Friday, July 3, 2015

A Challenge To Debate Evolution

[I sent this to Tania Lombrozo by email today]
[UPDATE: Corrected two typos]

The recent article by Tania Lombrozo has persuaded me to issue the author a challenge.

A challenge, regarding your article entitled "Don't Believe In Evolution? Try Thinking Harder"

Tania Lombrozo: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2015/06/29/418289762/don-t-believe-in-evolution-try-thinking-harder

Summary:
This article describes a study which is based on the premises that (a) evolution is Truth; therefore, skepticism is either (b) vastly ignorant, (c) cognitively disconnected, or (d) mentally disturbed. For example, the first sentence is this:
"The theory of evolution by natural selection is among the best established in science, yet also among the most controversial for subsets of the American public." [Note 1, 2]
The following is intended to imply - not rational conclusions being drawn better in differing cultural settings - but to imply that the denizens of certain regions cannot think because they do not recognize the truth value of the first sentence.
"For decades we've known that beliefs about evolution are well-predicted by demographic factors, such as religious upbringing and political affiliation. There's also enormous variation in the acceptance of evolution across different countries, all of which suggests an important role for cultural input in driving beliefs about evolution. A child raised by Buddhists in California is much more likely to accept evolution than one raised by evangelical Protestants in Kansas." [3]
Yet as with all evolutionary apologetics, there is no empirical data provided which demonstrates experimentally and objectively that premise (a) is even contingently non-falsified using empirical techniques which are the currency of Enlightenment science for producing objective knowledge. If premise (a) is not grounded, but is based only in inference and fictions of imaginary scenarios, then the subsequent dependent premises are not valid, either. In fact, skepticism of subjective, inferential claims and the fictions of imaginary scenarios is always warranted, and is, in fact, an intellectual responsibility. It is the presumption that any truth is produced by inference and fictions surrounding the unreproducible causes for historical effects which is irrational under Aristotelian logic as well as Popperian logical demarcation.

I challenge you, Ms Lombrozo, to either a debate regarding the validity of evolution, or if you choose not to do that, then I challenge you to address the following issues surrounding evolution:

Ignoring the pseudointellectual condescension in your article, I challenge you to provide an empirical mechanism for an evolution event, even one, which provides objective knowledge of the process surrounding the creation of an all new, deterministically expected, heritable, selectable feature which benefits the selectablity of the organism or group of organisms which contain this selectable feature. By “empirical” I mean one that satisfies the Enlightenment scientific directive for obtaining objectively valid knowledge: the hypothetico-deductive, replicable and falsifiable (which is both replicated and non-falsified) experimental data which is both open and peer-reviewed, and which is, at a minimum, objective yet contingent knowledge of a single evolution event producing a new feature or features which produce obvious non-reductive speciation.

If you cannot do that, then provide at least speculative reasoning which defeats the Kimura neutral theory “box” which demonstrates statistically that positive mutations to DNA are statistically unselectable, and that negative mutation accumulations are ultimately selectable due to their proliferation. Which means, of course, that species deteriorate rather than being created from prior species.

Alternatively, provide empirical evidence for abiogenesis (for confirmation of Lewontin’s demand for Philosophical Materialism) in the manner of replicating metabolic systems (ADP to ATP conversion by the means of the ATP Synthase stepping motor/generator molecule, with all the enzymes and membranes created simultaneously): i.e. “Metabolites First”. This will be difficult, as others have found and abandoned it.

Or, provide empirical evidence for self-replication of RNA along with the simultaneous creation and existence of all the ancillary enzymes required – RNA World. You might check with Jack Szostak, the researcher who abandoned that pursuit after decades of laboratory attempts to do so, non-randomly, with intelligent guidance.

Since you will not be able to do these things, you will not have proven any possible validity for Materialism. So then possibly you can show how to avoid the internal contradiction (self-referencing) involved in the materialist claim to know that there is no non-material existence, while being unable to materially investigate non-material claims. In other words, Materialism cannot prove its own premises while being restricted to its own existential claims, and therefore is paradoxical and thus, irrational

But returning evolution, then, possibly you can show a modern biological knowledge development that was originated by being predicated on “evolution” as the hypothesis. Well, no, because evolution predicts everything and nothing, simultaneously and without differentiation. And that renders evolution non-falsifiable, and under Popper’s demarcation, it is therefore not knowledge, not even contingent knowledge, much less objective knowledge or even “truth” as some evolutionists claim (Jerry Coyne); it is blind belief without actual proof.

For example, let’s look at the T-cell, and its “education” (a molecular biological term) which is required before it is of any use. Among other things it must be educated in the Thymus not to attack the cells that are “self”, i.e. the cells of the organism which the T-cell must protect rather than attack. This is a pure process of differentiation, which is not a physical, molecular thing that evolved, but a rational process relationally involving three entities: a source actor; an object actor which is to be attacked; an object actor which must not be attacked. The complexity is high, and the evolutionary failure at any point renders the host organism vulnerable, even self-destructive. This is similar to the “three body problem” in physics, which Poincare showed is insoluble analytically. There are many more evolutionary conundrums of this type and many are simultaneously required for cellular life to exist (DNA, RNA and RNA polymerase are another example).

Now for cognitive thinking.
To elaborate on cognitive thinking: if one should actually investigate the science maunderings of the elite evolutionary scientists, one would find a blatant lack of any belief in actual empirical science. What one finds is a belief in the power of storytelling as an avatar for non-existent causal evidence regarding actual cause and effect. Evolution cannot be held to any principle of cause and effect specifically because it predicts everything and nothing simultaneously, and is therefore logically internally contradictory and without a rational basis. That is why evolutionary theorists are engaged in creating fictional accounts which they apply to existing (incomplete) fossil records. These fictional accounts are declared to be “plausible” if they have been massaged sufficiently to eliminate blatant contradictions. And having been bestowed the mantle of “plausibility”, the fictions become entrenched as “truths”. Yet they remain fictions, they remain non-falsifiable, empirically, and they remain NOT objective knowledge.

Yet it is also claimed that because there are a lot of these fictions which are declared “plausible”, that the sheer quantity (“ a mountain of evidence”) renders the overall narrative to be Truth, and thus unassailable except by the irrational. How many fictions does it take to make a single Truth? Ten? Ten thousand? Ten million? The concept is logically absurd, and fails Reductio Ad Absurdum. But that does not stop it from being a tenet of evolutionary cant.

It is falsely claimed that evolution is the unifying theory of biology, yet no (zero) biological advances are dependent upon evolution, and a great many modern biological principles cannot show consistency with evolution or First Life as abiogenesis. Both RNA World and Metabolism First theories have cratered and are in the dust bin of biological history. The existence of simultaneous mutual dependency of RNA, DNA, and RNA-ase as well as many necessary enzymes which are necessary for transcription is merely one example of many, many instances which rationally falsify materialist creationism of life from minerals.

Cognitive thinking, if it were actually activated, would appreciate this, rather than make claims against skeptics regarding their capability to think.

If you would care to either respond to these issues or to debate the issue of cognitive thinking and evolution in general, I’d be happy to oblige. Contact me at ascent.from.materialism@gmail.com or go to the blog, http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/ and we can chat about it.

Stan,
at http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/

Notes:
1. Selection has been falsified by the segment of evolutionary theorists known as the Altenberg 16. "Evolution; the Extended Synthesis"; Piggliucci/Muller, eds; MIT Press; 2010; pgs 13, 14.

2. The term "established" is non-specific and prejudicial; further it is not the case that any evolutionary event is empirically substantiated under the hypothetico-deductive experimental method of Enlightenment science, which is dedicated to the production of objective knowledge.

3. This is little more than class-driven bigotry; there is no assessment made of the intellectual process for being skeptical of evolution; skepticism is presumptively a mindless derivative of acculturation. The pseudoscience and its basis in prejudice is obvious.

16 comments:

Russell (106) said...

Looks like a great challenge, Stan. I'll be interested in seeing what happens, if anything.

"A child raised by Buddhists in California is much more likely to accept evolution than one raised by evangelical Protestants in Kansas."

So, they believe in evolution but deny the random, unpredictable effects the theory allows for in human populations?

Since evolution predicts everything and nothing, why can't different populations in different parts of the country have different, relative beliefs?

Phoenix said...

Should be a very interesting debate if Tania decides to accept.Good luck to you Tania.Trust me,you're gonna need it.

jim74 said...

"the process surrounding the creation of an all new, deterministically expected, heritable, selectable feature which benefits the selectablity of the organism or group of organisms which contain this selectable feature."

That's not how it works.

"single evolution event producing a new feature or features which produce obvious non-reductive speciation."

Not how it works either.

"Alternatively, provide empirical evidence for abiogenesis"

Different topic.

"evolution predicts everything and nothing, simultaneously and without differentiation"

No predictions are precise and proven accurate everytime

"therefore logically internally contradictory and without a rational basis."

Yet 97%+ scientists find it plausible, they must be really dumb amd brainwashed, and the only alternatives are religious creation stories that explain nothing, but should be believed? Because?

bye

Stan said...

Jim74,
You give a compelling case... for denying the rationality of evolutionary blind belief. Let's see, here are your responses, which one must presume represent the level of your intellectual probing into the details of the theory:

1. That's not how it works.

2. Not how it works either.

3. Different topic.

4. No predictions are precise and proven accurate everytime

5. Yet 97%+ scientists find it plausible, they must be really dumb amd brainwashed, and the only alternatives are religious creation stories that explain nothing, but should be believed? Because?


There is not a shred of proof or evidence for evolution you have given above. None. Zero. Nada.

There is not a shred of proof or evidence for the pure denialism you have blithely presented above. None. Zero. Nada.

There are, however, (a) the lazy man's Appeal To Authority (false statistics); (b) Coward's Rhetoric (ridicule); False Tu Quoque Fallacy regarding inability to use evolution for induction/deduction/experimental replication (empirical science) to validate the "science" of evolution; (e) Silly Straw Man (attack on an argument not made).

It is now well known that it is professional suicide for any scientist (in any field of science) to admit, even obliquely, to intellectual skepticism of evolution. So the statistics are actually more like this: 100% of scientists will not admit to skepticism of evolution for the totally justified fear of retribution which would be fatal to their careers. It's just like ISIS polling its Jihadi warrior members about their belief in ISIS-flavored Islam: what will they "freely" answer?

There is no content to your response. And that is the same content as is present in evolution: nothing but belief statements, without any empirical proof, whatsoever.

All the earmarks of irrational ideology protectionism... in the name of "science" but without any empirical content, and with none even possible. Even most Scientism produces better than this.

When there is no possibility of empirical validation of a claim, then the claim is not a scientific claim regarding physical reality. What is the claim, if not scientific? It is subjective, non-falsifiable, and ideological.

jim74 said...

Look, you don't point to any evidence either and you're the odd ball here, the one denying well established science, against all scientists. You don't deserve any attention nor present any valuable information. Get a an education on the topic if you care or shut up as you know nothing about it clearly. But of course you can also continue to make a fool of yourself. I'm moving on... bye.

Stan said...

As a True Believer(TM), you are actually an abject failure, since you care nothing about knowledge, and only about protecting a cherished narrative, and obviously you have nothing but fallacies for your support.

Here you produce yet another logical fallacy: you erroneously conclude that I know nothing about evolution. That is based on your total ignorance of both me and evolution.

If you had actual empirical knowledge of evolution, you would have presented it. But you have not; you cannot. You are obviously a fan-boy who has nothing to share but your desperate belief in what you cannot prove, but must have everyone accept as truth. It is apparent that it is the narrative which you need, not actual knowledge. And the narrative you need for support of something else other than evolution - most likely your rejectionism of other things for which you also have no actual evidence for support of your position.

The fact that you don't present evidence of any sort, yet demand that I "shut up" is firm proof of the totalitarian nature of evolution, as opposed to actual science. While you have exactly NO reasoning to present for your defense of evolution, EXCEPT the fallacy of Appeal To Authority (and a couple of other logic fallacies), you do present the following argument for the defense of your ideology:

Evolution is true because: (a) Shut Up. (b) You're a fool.

And with that, you run for the door in a headlong rush to leave Dodge. And well you should; intellectual malfeasance and cowardice are commonly mutual companions.

Yes, You have fully demonstrated the principle of totalitarianism as the deterministic feature of "belief" in evolution.

You should recognize, however, that totalitarians wind up ignobly: Saddam was whimpering in a dirt hole; Hitler killed himself; Stalin was poisoned; Gaddafi was butt-raped and killed. Because evolution is a culture war icon, and culture warriors are totalitarians, much the same outcomes can be expected, historically speaking of course. You cannot support anything with attempted diktat other than your abuse of reality and of others who are willing to take it. That's who you are.

And that's why I know you are reading this: you exhibit the disorder characteristics of a whining narcissist, so you'll want to know what about YOU has been said.

Steven Satak said...

Well, Russell was right. At first. But then it guttered out in the usual denials ('nope, nope, uh-uh, no way, nope') and insults. Bleh.

"Look, you don't point to any evidence either"

Actually, Stan did, but you don't consider it evidence since you don't agree with it.

"and you're the odd ball here, the one denying well established science, against all scientists."

And this falsifies what Stan wrote how? All it means is that he's following the egos and the money, from what I have seen. At least you didn't call it 'settled science' or 'scientific consensus'. Science has been wrong before, and scientists are wicked men like the rest of us. And "all scientists'. Really? You went out and polled them and 100% of them are against what Stan wrote? I gotta see evidence for that.

"You don't deserve any attention"

Ah, the 'D' word; award Stan attention not for his arguments, which run rings around your emotionalism, but for what Stan is, which is one of the Faithful. Since he's not, he shouldn't get any. Right?

"nor present any valuable information."

And a fake intellectual snob like you would be the judge of that, eh?

"Get a an education on the topic if you care or shut up as you know nothing about it clearly."

You know nothing about Stan other than he disagrees with you. But that's enough to start in with the insults, slander, accusations, ad nauseum, right? Talk about arrogant without reason...

"But of course you can also continue to make a fool of yourself."

Says you. You sound like you have a lot of experience at making a fool of yourself, at least on the internet. So I bow to your experience on this one.

"I'm moving on... bye."

Hit and run while you can. Pfff. Except, we know your ego will drive you to come back again and again. You just cannot resist.

I'm guessing late teens, early twenties, just enough education to be dangerous, mostly to yourself. Will get sucked into and destroyed by drugs due to boredom with the 'little people' surrounding him/her. Or he/she will become involved in some sort of white collar crime because he or she is just too, too smart to get caught. But is, eventually.

Russell (106) said...

"Well, Russell was right. At first. But then it guttered out in the usual denials ('nope, nope, uh-uh, no way, nope') and insults."

Say what now?

Did you mean Jim?

Stan said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure he was referring to jim74.

Robert Coble said...

I'm pretty sure jim74 is another sock puppet infestation from HUGO.

Same old tiresome M.O.: no logical argumentation, no addressing the content and argumentation of the actual blog post, mere denialism and Ad Hominem (abusive) attacks.

Here's a dead giveaway:

"Look, you don't point to any evidence either and you're the odd ball here, the one denying well established science, against all scientists."

How many times have we seen THAT one from HUGO in his various deranged personas?!?

More examples:

"You don't deserve any attention nor present any valuable information. Get a an education on the topic if you care or shut up as you know nothing about it clearly. But of course you can also continue to make a fool of yourself. I'm moving on... bye."

(a) You have no value as a person because you have the wrong beliefs as endorsed by 97% of scientists; therefore, none of your actual argumentation has value.

(b) Totally ignoring the many references cited in support of the argument while asserting that "a an education" is required. Totally self-unaware because - scientism. Physician, heal thyself!

(c) Inability to use proper grammar: "Get a an education on the topic if you care or shut up as you know nothing about it clearly." Clearly, too busy foaming at the mouth (with his head up his arse) to take the time to proofread or edit these missives issued by the world's greatest legend in his own mind.

HUGO masquerading as jim74: get a copy of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss. It won't change your pathetic little life, but it MIGHT provide you a much needed education on some of the glaring deficiencies in your writing. On second thought: never mind. You are hysterically funny when you try to write anything serious. Send in the clowns, little boy!

For the benefit of those who don't want to bother looking up the punchline of the book:

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

"Why?" asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"Well, I'm a panda," he says. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."


HUGO: If I have to explain it to you, moron, then it loses its didactic point.

(d) Judgmental in the extreme: "But of course you can also continue to make a fool of yourself." Totally self-unaware because - scientism. Trolls are such needy little bitches, addicted to external confirmation of their self-worth.

(e) Repeatedly "leaving" the fools gallery - then coming back again and again, all the while repeating ad nauseam "I'm moving on... bye." All in the hope that someone, ANYONE, will take notice and give a little attention to this starved-for-attention little prick. "Goodbye, cruel world! You will all miss me when I don't come back." Hardly.

To be followed by more Ad Hominem (abusive), ignoring anything relevant to the blog topic, and then, eventually, unmasking himself and crowing about how he has (once again) fooled everybody with another sock puppet because he's SO much smarter than all the stupid bible thumpers on this blog because he's SO much smarter. . .

Wait for it; wait for it. . .

jim74 said...

Insults? Lol, this is all this dude wrote. And he clearly knows nothing about evolution so ya, he does deserve insults but that's not even what I wrote!! You guys are hilarious losers. Now yes, that, that was an insult lol

Robert Coble said...

Immediate confirmation! Thank you, HUGO, for being so prompt.

jim74 said...

Sorry for the confusion but I don't know who HUGO IN ALL CAPS is nor who ROBERT COBLE is either. I followed links from Google after reading on that article on evolution and found this ridiculous blog with awful opinions on it but I respect the right to continue writing it of course. As Americans we at least owe this to each other, you can call me whatever names you want but I can do the same

Stan said...

I'm pretty sure that Jim is actually Hugo, all the irrationality is the same. I'm done with him, he presents no case for his beliefs, only trash-talk which he erroneously thinks is inflammatory. Almost identical to Hugo.

jim74 said...

Ok you people are weird.... bye bye

Robert Coble said...

A thought experiment:

ASSUME (merely for the sake of argument) that the major tenets of Darwinian evolution are scientifically, i.e., emprically true.

The major tenets being (never mind the tautologies involved):

(1) Blind natural selection: the “fittest” to survive are ipso facto the survivors. Those that do not survive are (obviously) not fit to survive.

(2) Random (undirected) modification of existing materials, always retaining those modifications that are “fittest” to survive. No intelligent “design,” no divine “thumb on the scales,” in short, no one in charge of deciding (outside of purely random mutations) which survive to propagate their “superior” characteristics.

Consider some of the ramifications.

If evolution is truly scientific, then we should be able to observe the process. But then there is the “deep time” problem: it only operates extremely slowly, over epochs, one Planck modification at a time.

Suppose we take Gaia as a closed observational system. We will limit our observations to one species: homo sapiens sapiens. We will presume to be able to observe (as if we are located outside of the system) some characteristics that “might” be evidence of evolution.

Let’s examine the AtheoLeftist assertion of the “superiority” of their position over the “badthink” position of religion in general. If that assertion is objectively true, then we should observe an evolutionary trend that favors the flourishing of the AtheoLeftist subspecies and a corresponding diminution of the religious subspecies.

The exact opposite is occurring on Gaia. The religious are increasing in number all out of proportion to the AtheoLeftists. If those who survive and thrive are (by definition) the “fittest” to survive, then what does that say about AtheoLeftism?

Could this be part of the reason for the vitriolic blind hatred evidenced by AtheoLeftists for the religious? Is it possible that they are aware that according to their own unquestioning acceptance of Darwinian natural selection, they are not the “fittest” to survive? Is this a part of why the AtheoLeftists are always totalitarian by nature because otherwise, they will eventually be eliminated (through decreased reproduction and relationships that cannot reproduce at all) as not “fit” to survive?

I’m sorry, but I don’t have the time to investigate all of the ramifications myself. Please feel free to embellish as you choose in any direction, as long as you keep in mind the original ASSUMPTION.