out that the bus driver contributed to global warming on the ride home from school by leaving the lights on in the bus the whole ride home from school. He said she ought to be ashamed of herself. Fourth grade–even he gets it!

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Finally, from the world of evolutionary psychology, and Psychology Today, a note about the breasts of women. You’ll love this ladies! I’m not sure if these stories are real or not, but… Here’s what evolutionary psychologists spend their grant money on:

Until very recently, it was a mystery to evolutionary psychology why men prefer women with large breasts, since the size of a woman’s breasts has no relationship to her ability to lactate. But Harvard anthropologist Frank Marlowe contends that larger, and hence heavier, breasts sag more conspicuously with age than do smaller breasts. Thus they make it easier for men to judge a woman’s age (and her reproductive value) by sight-suggesting why men find women with large breasts more attractive.

And I’m sure you’ll love this take on the ‘saggy boobs‘ story. (If you are interested in the original ‘research’ you could click here. Oh, another funny thing these ‘doctors’ tell us is that most suicide bombers are Muslims. They mix this in, about right in the middle, with their theories about saggy breasts.) And we are supposed to trust these people with our children’s education’s. This stuff is just too funny. They want us to consider this as serious research, serious study, and serious reflection on culture. (I always thought there were other reasons for…well, nevermind.)

Denyse O’Leary suggests that if you want to help stem the tide of such stupidity, you click here.

Friends, my point in noting all this for you is simple: To show that Darwinism is not without its challenges. They continue with their propaganda in the schools because they have to. It’s like cigarette companies who have to sell to kids and get them hooked early: No one in their right mind would start smoking as an adult after reading about all the additives that go in to cigs. It’s the same with Darwinism: Get them hooked early, get them indoctrinated young, then when they are older it will be just too much for them to overcome.

Darwinism is such a joke. We need to let more people know about how our children are not given any choices when it comes to their education. We need to let our children know that Darwinism is a false teaching, a lie, an intellectual fantasy of people who are afraid they will lose their power and their grants.

So we arrive back where we started: Indoctrination. That’s all it is, plain and simple. The rest of it is just hilarious. It’s like Rush Limbaugh says concerning why liberals hate the president, “They cannot stand faith in something larger than the self.” He is right. And so it is with the Darwinists.

jerry

1. Personally, I want my child to get taught the best science we have available. Will science continue to learn new things, so that some things he was taught may have to be reconsidered? Sure. But science only makes future progress by doing the best it can with the available information. And the evidence that has been turned up by biologists, paleontologists, geneticists and others with relevant qualifications has consistently fit with evolution. That a lawyer can write a book persuading people that the situation is otherwise doesn’t surprise me. That is what lawyers do for a living, after all.

2. James,

And what persuades you that I think differently? That is precisely the point: I want my children taught the best science available; Darwinism is not the best ‘science’ available. It is, to be sure, not really even science since no one can really test the ideas that it is premised upon. It is a theory, not a good one, and one that is fraught with too much negative history.

With all due respect, I think you have missed the large point of my essay, but perhaps a lyric by the band Rush can help bring it out: “So much mind over matter, the spirit gets forgotten about.”

Or, “Some world views are spacious, some are merely space.” Darwinism falls into the latter of these two categories.

Thanks for stopping by,
jerry

3. Touche! Thanks for visiting my blog and quoting Rush right back at me! 🙂

Evolution, with natural selection as one important mechanism driving it, is as certain as, if not indeed more certain than, our understanding of the nature of atoms and subatomic particles. We cannot see an atom. We can only run tests that predict certain outcomes based on our best model (i.e. theory in the scientific sense), and if the results are as predicted, we have confirmation.

Darwin’s theory had relatively little evidentiary basis when it was first formulated. He didn’t know about genes, much less about DNA, but his theory predicted that there would be individual units of a ‘digital’ sort for passing on hereditary traits, since if they were ‘analog’ then traits would simply get diluted and his theory wouldn’t work. Modern genetics provides confirmation of his theory’s predictions.

His theory also predicted transitional fossils. We have since found some, although fossils are fairly rare in general and so it is not surprising that there are gaps in the record. But genetics has also shown that all life on earth is related, and clinched the case beyond reasonable doubt.

I am all for making clear that there is much that scientists still don’t know. But those gaps in our current knowledge are room for exciting progress still to be made, rather than signs of ‘a theory in crisis’.

I don’t find persuasive the arguments, mostly from people in fields other than biology, that the majority of biologists are deluded or mistaken. If the best science isn’t the work that the scientists are actually doing, then we have a more serious problem than even ID or young-earth creationism suggest. But based on evolutionary theory we continue to get useful results in biology, we continue to find oil where we’d expect to based on fossils and other related considerations – in short, there is money at stake in biology, and it seems even more difficult to maintain that all the universities, research labs and their sponsors both government and private are all conspiring to cover up that the research isn’t getting anywhere. That seems harder for me to believe than that the scientists, whose presentations of the evidence so that non-specialists like myself can understand are coherent and persuasive, are wrong.

More importantly, however, I am persuaded that this is an issue that Christians can disagree about. I thus think that our time, effort and money is better spent elsewhere.

Thanks for your thought-provoking blog entries, and for your willingness to talk to someone with a different viewpoint in a clear and polite manner! 🙂

Best wishes,

James

4. I heard someone on the radio today say the the Nobel Peace Prize is the liberal’s Man of the Year Award!

5. Flash

James,

Evolution, with natural selection as one important mechanism driving it, is as certain as, if not indeed more certain than, our understanding of the nature of atoms and subatomic particles. We cannot see an atom. We can only run tests that predict certain outcomes based on our best model (i.e. theory in the scientific sense), and if the results are as predicted, we have confirmation.

Very interesting considering that I’ve never heard any physicist or chemist claiming that the theory of atoms is as certain (let alone more certain!!) as evolution with natural selection (and I assume that what you mean by “Evolution” is the origin of all species and body plans etc. etc.)

6. “based on evolutionary theory we continue to get useful results in biology, we continue to find oil where we’d expect to based on fossils and other related considerations”

Hey James. Evolution means change over time. Finding oil has nothing to do with what mechanism was responsible for the generation of the information necessary for life to arise, or change into you and me over time.

It is frequently stated that Darwinian evolutionary biology provides very little that is useful or predictive. As a physician, I heartily agree. Antibiotic resistence has been shown to occur and is a result of microevolutionary loss of fon, change in enzyme affinities and information sharing by bacteria. Behe has shown the limits of such processes. Without essentially blind faith, these small changes in no way account for the origin of life or for the complex chages over time that have occurred in the long history of the biosphere.

7. I’ve never heard any physicist or chemist claiming that the theory of atoms is as certain (let alone more certain!!) as evolution with natural selection.

Yeah, evolutionary theory is definitely more well understood than atomic theory. We have highly developed mechanistic accounts for atomic and sub-atomic particles, but not really any idea why they should be true (except that we’ve observed them to be so). Biologists have a very good theoretical and mathematical understanding of why evolution via natural selection works.

As to the blog post, I can only chuckle slightly. Though Jerry assures us he understands evolution, he repeatedly tosses out rather amateurish (and overly refuted) straw men. A few weeks ago he even tossed out the old animal morphing into another animal canard — a criticism even Darwin’s contemporaries thought not to make because of its absurdity and irrelevance.

Although I’m still confused as to what global warming has to do with evolution. Maybe Jerry will clear that up in another post of his.

And we are supposed to trust these people with our children’s education’s.

You’re supposed to trust yourself with your childrens’ educations. Yaw and yammer all you want about indoctrination, but if you don’t take responsibility for your child’s education, it’s your fault, not the state’s.

Get them hooked early, get them indoctrinated young, then when they are older it will be just too much for them to overcome.

If you don’t think evolution is true, some people might laugh a bit at your expense. And if you don’t believe in Christianity? You’re TORTURED IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY!

Tell me, which one is indoctrination again? Probably the one that threatens eternal misery for lack of adherence.

8. Friends all,

I have to say that I am rather pleased with these responses. I normally get responses from a few atheist friends who are way into Darwinism, perhaps more than Prof. Chuck himself. It is nice, for a change, to get some helpful responses from people who do not buy into Darwinism and can argue the technical stuff that I cannot. Thanks for all the responses. I do appreciate your visits to my blog.

jerry

9. Jon,

If I’m the only one worried about indoctrination, why are Darwinists (and ‘atheists’ like yourself) so afraid of Darwinism being challenged the public schools? Why are you so terrified that there might be another explanation? (And once again, I’ll say it, I’m not afraid of Evolution being taught. What bothers me is the way it is taught, but you haven’t read that yet have you? You only see what you want to see.)

The rest of your reply stands on its own: Drivel, nothing new, and much of it borrowed from others. But thanks for stopping by.

(Oh, that was a pretty good argument for why men like big breasts though, wasn’t it? Right, that is certain proof of natural selection! That’s certainly a good use of tax payer dollars isn’t it?)

I also noticed that you continue mock me and my understanding of evolution, but that you didn’t interract with any of the fundamental challenges others have made in this thread. Once again, Jon, you prove yourself to be a pillar of everything you have been taught with not one original thought in your head. Every single one of you atheists and Darwinists argue the same exact way, with the same exact points, and never with nothing new.

You really need to accept the challenge I gave to Ron–another who ‘thinks’ like you. Show me, step by step, atom by atom, molecule by molecule, cell by cell, and so on, how a (pick even the simplest of life forms; I’ll let you pick) came to be on this earth I’ll consider you smart enough to lecture me on the origin of life. I want details and many of them.

I’m telling you Jon, if you can demonstrate for me how your definition of natural selection can create life out of nothing (hell, I settle for one aspect of life, say an eye), we will then have a place we can stand and talk. Until then, friend, your words are empty pap. Show me: Step by Step how it happened that I am here just now, based on your definition of natural selection, and I’ll consider you a valid sparring partner. But Jon I don’t think you can because then you have to tell me where atoms came from, then you have to tell me where sub-atomic particles came from, and perhaps beyond that as well. Then you have to demonstrate that these things ‘knew’ to come together at just the right time, in just the right place, under just the right conditions, to create information that created DNA molecules, which then led to protein chains, which then got around to cells, tissues, organs, systems etc. Then you have to explain how all these systems and organs ‘knew’ that they needed each other and could ‘work’ together and make what life is: thinking, sentient, alive. And what motivated these things in the first place? Oh, it must have been pure, blind, dumb luck!

I’ll concede, for the time being, your arguments about ‘species morphing into other species’ (although, ‘Darwin’s tree of life’ certain predicts such things). You demonstrate where the very force of life comes from, and I’ll shut up.

Jon, if you can do it, I’ll shut up about it.

As always,
jerry

PS–I have taken charge of my child’s education which is precisely why I am making my point about the current system of education we have in the USA–land of the free and home of the brave–where dissent is permitted in every area of life except the science classroom. Jon, your arguments are boring me. Find an original thought because you certainly, in your hurry to belittle me again, missed the entire point of my post and of Dr. Dembski’s point. (By the way, one of Dr. Dembski’s PhD’s is in Mathematics. That should interest you a little.)

10. If I’m the only one worried about indoctrination…

You’re not, and I never said you were.

…why are Darwinists (and ‘atheists’ like yourself) so afraid of Darwinism being challenged the public schools?

Because wheedling creationists onto public school boards in order to avoid the scientific process is dishonest. It subverts science. It subverts our technical prowess as a nation. It subverts reason.

I also noticed that you continue mock me and my understanding of evolution…

You mock yourself, Jerry. Don’t blame me for your incorrect understanding of evolution.

…but that you didn’t interract with any of the fundamental challenges others

I haven’t yet read the other posts. I’ll post a separate rejoinder so this post doesn’t get too long.

Every single one of you atheists and Darwinists argue the same exact way, with the same exact points, and never with nothing new.

That’s because you creationists trot out the same old nonsense time and time again. It’s like you have Alzheimer’s or something.

Show me, step by step, atom by atom, molecule by molecule, cell by cell, and so on, how a (pick even the simplest of life forms; I’ll let you pick) came to be on this earth I’ll consider you smart enough to lecture me on the origin of life.

The very reason you pose the challenge is because of it’s impossibility. Even if you we could fill the entire universe with computers, we couldn’t calculate what you’re asking. Oddly enough, intelligent design doesn’t have to comply with this level of detail, though. But evolution does. Huh. That’s definitely not a double standard!

As for the origins of life, guess what, Jerry? No one knows, including you! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Evolution requires the existence of replicating entities as a precondition. In addition to being impossible, your “challenge” is irrelevant to the topic we’re discussing, which is evolution. Nice red herring, though.

But Jon I don’t think you can because then you have to tell me where atoms came from, then you have to tell me where sub-atomic particles came from, and perhaps beyond that as well.

Oh, I see! If human beings don’t know something, anyone who says “Goddidit” is automatically right. Okay, yeah, that makes perfect sense. *Groan*

…although, ‘Darwin’s tree of life’ certain predicts such things

Wrong again, sorry to say. Darwin never made such a claim. The “tree of life” is just an extended family tree. It has nothing to do with animals morphing into other animals. Just like your family tree has nothing to do with your grandfather morphing into your father.

…where dissent is permitted in every area of life except the science classroom

LOL. You can dissent, you’ll just get a bad grade. The same thing happens if you “dissent” from geometry and declare that $\pi$ is exactly three.

Your and the Intelligent Design movement’s attempts to paint this as a free speech issue are amusing. What you and they really want is immunity from scientific criticism. Intelligent Design doesn’t want to plow through the scientific process that every other discipline and idea has to go through. It wants a free pass.

This much is obvious from even your own discussions. You criticize me for criticizing your knowledge of evolution. Why? If you’re wrong, don’t you want to be corrected? Even if you think the ideas are wrong, you should still understand them. But you don’t even go that far. You don’t even know what the ideas say. How can you possibly know how to criticize them?

…missed the entire point of my post and of Dr. Dembski’s point.

Sorry, but I didn’t miss the point. Dembski (and by proxy, you) claim that evolution is easy to understand, and that’s why lots of people reject it. But then you both turn around and show how profoundly ignorant you are on the topic. Obviously it’s not so easy to understand, or you guys wouldn’t bungle it up all the time.

By the way, one of Dr. Dembski’s PhD’s is in Mathematics. That should interest you a little.

I know, and it doesn’t. Looking at Dembski’s CV on his own web page, you can quickly surmise that he’s gotten only a single paper published in a scientific journal. One paper. Compare that to the average post-doctorate, who submits at least two research papers a year. When did he get his PhD? Nineteen years ago. It’s a conspiracy against intelligent design! Before the term “intelligent design” even existed! *Guffaw*

11. Jon,

I’m not ignoring your reply, I’m just taking an extra minute–shouldn’t require that long–to think of how I wish to respond. I’m not stumped, but I’m trying to decide which direction I wish to go: The short route of agreeing to disagree or the long route of continuing a meaningless conversation. (I’m leaning towards the former.) Thanks for stopping by, I do appreciate your wit and your charm.

jerry

12. Jon,

I have decided I’m not going to respond to your reply. This is the short route. I realize that people believe different things. Just as it is impossible for you to believe in God, it is impossible for me to believe in Darwin (ism) and/or evolution. I’ll leave it at that and continue using this space for the purpose I started it which was not to argue with every person who happens to disagree with what is right. Good luck in your life.

jerry

13. onein6billion

“He said she ought to be ashamed of herself. Fourth grade–even he gets it!”

You failed to point out that such a use of electricity is trivial conpared to the fuel used and that scientific studies show that you are slightly less likely to be involved in an accident if you drive with your lights on. Was he wearing his seat belt? The cost of seat belts towards global warming would be greater than using the headlights for 20 years. Also, eat less food!

14. One,

I’m talking about the lights on the inside of the bus, not the ones on the outside.

It was sarcasm.

jerry

• ## Life Under the Blue Sky

Thanks for visiting with me for a little while. I hope you find something here that is helpful or encouraging in some way. There's a lot here and I hope that what it shows is a little or a lot of growth on my part. That said, some of the older stuff you find in here may not be all that helpful. I used to be rather graceless and judgmental. Much of that has changed as I have grown more and more accustomed to the grace of God. I will also be changing the format here soon. For now I have been blogging sermons and lessons (and I will continue that), but in the not too distant future this blog will be overhauled to reflect more changes taking place in my life. Thanks again for the visit and as always, feel free to leave a comment. jerry