Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rob Stadler and the NABT

The Scientific Approach to Evolution

It’s no secret that the origins debate is highly polarized. Many people have their minds made up and too often there is no place for a reasoned evaluation of the science. That’s tragic because that is where things become interesting. I once spoke to a roomful of high school science teachers, explaining that they could accurately teach how the science bears on the theory of evolution—both positively and negatively. The response I got was that this would confuse the students who needed to be given a simple, unambiguous message. One teacher was concerned that anything other than an obvious, “evolution is true,” message would be detrimental to the learning. To be sure there can be a tension between detail and clarity in classroom settings. High school students learn introductory history lessons out of necessity. They simply are not ready for research-level topics. Clarity sometimes comes at the cost of less detail. But there is a difference between simplifying a lesson and biasing a lesson. I was again reminded of all this when I heard about how the National Association of Biology Teachers responded to Dr. Robert Stadler’s new book, The Scientific Approach to Evolution.

It would be difficult to find someone more qualified than Stadler to analyze how the scientific evidence bears on the theory of evolution. His academic background is in Biomedical Engineering, with degrees from the top universities in the nation (Case Western Reserve University, MIT, and Harvard). And he has twenty years of experience in the field, with more than 100 patents to his name.

Stadler’s interest in evolution skips over the usual culture wars arguments and focuses on the science. Stadler provides an approach that is sorely needed. While there are plenty of texts and popular books that review the scientific evidence for evolution, they invariably fail to provide any kind of accounting of the strength of the evidence. The field outside my window is flat and so is evidence that the Earth is flat. But of course that evidence is weak.

On the other hand, there is plenty of academic work dealing with methods of rigorous, quantitative, theory evaluation, such as Bayesian approaches. But they invariably fail to engage the real-world evidences for evolution, in any kind of comprehensive way.

For all the talk, there is too often a lack of actual practice of analyzing the evidence. Enter Rob Stadler and his thoroughly accessible approach to laying out how the evidence bears on the theory of evolution. Importantly, Stadler explains not just the evidences, but the strengths and weaknesses of those evidences.

Because Stadler’s approach is accessible, it is an excellent classroom resource. Indeed, regardless of what one believes about a scientific theory such as evolution, the learning is greatly enhanced when one is allowed to explore the evidence, think critically about it, form opinions, and defend them in discourse. Rather than rehearse the carefully selected subset of evidences routinely presented in textbooks, the science should be allowed to speak for itself.

Unfortunately those science teachers I spoke to are not the only ones uncomfortable with allowing science such freedoms. Earlier this year Stadler worked with an agency to place an advertisement for his new book with the National Association of Biology Teachers. The contract was signed, funds were paid, and beginning in May the ad was to appear on the NABT website.

But strangely enough, on May 1 the advertisement failed to appear. It was through the ad agency that Stadler learned that the NABT had no intention of running the ad. The agency informed Stadler that the NABT had “concerns” over the content of the book.

And what exactly was the problem? The Scientific Approach to Evolution allows the evidence to speak for itself. According to Stadler’s book, there could be negative evidences, as well as positive evidences.

And that was not acceptable.

The NABT was concerned that “Dr. Sadler’s attempts to address ‘strengths and weaknesses’ in order to establish a climate of controversy in the scientific community regarding evolution  where there is none.”

Ironically, the NABT was also concerned that Dr. Sadler underappreciates that “theories are open to revision and refinement as new data becomes available.” That’s ironic because Sadler’s book does precisely that. Sadler appeals to new data to refine and revise our understanding of evolution.

Indeed, if Sadler’s theory-neutral appeal to the scientific evidence makes him guilty of attempting to “establish a climate of controversy” where there is none, then how can theories such as evolution ever be revised?

The fact is, the NABT’s ground rules are a form of theory protectionism. They won’t even run an advertisement for a book that dares question evolution on scientific grounds.

And rather than address the evidence that Sadler brings forth, the NABT contrives nefarious motives. According to the NABT, Sadler is guilty of dishonest pedagogy, and seeking “to establish a climate of controversy.” In the name of scientific integrity the theory must be protected. Darwin’s supporter TH Huxley called for a very different approach. We must, Darwin’s bulldog explained:

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.

Huxley insisted that we cast aside our preconceived notions, and follow the evidence to wherever it leads. Otherwise “you shall learn nothing.” Unfortunately Huxley would not recognize today’s classroom. The NABT would do well to heed the warning of Darwin’s most vocal advocate.

69 comments:

  1. LOL! Another Creationist nonsense book by someone with zero scientific training or background in the evolutionary sciences trying to dress up the Creation attack on ToE to sound "sciency".

    That seems to be the latest trend from the Liar For Jesus crowd. The Creotards are really getting desperate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What ToE are you talking about? You don't seem to be able to find it.

      As for "scientific training or background in the evolutionary sciences", what the heck would that be seeing that no one even knows what makes an organism what it is? No one uses evolutionism for anything because it is untestable clap-trap.

      Ghostrider is just a willfully ignorant and cowardly equivocator.

      Delete
    2. ghostrider,

      "Another Creationist nonsense book by someone with zero scientific training or background in the evolutionary sciences,..."

      And another book you will refuse to read but will be quick to criticise and ridicule.

      There are no 'evolutionary' sciences, there are only the sciences. Evolution is only an explanatory veneer,a philosophical position. Not one of the sciences needs evolution for legitimacy or to function, but evolution needs them to justify its narrative. In other words, evolutionary theory is a parasite. Kind of ironic, don't you think?

      Delete
    3. Nic: "Not one of the sciences needs evolution for legitimacy or to function, but evolution needs them to justify its narrative."
      Chemistry needs physics. That doesn't make chemistry any less of a science.

      Delete
    4. William,

      "Chemistry needs physics."

      I did not say the sciences do not relate to each other, I said they do not need evolution. Neither physics or chemistry need reference evolutionary theory to be studied and understood.

      Hope you're doing well. Thanks for your kind words elsewhere on this blog. :)

      Delete
    5. Dirt worshipper: Chemistry needs physics. That doesn't make chemistry any less of a science.

      Being gutless, stupid and dishonest as usual.

      Delete
    6. Mapou: "Being gutless, stupid and dishonest as usual."

      Another intellectually thought provoking response from our resident genius. Keep up the good work. You make us proud.

      Delete
    7. Louis,

      "Being gutless, stupid and dishonest as usual."

      Please Louis, just shut up. William and I would prefer to carry on our conversations without your involvement.

      Delete
    8. Dirt worshippers are not intellectuals. They are gutless liars, frauds and morons.

      Delete
    9. Nic: "Hope you're doing well."

      I am doing very well. Our son is getting married in a few weeks. In spite of all the mistakes we make as parents, it is great to see them turn out well.

      "I did not say the sciences do not relate to each other, I said they do not need evolution"

      But that can be said for all science other than physics. Physics does not need chemistry, biology, etc.

      If evolution is true, then genetics depends on it. If evolution is true then there are lines of medical research that depend on it.

      "Thanks for all the kind words..."

      No thanks required. I was raised, and believe in, the golden rule. Sadly, that is not the case for everyone.

      Delete
    10. William,

      "If evolution is true, then genetics depends on it.If evolution is true then there are lines of medical research that depend on it."

      True. But if evolution is not true then obviously genetics has no need of it. Nor does medical research. And as genetic and medical research can be successfully carried out without reference to evolutionary theory it must be seen as a powerful argument against the necessity of the theory and therefore, the truth of the theory.

      "Physics does not need chemistry, biology, etc."

      My point is none of them need evolution. Evolution is simply a narrative, it is not a scientific discipline in and of itself. As such, evolution is not scientific, but purely philosophical.

      "Sadly, that is not the case for everyone."

      And the relative anonymity of comment boards such as this and youtube, etc., has only made the situation worse. People are very quick to make comments to you which they would never say to your face.

      Good to hear about your son. I think you told me in the past this would be the last one. Is that right?

      Delete
    11. Nic

      But if evolution is not true then obviously genetics has no need of it. Nor does medical research. And as genetic and medical research can be successfully carried out without reference to evolutionary theory it must be seen as a powerful argument against the necessity of the theory and therefore, the truth of the theory.


      Good grief Nic that's Joe G level of ignorance. The veracity of a scientific theory doesn't depend on how much or how little it is used in other areas. The theory of plate tectonics isn't used in medical research either. Is that a powerful argument against the truth of plate tectonics?

      You're capable of much better than that.

      Delete
    12. ghostrider,

      "You're capable of much better than that."

      With all due respect, you are missing my point. Evolution is not a scientific discipline in and of itself. It is simply a narrative attempting to explain scientific observations.

      However, all the sciences it relies on do not in turn rely on it. As such, if research can be carried out, results documented and data interpreted, and conclusions demonstrated with out the inclusion of evolutionary theory, on what basis should we believe evolutionary theory is required or even valid?

      Delete
    13. Louis,

      "Dirt worshippers are not intellectuals. They are gutless liars, frauds and morons."

      Neither ghostrider or William worship dirt, so let's just drop that childishness, okay.

      I don't agree with either William or ghostrider on the question of evolution, but I perceive them to be decent and intelligent people. As such, I will treat them with respect and dignity. If you cannot be mature enough to do the same, then I respectfully ask you to not interject yourself into any discussions I carry on with either of them. Do you understand?

      Delete
    14. Nic: "Evolution is not a scientific discipline in and of itself. It is simply a narrative attempting to explain scientific observations."

      As is plate tectonics. But I don't hear anyone suggesting that plate tectonics is not science.

      And plate tectonics and evolution have something in common. They are both extrapolations of observed phenomena over "deep time". Nobody has seen a mountain form. Or a canyon form. Yet we don't question the mechanisms involved. Why is that?

      Don't bother yourself about Louis or Joe. They discredit themselves with every word they speak. It is entertaining. Sad, but entertaining.

      Delete
    15. Nic the spineless Christian: Neither ghostrider or William worship dirt, so let's just drop that childishness, okay.

      LOL. They are both dirt worshippers because they believe that dirt is their ancestors. They believe that, by some unexplainable materialist magic, dirt managed to self-organize and create organisms that evolved into all living creatures. Dirt worshipping is the most vile form of human stupidity. We are Gods and children of the Gods, not cockroaches in the dirt. Dirt worshippers do not deserve any respect or dignity.

      If you cannot be mature enough to do the same, then I respectfully ask you to not interject yourself into any discussions I carry on with either of them. Do you understand?

      Man, you give yourself too much authority and importance. This is Hunter's blog, not yours. If Hunter does not want to see my comments, so be it. It's not your call.

      Delete
    16. Louis,

      "They are both dirt worshippers because they believe that dirt is their ancestors."

      God tells me I came from the dust of the ground and to dust I will return.

      "We are Gods,..."

      No, we are not. There is one God and we cannot presume to be his equal.

      "Dirt worshippers do not deserve any respect or dignity."

      Christ died for the sins of everyone. Therefore, it follows they are worthy of respect.

      "Man, you give yourself too much authority and importance. This is Hunter's blog, not yours. If Hunter does not want to see my comments, so be it. It's not your call."

      I never said you could not comment, I simply asked you to not inject yourself into my conversations with others.

      Personally, I do not understand why Dr. Hunter would ban Thorton from his blog and allow your vile little mouth to continue.

      Delete
    17. Mapou: "They believe that, by some unexplainable materialist magic, dirt managed to self-organize and create organisms that evolved into all living creatures."

      Be careful. Your ignorance is showing. Please link to any paper that suggests that the origin of life is the result of self organizing of dirt. But if you want to talk about dirt worshipping, Judeo-Christians are a good example. Or, to be more accurate, clay worshippers.

      Frankly, I hope that Cornelius never bans you from commenting. People like you and Joe do more to discredit ID than any scientist ever could.

      Delete
    18. The veracity of a scientific theory doesn't depend on how much or how little it is used in other areas.

      Evolutionism is totally useless. It isn't used by anyone for anything- oops it is used by liars to try to indoctrinate the children

      Delete
    19. Plate tectonics are observed and their movements can be measured and sometimes felt.

      Yes we have seen mountains and canyons form, but it takes a deceitful person to compare plate tectonics to biology. Enter wee willie

      Delete
    20. I am now realizing that Nic, the spineless Christian, is not Christian at all. He's a fake Christian.

      Me: "They are both dirt worshippers because they believe that dirt is their ancestors."

      Spineless Nic: God tells me I came from the dust of the ground and to dust I will return.

      I don't remember God telling us to worship the dirt that our bodies are made of nor did he tell us that dirt is our ancestor. He said that he formed our bodies from the dirt of the earth and placed our spirits in them.

      Me: "We are Gods,..."

      Spineless Nic: No, we are not. There is one God and we cannot presume to be his equal.

      Actually, if you had searched the scriptures as Jesus commanded, you would have found that there are many Gods and that Yahweh is called Yahweh Elohim meaning the "Lords Yahweh" since Elohim is plural. But since you are not Christian, your ignorance is understandable. Here are a couple of verses from both testaments that tell us in no uncertain terms that we, humans, are also Gods (Elohim).

      Psalm 82:6: I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High."
      John 10:34: Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?

      Me: "Dirt worshippers do not deserve any respect or dignity."

      Spineless Nic: Christ died for the sins of everyone. Therefore, it follows they are worthy of respect.

      He died only for those who believe. If they don't believe and continue in their idolatry (dirt worshipping), they are vile creatures not worthy of respect.

      I never said you could not comment, I simply asked you to not inject yourself into my conversations with others.

      Personally, I do not understand why Dr. Hunter would ban Thorton from his blog and allow your vile little mouth to continue.


      LOL. Thorton is a dirt worshipping jackass. It's a good thing Hunter banned his worthless arse. I would do the same. I would ban you too. LOL.

      Delete
    21. William, ghostrider, et al.,

      I think I have had enough of Louis' vile hatred for a while.

      Delete
    22. Spineless Nic: I think I have had enough of Louis' vile hatred for a while.

      LOL. I don't care.

      Delete
    23. Nic: "I think I have had enough of Louis' vile hatred for a while."

      I have nothing but sympathy for him. It must be terrible, and extremely lonely, to go through life hating people who disagree with you. You and I could sit down, have a couple drinks, disagree about most things, and still enjoy each other's company. Louis simply is incapable of that. It is just sad.

      Delete
    24. Nic

      With all due respect, you are missing my point. Evolution is not a scientific discipline in and of itself. It is simply a narrative attempting to explain scientific observations.


      With all due respect scientific theories are much more than just narratives. I suggest you look up the definition of scientific theory and learn the difference.

      As such, if research can be carried out, results documented and data interpreted, and conclusions demonstrated with out the inclusion of evolutionary theory, on what basis should we believe evolutionary theory is required or even valid?

      In many cases what you describe can't be done. Evolutionary theory supplies the underlying framework for tying pieces of otherwise unconnected research together. That alone has increased our understanding of biology way more than just individual data points.

      Delete
    25. Dirt worshipper: I have nothing but sympathy for him.

      Lying like a rug, as usual.

      Delete
    26. That alone has increased our understanding of biology

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/

      Delete
    27. https://www.stupidcreationisthandwaves/pathetic/sad

      Delete
    28. https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/

      Thanks for the link. Evolutionary theory has been a disaster to biology, a complete waste of time and brains.

      Delete
    29. Oh, what a beautiful own goal.

      This site can’t be reached

      www.stupidcreationisthandwaves took too long to respond.


      and

      No results found for stupidcreationisthandwaves

      Delete
    30. Stupid dirt worshipper: https://www.stupidcreationisthandwaves/pathetic/sad

      If this blog was mine, I would tell you where to pack your link.

      Delete
    31. Hunter: "That alone has increased our understanding of biology

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/"


      Linking to your own non peer-reviewed work is not exactly compelling.

      Delete
    32. ghostrider,

      "With all due respect scientific theories are much more than just narratives."

      In most cases, yes. But in those cases empirical scientific practices can be applied, they cannot when it comes to evolution. Evolution is merely a narrative as it is not and cannot be subjected to empirical scientific practices. It cannot be observed, it cannot be tested, it cannot be repeated. Evolution, in and of itself, is not science, it is purely philosophy. Evolution cannot stand on its own as a scientific discipline, it must reference conventional scientific disciplines to gain legitimacy.

      "Evolutionary theory supplies the underlying framework for tying pieces of otherwise unconnected research together. That alone has increased our understanding of biology way more than just individual data points."

      No, evolutionary theory supplies A framework not THE framework. The problem is, an evolutionary framework does not match the facts, nor is it necessary. Biological processes can be explained, researched and understood with absolutely no reference to evolutionary theory. That being the case, evolutionary theory can hardly be called THE framework. This applies to all the sciences. Genetics can be handled without reference to evolution, as can chemistry, etc.

      Delete
    33. Gutless dirt worshipper: Linking to your own non peer-reviewed work is not exactly compelling.

      Your opinion of his work matters because of what again? "Peer review" is synonymous with "ass review" by dirt worshippers. It is fascism, plain and simple. It means that, unless we, lying dirt worshippers, approve your work, it will not be published. But now, thanks to the internet, anybody can self-publish whether or not you aholes like it. LOL

      As an aside, Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, published all of his work without peer review. There was no dishonest jackass around who would dare ask that his work be peer reviewed before publication.

      ahahahaha...AHAHAHAHA...ahahahaha...

      Delete
    34. Nic: "It cannot be observed, it cannot be tested, it cannot be repeated."

      It is observed all of the time. Antibiotic resistance, nylonase, the cold and flu viruses changing all of the time. If you are saying that we have not directly observed major evolutionary changes, you are correct. But the affects of plate tectonics are the same. We can observe the small scale changes (earthquakes, small scale plate movements, etc.) but our theory that they are responsible for mountain building is based on extrapolations from these small scale observation. Yet we do not doubt that mountain building is the result of plate tectonics.

      It is also being tested all of the time. Lensky's experiment is a test of evolution, as is the experiment done on the development of antibiotic resistance on that large table of agar (I forget the researcher's name). These can certainly be repeated, but if you are saying that the identical outcome will result, you are correct. Antibiotic resistance will likely be repeated but not necessarily as the result of the same mutation(s). But since evolution claims that mutations are random with respect to fitness, we wouldn't expect identical results.

      Delete
    35. All dirt worshippers are fascist and lying aholes by nature. They are children and followers of Satan, the father of lies.

      ahahahaha...AHAHAHAHA...ahahahaha...

      Delete
    36. William,

      "It is observed all of the time. Antibiotic resistance, nylonase, the cold and flu viruses changing all of the time."

      All that is being observed is adaptation, not the type of change which demonstrates descent from a single common ancestor. It is that type of change which must be observed, testable and repeatable for evolution to proceed to the status of theory.

      "Lensky's experiment is a test of evolution,..."

      Lensky's work has been fruitful and has advanced the understanding of adaptation. But that is all it has really done. In relation to descent from a common ancestor, bacteria remaining bacteria do not make a compelling case for evolution.

      As for Louis, I fell sorry for him as well. As a Christian I am also sorry that some people may assume all Christians act as he does and that reflects badly on my faith. I appreciate the fact you and I and ghostrider can fundamentally disagree on many topics but can be decent and respectful towards one another, slight sarcastic jabs notwithstanding. In fact, I think it would be great if the three of us could actually get together and share some quality time. It would be a hoot.

      Delete
    37. Nic, the spineless, virtue-signaling Christian:

      As for Louis, I fell sorry for him as well. As a Christian I am also sorry that some people may assume all Christians act as he does and that reflects badly on my faith.

      LOL. You just pretend to have faith. Yet you had no idea that Jesus himself called us Gods. You spend more time arguing with God-disrespecting aholes on the web than you spend researching your own religion.

      I appreciate the fact you and I and ghostrider can fundamentally disagree on many topics but can be decent and respectful towards one another

      Only a fake Christian would be kissing the rear ends of some of the most despicable enemies of Yahweh.

      ahahahaha...AHAHAHAHA...ahahahaha...

      Delete
    38. Nic: "All that is being observed is adaptation, not the type of change which demonstrates descent from a single common ancestor. It is that type of change which must be observed, testable and repeatable for evolution to proceed to the status of theory."

      So does that mean that plate tectonics is not a theory? The theory of evolution, in an overly simplified description, is nothing more than selection acting on natural variation, over time. When Darwin and Wallace proposed it they had no idea how this variation arose or even the mechanism of inheritance. Mendel's work provided some clues on inheritance and then DNA was discovered.

      The Lenski experiments and antibiotic resistance are examples of evolution in action. Hopefully you are not suggesting that scientists must observe the formation of a new species or a new body plan to be able to suggest that these are the result of evolution. If that is the case then you have to require the same burden of proof for mountain building, canyon formation, the electron, black holes, etc. We have not directly observed any of these. Everything we know about these is from indirect observations, extrapolations and inferences. The fact that the fossil record, geology, DNA comparisons, protein comparisons, comparative anatomy, radio isotope analysis and many other avenues of research independently corroborate (probably the wrong word, but I think you know what I mean) evolution. This is sufficient grant evolution the status of a scientific theory.

      Delete
    39. Nic, with respect to Louis, Cornelius can do whatever he would like. All I can say is what I would do. And the analogy I draw is the one of having guests in my house. As long as they treat each other and my family civilly, i don't care if they disagree with each other or have heated discussions. But if one of them starts being abusive to one of the other guests or one of my family, they would be quickly escorted out of the building. I simply would not tolerate that sort of behaviour, regardless of the underlying pathology that caused it.

      Delete
    40. Dirt worshipping maggot: Nic, with respect to Louis, Cornelius can do whatever he would like.

      You're damn right Cornelius can do whatever he likes. He has been kind to you even though you deserve nothing but scorn and an ass whipping. You continually disrespect the man and his guests and you got the nerves to moralize him about how he should moderate his blog?

      You just disrespected Hunter in this very discussion by appealing to authority and suggesting that his work is worthless unless it is approved by a bunch of gutless dirt worshippers.

      So yes, Hunter can do as he pleases. And you are lucky that I am not Hunter because I would have banned your worthless, lying and conniving ass a long time ago.

      ahahahaha...AHAHAHAHA...ahahahaha...

      Delete
    41. Mapou: "You continually disrespect the man and his guests..."

      Disagreeing is not the same as disrespecting. I respect Cornelius. As I respect Nic. They have both demonstrated that they deserve it. You, on the other hand...

      Delete
    42. Dirt worshipping hypocrite: I respect Cornelius.

      Lying like a rug again. The only reason you comment here is that it is an opportunity for you to disrespect and belittle those who criticise your pseudoscientific religion of crap. LOL.

      Delete
  2. There is controversy in origin conclusions.!!
    The scientific community has no right to decide whats true. Well not the community!
    The best they could say is the biology, no scratch that, the origin biology researchers.

    Hmmm. if there is no right to question then this group is demanding students to just accept whatever they are taught. No critical thinking is welcomed.
    Finally who is the boss.
    Who decides something is not open to scientific questioning?
    We can beat these guys.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the problem is bigger than evolution. The schools have become an institution of ideological indoctrination vs critical thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WS:

    Linking to your own non peer-reviewed work is not exactly compelling.

    While peer review can do a lot of good, it also serves to protect and reinforce non scientific biases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way I see it, peer review is an elitist and dishonest practice. The entire world should be our peers.

      We should as, who is watching the watchers? IOW, who reviews the reviewers?

      Delete
    2. Cornelius: "While peer review can do a lot of good, it also serves to protect and reinforce non scientific biases.

      Peer review definitely has its challenges, especially with the more recent influx of shoddy on-line pseudo-journals (BioComplexity comes to mind) but the argument that there is a world wide conspiracy preventin ID research from being published in reputable journals is just not supported by facts. I have asked several prolific ID writers why they have never submitted their work for publication and the response is invariably that it would never be accepted. When asked to provide evidence about this, they can't. When I ask them to post one of their rejected papers, along with the reviewers' comments, so that we can assess the responses, I get silence.

      With regard to referencing your own work in support of an opinion, that is one of the first red flags when I read scientific papers. Not that this practice is always wrong, but when the self-references form a significant part of the argument, the credibility loses some lustre.

      Delete
    3. WS:

      Of course this is hardly "self-referenc[ing]." My article is fully cited with, yes, peer-reviewed, papers. It is not controversial that claims such as "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," "Evolution makes sense of the evidence," etc., are simply theory-, not data-driven claims, oblivious to the actual science that has been going on.

      Delete
    4. The dirt worshipper is lying again. There is nothing wrong with self-reference. Every paper or article automatically references itself to make a point. This is the nature of argumentation.

      Delete
    5. "The dirt worshipper is lying again."

      Cornelius, please keep a leash on your dog. He has been defecating all over the place.

      "Of course this is hardly "self-referenc[ing]." My article is fully cited with, yes, peer-reviewed, papers.

      With respect, I have read through a few of these and they are definitely less than compelling. Maybe if they were compiled into a coherent argument, and submitted for publication in a reputable journal, it may have a little more credibility. At the very least, I would know that the the references were most likely appropriate and used in context. They may very well be, but short of going back to the original source, we only have your word for it. Again, I am not suggesting that you are intentionally deceiving us, but proper peer review can point out flaws in logic or flaws in interpretations of referenced works. Have you ever submitted any of this to a peer reviewed journal?

      Delete
    6. WS:

      With respect, I have read through a few of these and they are definitely less than compelling.

      Well, OK, how about the first one. I'll paste it below. Can you explain why it is "less than compelling"?

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/the-dna-code-is-not-unique


      The DNA code is not unique
      Shortly after the discovery of the DNA code, which is used in cells to construct proteins, evolutionists began theorizing how it evolved. The same code was found in very different species which means that the same code was present in their distant, common ancestor. So the DNA code arose early in evolutionary history and remained essentially unchanged thereafter. And since it arose so early in evolutionary history, in the first primitive cell, the code must not be unique or special. For how could such a code have evolved so early in the history of life? As Nobel Laureate Francis Crick wrote in 1968, “There is no reason to believe, however, that the present code is the best possible, and it could have easily reached its present form by a sequence of happy accidents.” (Crick) Or as one widely used undergraduate molecular biology text later put it, “The code seems to have been selected arbitrarily (subject to some constraints, perhaps).” (Alberts et. al., 9) And an evolution textbook further explained, “The code is then what Crick called a ‘frozen accident.’ The original choice of a code was an accident; but once it had evolved, it would be strongly maintained.” (Ridley, 48)

      In other words, somehow the DNA code evolved into place but it has little or no special or particular properties. But we now know that the code’s arrangement uniquely reduces the effects of mutations and reading errors. As one research study concluded, the DNA code is “one in a million” in terms of efficiency in minimizing these effects. (Freeland) Several other studies have confirmed these findings and have discovered more unique and special properties of the code. One found that the DNA code is a very rare code, even when compared to other codes which already have the error correcting capability. (Itzkovitz) Another found that the code does not optimize merely one function, but rather optimizes “a combination of several different functions simultaneously.” (Bollenbach) As one paper concluded, the code’s properties were “unexpected and still cry out for explanation.” (Vetsigian)

      Delete
    7. Peer review would not be so bad if multiple schools of thought were allowed to flourish. The ancient Greeks understood this and cultivated various competing schools headed by individual masters. No one school was allowed to dominate the others and prevent them from disseminating their opinions, as is done today. There was no establishment school that had access to all the resources to the detriment of the others. This evil practice is what we have today and it is maintained and enforced by the dirt worshippers and the materialists. A revolution is in order.

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    8. Cornelius: "Can you explain why it is "less than compelling"?"

      Other than the fact that it is found on a page titled Darwin's Predictions? Since Darwin didn't know anything about DNA, he would be hard pressed to make a prediction about it.

      But aside from that, I don't see what the point of this piece was.

      "And since it arose so early in evolutionary history, in the first primitive cell,..."

      I am not aware that anyone is suggesting that it existed in the first primitive cell. All you can say is that it existed in the common anscestor of all extant organisms (except for those that are RNA based).

      We all admit that we don't know how life arose or how DNA arose. stating what is already known is not a compelling evidence against evolution or for ID. It is just detailing the gaps in our knowledge.

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    9. WS:

      Other than the fact that it is found on a page titled Darwin's Predictions? Since Darwin didn't know anything about DNA, he would be hard pressed to make a prediction about it.

      The article discusses predictions that have been made based Darwin’s theory of evolution, not necessarily made by Darwin himself. This is discussed in the Introduction. The point is not to focus on Darwin, but on the theory of evolution.


      I don't see what the point of this piece was.

      It is a falsified prediction of the theory. That is the point of all of the sections. The greater point (i.e., what is the point of a list of falsified predictions) is discussed in the Introduction and Conclusion sections.


      I am not aware that anyone is suggesting that it existed in the first primitive cell. All you can say is that it existed in the common anscestor of all extant organisms (except for those that are RNA based).

      This is semantics. Yes, the DNA code would have existed in the LCA. Prior to that it likely would have existed as well, and presumably there would have been reproducing entities where it did not exist. So where is the “first primitive cell”? This is entirely inconsequential for the falsified prediction. Change it to “an early primitive cell,” rather than “the first primitive cell” if you like. It makes no difference as far as the prediction and its falsification go.


      We all admit that we don't know how life arose or how DNA arose. stating what is already known is not a compelling evidence against evolution or for ID. It is just detailing the gaps in our knowledge.

      No, this section is not “detailing the gaps in our knowledge.” Nowhere does it focus on “gaps in our knowledge.” In fact, quite the opposite. This section explains an evolutionary prediction, and how our *knowledge* (not a gap in our knowledge) has falsified the prediction.

      I think I now see the problem.

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    10. Cornelius: "This section explains an evolutionary prediction, and how our *knowledge* (not a gap in our knowledge) has falsified the prediction."

      No, it doesn't. At best it falsified a prediction that you claim evolution makes. Not one that it actually does.

      "And since it arose so early in evolutionary history, in the first primitive cell, the code must not be unique or special....

      In other words, somehow the DNA code evolved into place but it has little or no special or particular properties."


      You are putting words in other people's mouths and then assailing the logic of the words you put there. They are not saying that DNA is not unique and special. They are just saying that it might not be the best or most effective way of doing what it does but because it was first, it became fixed in all subsequent life. It was simply speculation. Not a prediction. It is possible that it is the only chemical that could work. But we will never know.

      Again, not a compelling argument.

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    11. WS:

      At best it falsified a prediction that you claim evolution makes. Not one that it actually does. … It was simply speculation. Not a prediction.

      Well there you have it. There is no cognitive meaning in the literature. Nobel Laureates and top textbooks can make unambiguous, crystal clear, statements which, when proven wrong, count for absolutely nothing. There is not even the slightest hint or recognition of a failure. It is all just perfectly consistent. You can claim X, and then effortlessly switch to ~X at any moment. No problem. The factual claim, upon learning of its falsity, becomes “speculation.” And “speculation” is, after all, nothing at all.

      I mean, WS, I could not have illustrated this any better. I can’t imagine a better example of complete denial of a false prediction (actually, it is even beyond a prediction).

      And of course this makes any kind of meaningful discussion impossible. When any statement can be flipped, at any time, to anything else, then we are in a sanatorium. An unambiguous statement of fact (yes, even beyond a prediction!) is suddenly flipped to “Not one that it actually does,” then there can be no meaningful dialog. There is no rational structure here—evolution is simply the right answer, period, so any false prediction must be “Not one.”

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    12. Hunter: And of course this makes any kind of meaningful discussion impossible.

      Arguing with dirt worshippers is a complete waste of time. The theory of evolution is not about science. It's about deception, power and politics. As Paul wrote 2000 years ago, we wrestle not against flesh and bone but against powers and principalities in high places. The dirt worshippers are just evil little minions. They will never give an inch.

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    13. Cornelius: "I mean, WS, I could not have illustrated this any better. I can’t imagine a better example of complete denial of a false prediction (actually, it is even beyond a prediction)."

      A prediction is something that, based on the details of a theory, is a logical outcome (entailment) the theory. For example, plate tectonics being responsible for mountain formation is a prediction.

      Crick's words "There is no reason to believe, however, that the present code is the best possible, and it could have easily reached its present form by a sequence of happy accidents." is an opinion. It hardly ranks as a necessary entailment of evolution.

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    14. WS:

      A prediction is something that, based on the details of a theory, is a logical outcome (entailment) the theory. For example, plate tectonics being responsible for mountain formation is a prediction. Crick's words "There is no reason to believe, however, that the present code is the best possible, and it could have easily reached its present form by a sequence of happy accidents." is an opinion. It hardly ranks as a necessary entailment of evolution.

      You’ve got to be kidding. Of course this is a logical outcome the theory. Crick is an evolutionist. His “frozen accident” characterization has nothing to do with the science of DNA structure or sequence. It is a consequence of the theory. That characterization was an instant consensus and widely promoted. Hence the textbook claims. This was not one of several mainstream, competing, views. This was *the* consensus view. To claim otherwise is Soviet-style revisionism.

      All of this is driven by the universal homology of the code (it’s the “universal genetic code”). That means it has to go back *at least* to the last common ancestor. That means it had to have arisen in the early stages of evolution. It had to arise, somehow, and then it never changed. It had to have evolved, but then never evolved anymore. That doesn’t make sense. And of course, the very idea of a code evolving doesn’t make sense, for several reasons. So evolutionists were forced to view it as some sort of an accident. This was an entailment of the theory.

      Now we know the code has all kinds of unique and sophisticated properties. Properties that don’t make sense as products of chance events, and then fixed via selection.

      For evolutionists now to walk this back as not even qualifying as a prediction is another sign that there is no cognitive meaning here. You cannot falsify even a single prediction. There is no rational thought here. We may as well be trying to falsify poetry.

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    15. Cornelius: "You’ve got to be kidding. Of course this is a logical outcome the theory."

      No, it is the opinion of one man that was included in text books. It is a prediction only in the weakest form. And, in spite of this, it has still not been proven wrong. It can't be. How can you prove that DNA is the best possible chemical for evolution? You can't. We can never know if he was right.

      Your falsification of a prediction was neither. You can't falsify it because you can't prove that DNA is the best chemical to propogate and maintain evolution, and it's not a prediction because it was only the opinion of one person. The fact that his words were repeated by others (winning a novel tends to do that) does not mean that it is a valid entailment of evolution.

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    16. Dirt worshipping minion: Your falsification of a prediction was neither.

      You're arguing with the devil, Cornelius. You might as well be arguing with a venomous snake.

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    17. WS:

      No, it is the opinion of one man that was included in text books.

      Well I already explained that this was *not* merely the opinion of one man. It was the consensus position. Appearing in the top textbooks is an example of this. But as I said, rational discourse is not possible when language no longer has cognitive meaning. WS, you are simply demonstrating this for all to see. Your refrain that this is merely an opinion, and merely an opinion of one man at that, is completely contrary to the facts. Alberts and Ridley were and are top university level textbooks, carefully written and reviewed by a small army of reviewers. They don’t present mere opinions as the scientific state of the art. And those texts, of course, is merely the tip of the iceberg. Your attempt to walk this back is laughable.


      it has still not been proven wrong. It can't be.

      Well I said “laughable” too soon. You have outdone yourself. Of course it has been proven wrong, by dozens of studies. This is not even controversial. What exactly is it about “one in a million” that you don’t understand? But then this: “It can't be.” You have just proven my point with a classic own goal. Falsification is utterly impossible. This is Monty Python. Better than Monty Python.


      How can you prove that DNA is the best possible chemical for evolution? You can't. We can never know if he was right.

      And so now come the non sequiturs. “Best possible chemical for evolution”? Say what?? That is completely irrelevant. Are you tracking at all here?

      How can I prove that DNA is the best possible chemical for evolution? The prediction is the “frozen accident” view of the DNA code. The falsification is the finding that the code is sophisticated and special, with unique and important properties. This is a complete falsification of the evolutionary expectation that was the utter consensus, and for good reason, it is a logical outcome the theory.

      You are in denial of the obvious facts, and providing a demonstration of the problem. I said earlier that rational discourse about this is not possible, and you are providing a real-time example and proof of it.


      You can't falsify it because you can't prove that DNA is the best chemical to propogate and maintain evolution.

      This is such a bizarre non sequitur that, since you are repeating it, I’ll go along with you and paste it in for good measure. This is what typical discourse with an evolutionist is like. Completely irrational. Is DNA “the best chemical to propogate and maintain evolution”??

      You can’t make this up. This is completely irrational and a fascinating view of the evolutionary mindset. Self-referential. The evolutionist will always come back to evolution as a given. The evolutionary mind cannot reason in the absence of the fact of evolution.


      The fact that his words were repeated by others (winning a novel tends to do that) does not mean that it is a valid entailment of evolution.

      Ahhh, so now expert opinion, universally held by evolutionists, is rendered meaningless. Not to mention the fact that the prediction is a logical outcome of the theory, as I explained. I’m afraid denying the facts of what the theory states does not alter those facts. But this is what I get for attempting rational discussion with an evolutionist.

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  5. CH
    "But strangely enough, on May 1 the advertisement failed to appear. It was through the ad agency that Stadler learned that the NABT had no intention of running the ad. The agency informed Stadler that the NABT had “concerns” over the content of the book."

    I have read the book and think it clarifies what may of us have come to realize. There is some science in the area of evolution however the grand claims of Universal Common Descent are untestable and probably wrong. The NABT has a mess on there hands right now because the textbooks are supporting ideology and not science. How can they walk back their claims and save face?

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    1. Bill: "There is some science in the area of evolution however the grand claims of Universal Common Descent are untestable and probably wrong."

      Of course it is testable. The fossil record, comparative anatomy, genomics, etc. are all tests of common descent. some more compelling than others, but still all tests. If you want to argue about the strength of the conclusions derived from these tests, that is fair game. But it is completely disingenuous to claim that it is untestable.

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    2. Bill Cole: There is some science in the area of evolution...

      Evolution, like all big hoaxes, is a smattering of truths wrapped in deception.

      ... however the grand claims of Universal Common Descent are untestable and probably wrong.

      True. The hierarchical organization of either the fossil record or the genetic record is not evidence for common descent, universal or otherwise. Intelligent common design over time invariably results in a class hierarchy. In fact, hierarchical design is so powerful, computer programming languages enforce it. Programmers design computer applications by adding functionality through inheritance. Multiple inheritance (horizontal transfers) is also used but rarely. Nobody, other than stupid and dishonest dirt worshippers (like Billy the spear shaker here), will analyze complex code and conclude that it was produced via natural selection and random variations.

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    3. WS
      "Of course it is testable. The fossil record, comparative anatomy, genomics, etc. are all tests of common descent. some more compelling than others, but still all tests. If you want to argue about the strength of the conclusions derived from these tests, that is fair game. But it is completely disingenuous to claim that it is untestable."

      Propose a test for transition from a prokaryotic cell to a eukaryotic cell that you can repeat. If successful this is what the book calls high confidence science. If we define a test as something that requires repeatable measurement then I think my claim is valid.

      Collecting data is how you form a hypothesis. Gaining repeatable validation through experiment is how you test it.

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    4. Bill, fair enough. But your alternate is ID. Can you propose a test for transition from prokaryot to eukaryot? Or, any test? You are asking for a burden of proof from evolution that you don't demand from ID. Actually, you don't demand any burden of proof from ID.

      But, do you think that plate tectonics is a reasonable theory to explain mountain formation? If you do, please provide a test that transitions from an earthquake to Mount Everest.

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  6. WS
    its not testable by your list of tests.!!
    Fossil record, comparative anatomy, genes, are all themselves unrelated to biological common descent conclusions.

    the fossil record shows only patterns of common descent ONLY if presumptions of common descent are already accepted. it also would show patterns of common design, just like in living nature, if those presumptions were accepted to start with.

    Comparative anatomy likewise shows common design easily. Why not?
    Genes are case in point for common design. they are from a blueprint surely.

    Common descent , as you present it, is just a line of reasoning based on very raw data.
    anyways once again it has nothing to do with scientific biological evidence.
    Nothing!!

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