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No. of Recommendations: 3
This may be a bit off topic but it does deal with creation.

Frank Tipler is a very influential mathematician and physicist at Tulane University. He developed a theory (based on modern physics) that claims that intelligent life was necessary and inevitable. The universe he believes will eventually contract to a single point, called the Omega point. During this period, life will pervade and dominate the universe, accumulating knowledge. At the Omega Point, information will approach infinity, and intelligent life will have evolved to an entity with all the omni- properties associated with God. In effect, Tipler presents a theory for the evolution of God. As a sidebar, he also predicts and justifies universal resurrection. The theory is laid out in his book "The Physics of Immortality".

The theory is a tour-de-force of physics, philosophy, and theology. The physics is defended by David Deutsch, a prominent physicist from Oxford University who was one of the developers of the multi-verse model of reality. The theology is defended by Wolfhart Pannenberg, one of the most influential Christian theologians of our generation who has written much about the interface of religion and science.

I don't know enough physics or theology to critique this theory or to evaluate how credible it might be. Therefore I'm not going to defend or promote it. It's just presented for your viewing pleasure as a respite from the rigors of irreducible complexity.

Here is Tipler's web site: http://www.math.tulane.edu/~tipler/

Excerpt from Pannenberg critique: According to Tipler life is essentially accumulation of information. On its path towards the Omega point life has to pervade and finally dominate the entire material universe. The Omega point itself, however, will be a place of maximal accumulation of information, and therefore it will be immanent as well as transcendent with relation to each point in spacetime. Therefore, the Omega point will have the properties of personality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and eternity.
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It's about the Q Continuum. :o)

k
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It's about the Q Continuum. :o)

k


I miss Q.

g2w, ex-STNG watcher
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It's about the Q Continuum. :o)

k

I miss Q.

g2w, ex-STNG watcher


seriously disliked Q

.... i miss STNG


-
...... this Omega thing sounds like a rip-off of deChardin (very popular with us young Jesuits in the early 60s)
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...... this Omega thing sounds like a rip-off of deChardin (very popular with us young Jesuits in the early 60s)

It certainly is derivative, though with 1990's cosmology thrown in.

I find it unfortunate that so much time is being spent discussing the pseudo-science of Behe, Dembski and the discovery institute. I give credit to the Catholic church and the major protestant denominations for having the sense to not embrace these guys. Nevertheless, their visibility in the public eye will, I think, ultimately hurt the credibility of the Christian churches in general.

For a scientifically credible criticism of neo-Darwinian evolution one should read Fred Hoyle's "Mathematics of Evolution".

What I think is the really interesting issue in the conflict between creationism and evolution is the one that deChardin and more recently Tipler and Robert Wright wrote about. This is whether evolution, both biological and cultural, is random or directed. And by directed I don't mean in the sense of angels stepping in periodically to make flagella for bacteria (what an odd theology!). I mean directed in that the universe is constructed in a way to achieve a particular result.

This is where I think the creationist can make a credible argument. It certainly was enough to shift both Frank Tipler and Antony Flew to theism.
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For a scientifically credible criticism of neo-Darwinian evolution one should read Fred Hoyle's "Mathematics of Evolution".

Fred "Steady State Cosmology" Hoyle is hardly the paragon of scientific credibility I'm afraid. That may well be assigning guilt by association to a book I haven't read, but when the author is all I know about it I'm not jumping up and down to read it.

- Joe
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And by directed I don't mean in the sense of angels stepping in periodically to make flagella for bacteria (what an odd theology!). I mean directed in that the universe is constructed in a way to achieve a particular result.

But directed by God, right? He front-loaded the universe with information, which through the natural processes he set up, evolved into humans and cockroaches?

"Odd theology" indeed. I have a theory, that those who reject ID come in one category: those whose concept of God doesn't fit whatever they suppose ID implies about God.

For the atheist who doesn't think there is one, ID cannot possibly be right because of the clear implication that there must be a supernatural realm if it is.

For the theist who (for whatever reason) doesn't think God does anything in the world we inhabit, a God who tinkers with his creation or directly creates is unfathomable.

So I'm starting to think one's reaction to ID is entirely predetermined by one's theology. Probably too simplistic, but I haven't seen any counter evidence yet.

Bryan (not sure about the agnostics)
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I miss Q.

g2w, ex-STNG watcher


Man, when STNG aired its final episode, I was an aspiring physics major and hadn't yet switched to computer science. I got to watch the very last episode in a room full of physics nerds, ripping on every little ridiculous thing about the science. It was so great.

Still a great episode though.
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Bryan (not sure about the agnostics)

The agnostics aren't sure either. :->

So I'm starting to think one's reaction to ID is entirely predetermined by one's theology. Probably too simplistic, but I haven't seen any counter evidence yet.

Suppose ID is an attempt to provide evidence for Creationism via Science. Then the reactions you see make sense. You said earlier "ID has metaphysical implications for me . . . I see evidence for a creator, for God." You believe that ID is evidence for your God.

IMO, the only reason that ID doesn't specify the designer is so that it can pass the non-religious test to get into public schools. Still, it shouldn't affect the Science behind ID whether or not the designer is specified. But our laws do affect it.

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I have a theory, that those who reject ID come in one category: those whose concept of God doesn't fit whatever they suppose ID implies about God.

The far simpler theory has nothing to do with God. You should consider the possibility that those who reject ID do so because the arguments you present, as well as those presented by Behe and Dembski, are flawed.

If you want to categorize people, I would suggest the following. There are those who: 1) use information to develop a world view; 2) modify information to fit their world view.
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IMO, the only reason that ID doesn't specify the designer is so that it can pass the non-religious test to get into public schools.

There's some truth to this I think. If ID specified God as the designer, then it would be creationism/religious.

But on the other hand, its kind of like saying, "If you just had one more X chromosome, you'd be a girl". We normally consider male and female to be significantly different, but the differences can be minimized depending on how you frame it. Likewise with ID and creationism.

The trial in Dover made a big deal out of the fact that in the Panda book "ID" was substituted for "Creation" in a simple search and replace, somehow "proving" that ID is creationism in an expensive tuxedo. But you could have just as easily substituted "Directed Panspermia", thus logically proving that Crick and Orgel were YECs.

Bryan
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The far simpler theory has nothing to do with God. You should consider the possibility that those who reject ID do so because the arguments you present, as well as those presented by Behe and Dembski, are flawed.


I dont' think that's the answer either, though a logical possibility.

The cases for ID and evolution both depend critically on inference: in the case of ID, it is the inference of design from an arrangement of parts that outside biology demand a design inference. For evolution, the inference is in the accumulation of small changes (which can be observed) into big changes.

Why does one seem to be the more rational inference to some, while others go with another choice?

Your implication that supporters of evolution are the only ones using evidence and reason to develop a worldview, while ID supporters fudge the facts to provide a placebo for their faith would be highly insulting to some people.

If in fact that's what you're implying.

Bryan

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Why does one seem to be the more rational inference to some, while others go with another choice?

Ummm...because we can actually see the mechanism of evolution at work today?
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Why does one seem to be the more rational inference to some, while others go with another choice?

Ummm...because we can actually see the mechanism of evolution at work today?


But we can see the results of design from known designers today too. Design has certain characteristics that makes it distiguishable from non-design.

1. We know intelligent agents design things (observation)
2. We can tell design without seeing the designer in action from its signs
3. We find the same characteristics of design in the cell
4. We infer design in the cell.

Doesn't this only break down at #4, in the sense that some are not willing to accept the inference?

Bryan

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Why does one seem to be the more rational inference to some, while others go with another choice?

Because some believe that the evolution inference is supported by far more empirical data than the ID. And with respect to science, some believe that the evolution inference provides the clearest and most informative set of predictions that can be tested and used to generate more information and a better theory, while ID makes no prediction other than evolution is false.

Your implication that supporters of evolution are the only ones using evidence and reason to develop a worldview, while ID supporters fudge the facts to provide a placebo for their faith would be highly insulting to some people.

Don't mean to be insulting, just pointing out what seems to me fairly obvious. Those who believe they know the history of creation by Divine revelation will tend to accept information consistent with that truth and challenge information that is not. In contrast, those whose world view is largely determined empirically will tend to use new information to modify what they think is the truth.

I think history is on my side on this issue.
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Fred "Steady State Cosmology" Hoyle is hardly the paragon of scientific credibility I'm afraid. That may well be assigning guilt by association to a book I haven't read, but when the author is all I know about it I'm not jumping up and down to read it.

Trust me, he is very good (you have to be pretty darn good to propose panspermia and be taken seriously). He did afterall win the Crafoord Prize, which is the Nobel equivalent in fields not covered by the Nobel. Many in the evolution field do not agree with him, but no one takes his arguments lightly.
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But we can see the results of design from known designers today too.

Really? Name one biological creature that has been designed from scratch.

We aren't talking about pocketwatches and penknives.
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1. We know intelligent agents design things (observation)
2. We can tell design without seeing the designer in action from its signs
3. We find the same characteristics of design in the cell
4. We infer design in the cell.

Doesn't this only break down at #4, in the sense that some are not willing to accept the inference?


no. (pretty much repeating cnaylor)

it breaks down in the leap from (2) to (3).

if 'you' specify the features in (2) with any rigor,
'we' don't see them in a Cell


-
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IMO, the only reason that ID doesn't specify the designer is so that it can pass the non-religious test to get into public schools. Still, it shouldn't affect the Science behind ID whether or not the designer is specified.

Once I was at a seminar where the guest speaker was Dembski. This is at the Christian university where I work, they had a lecture series on creation and evolution and also had a CRI guy, Howard van Till, a Hugh Ross type guy, and a panel of local science profs on separate dates. Dembski had earlier that day spoken at chapel and been very forthright about his own Christian faith. I was one in the audience who he called on for a question after his talk and I asked him about Hebrews 11:3 which I've spoken about here earlier (if it says that we know by faith that the universe is not self-existent, why is he expecting that he'll be able to dsicover specified complexity pointing to a supernatural origin to anything in the universe). Earlier that morning he was all about how crucial this topic is to Christendom, now all of a sudden he's dodging my question by saying that ID isn't specifying the designer as the Abrahamic God. I had been genuinely interested in his response as a fellow Christian, but afterwards I was kicking myself that I hadn't mentioned his chapel message, acknowledged myself that ID doesn't specify the designer, and then asked him explicitly about his own personal views on the passage. Before I had wanted to know his answer, afterwards I was just role-playing how I missed an opportunity to hopefully make him squirm. It was a scales-from-eyes experience for me and put me firmly into the ID-is-disguised-creationism camp.

- Joe
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Trust me, he is very good (you have to be pretty darn good to propose panspermia and be taken seriously). He did afterall win the Crafoord Prize, which is the Nobel equivalent in fields not covered by the Nobel. Many in the evolution field do not agree with him, but no one takes his arguments lightly.

I'll grant you that, and I am myself sympathetic to panspermia although I recognize that it simply moves the problem of abiogenesis elsewhere and I have the impression Hoyle wasn't particularly bothered by that flaw. There is a reason he wasn't marginalized long ago (and like Behe and Dembski would have been if not for the church siezing them as champions). The subject matter of the book, however, seems too close in principle to the Steady State, and I am thoroughly unimplressed with that. Similar to ID non-verifiability, I don't recall any way he originally proposed to observationally support or falsify it, and when the CMB discovery corroborated the Big Bang he clung to Steady State for no good reason IMO. It seems like in origins at least he has emotional rather than physical reasons for holding to what he does.

- Joe
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Those who believe they know the history of creation by Divine revelation will tend to accept information consistent with that truth and challenge information that is not. In contrast, those whose world view is largely determined empirically will tend to use new information to modify what they think is the truth.

I think history is on my side on this issue.


don't know if this is really relevant to your point.....

but, to the extent biases and preconceptions play a part in whether one accepts Creation or Darwin --it's interesting that lots of theists have no trouble with Darwin, but no Atheists (it seems) believe in Creationism.


-j
...... my position --Darwinism doesn't eliminate god, but does 'constrain' god (mostly by what it says about H.saps) -- it makes the god of the bible look even more implausible... thus all the twitching.
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Dembski had earlier that day spoken at chapel and been very forthright about his own Christian faith.

Which is exactly the context he should have talked about it, not in lecture later on.

If you had a Christian congressman come to chapel and speak, sharing how important the Bible is to him, would you then later, in a public policy lecture, try to "make him squirm" by forcing him to justify taking a private, personal stance against gay marriage, and his public stance on ensuring fair treatment of all his constituents?

I don't think Dembski had any obligation to mix his private views on the implications of ID, with his public stance as an proponent of what he considers to be a scientific research program.

But that's just me.

Bryan
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What I think is the really interesting issue in the conflict between creationism and evolution is the one that deChardin and more recently Tipler and Robert Wright wrote about. This is whether evolution, both biological and cultural, is random or directed. And by directed I don't mean in the sense of angels stepping in periodically to make flagella for bacteria (what an odd theology!). I mean directed in that the universe is constructed in a way to achieve a particular result.


there's a kind of quasi-continuum:

Universe just is.
Universe created and left alone.
Universe created such that certain kinds of things likely, but left alone
Universe created such that very specific things would happen, but no intervention needed
Universe created a specific intended & some intervention ( 'let's give bacteria flagella', 'let's make people', 'let's play a joke on Abraham' ) required.


=
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it's interesting that lots of theists have no trouble with Darwin, but no Atheists (it seems) believe in Creationism.

I'm not sure what you mean as it all seems semantic. An atheist who believes in Creationism by definition becomes a deist or theist, hence the absence of "creationist atheists." Or are you saying that atheists are rarely converted?

Darwinism doesn't eliminate god, but does 'constrain' god (mostly by what it says about H.saps) -- it makes the god of the bible look even more implausible... thus all the twitching.

It certainly constrains how one interprets Genesis, but I'm not sure how it constrains God. So the twitching still seems odd...
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Universe just is.
Universe created and left alone.
Universe created such that certain kinds of things likely, but left alone
Universe created such that very specific things would happen, but no intervention needed
Universe created a specific intended & some intervention ( 'let's give bacteria flagella', 'let's make people', 'let's play a joke on Abraham' ) required.


It should be possible to empirically determine whether directed evolution is plausible, if not probable. But the degree of intervention or the specifics of when interventions occur I think is beyond the reach of science. The question is whether supernatural intervention leaves a natural footprint that science can identify. If George Bush were to suddenly turn into a portobello mushroom in the middle of the state of the union, that would be a pretty good footprint. But in the absence of evidence like that, supernatural intervention is all a matter of faith.
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Darwinism doesn't eliminate god, but does 'constrain' god (mostly by what it says about H.saps) -- it makes the god of the bible look even more implausible... thus all the twitching.

It certainly constrains how one interprets Genesis, but I'm not sure how it constrains God.


How one thinks of "the god of the bible" is very much tied up in one's overall hermeneutic. In particular, a person committed to literal inerrancy creates a systematic theology that is a house of cards. Not one jot or tittle can be in error in any way--a far cry from what Jesus said about jots and tittles. If it is in error, then the entire ediface comes crumbling down. A message inerrancy view, on the other hand, gives one some (not total) freedom to practice their faith in the context of the real world around them. The literal innerrantist cannot budge in their worldview any-where any-way, while the message inerrantist is not as constrained. Theists that have no problem with Darwinism are more usefully described by their choices about inerrancy than by their choices about evolution.

- Joe
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Trust me, he is very good (you have to be pretty darn good to propose panspermia and be taken seriously). He did afterall win the Crafoord Prize, which is the Nobel equivalent in fields not covered by the Nobel. Many in the evolution field do not agree with him, but no one takes his arguments lightly.

Yes, they do. Fred Hoyle is a classic example of someone arguing outside his field with no particular understanding of what he is talking about. Hoyle, brilliant as he was, was an astronomer, not a biologist, and his understanding of evolution was just a complete misperception.

More on Hoyle's errors:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance.html
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there's a kind of quasi-continuum:

Universe just is.
Universe created and left alone.
Universe created such that certain kinds of things likely, but left alone
Universe created such that very specific things would happen, but no intervention needed
Universe created a specific intended & some intervention ( 'let's give bacteria flagella', 'let's make people', 'let's play a joke on Abraham' ) required.

Aha, and that's only the one-dimensional continuum. There is/are obviously one or many macroscopic "arrow(s) of time" observable in the cosmos. (Entropy, the expansion of the universe, memories of past events, my waist size) Is "direction" merely an illusion created by these observed phenomena, or is the arrow pointing to a predetermined goal ?
On a microscopic scale there is no such clear arrow of time though. The laws of nature seem to be symmetric regarding time. Could just be statistics playing. Fascinating stuff, allright.

T.
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seriously disliked Q

.... i miss STNG


I know we're going way off topic here, but ...

Q was supposed to be annoying, I suppose. I just enjoyed how John DeLancie portrayed this character.

g2w
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seriously disliked Q

.... i miss STNG


I know we're going way off topic here, but ...

Q was supposed to be annoying, I suppose.


there's annoying and annoying.

the Borg were annoying-i-hope-they-all-die ...
Q was annoying-i'm-changing-the-channel-now ..... pretty sure that was not the intention.


-j
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there's annoying and annoying.

the Borg were annoying-i-hope-they-all-die ...
Q was annoying-i'm-changing-the-channel-now ..... pretty sure that was not the intention.


When Q was on, the one to watch was Picard.

He got to say the most profound things about humanity in these episodes.

Q was particularly interested in Picard because there was something about him that Q couldn't influence. (Q wasn't used to that)

k JMHO
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the Borg were annoying-i-hope-they-all-die ...
Q was annoying-i'm-changing-the-channel-now ..... pretty sure that was not the intention.

When Q was on, the one to watch was Picard.

He got to say the most profound things about humanity in these episodes.


well.... you were probably about 8 yrs old back then, so we maybe had different ideas about "profound" <G>
NTTAWWT.


when Q was on, i watched a different station.


(> h


...... Q was too god-like and i was still and atheist back then.
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well.... you were probably about 8 yrs old back then, so we maybe had different ideas about "profound" <G>
NTTAWWT.


That would make me about 27 at the oldest, and 20 at the youngest.

I would agree that, at those ages, I wouldn't have a clue about "profound".

But, in reality, this series ran between my 27th and 34th birthdays. Not a great difference, I suppose. :o)


when Q was on, i watched a different station.


(> h


...... Q was too god-like and i was still and atheist back then.


But, but, but......

That's where Picard got to tell Q that, no matter how stupid we may seem to be, we are doing well and are important. He further made it plain that Q was an infant comparatively. Humans, Picard said, would never cause difficulty to a lesser being just because that lesser being was comparatively stupid. Every episode with Q on board showed that the Christian God is an infant.

Remember the original series where Capt. Kirk ran into Apollo? Apollo, it seems, was an actual superior being that had been to earth. He could do anything (with the difference between himself and Q being that Apollo had a power source that could be messed with).

But Kirk gave a speech about the fact that, by 20whatever year it was, man had evolved past the bowing and scraping of worship, and was willing to stand on his own. You kinda felt sorry for Apollo in that he couldn't be worshiped, which seemed very important to him- almost as though the reason for his being was to be worshiped.

Q was like that.

And Picard was like Kirk.

Every time the admittedly boring Q would show up, I was always reminded of that episode that said such controversial things in the friggin' 60's!

You may not have been interested because you already knew all of that about humans and gods and such, but to a theist at the time, it was eye opening.

k (once again, only my take)


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well.... you were probably about 8 yrs old back then, so we maybe had different ideas about "profound" <G>
NTTAWWT.

That would make me about 27 at the oldest, and 20 at the youngest.

I would agree that, at those ages, I wouldn't have a clue about "profound".

But, in reality, this series ran between my 27th and 34th birthdays. Not a great difference, I suppose. :o)


not saying you wouldn't have a clue.
just that ideas would be different.

my ideas of 'profound' have seriously changed over the years .... not that i was wrong when i was 12 or 32 or 52 .... just different. like the psycho says, "we then saw as through a glass darkly, now we see as with a darkling glass"

...... Q was too god-like and i was still and atheist back then.


But, but, but......

That's where Picard got to tell Q that, no matter how stupid we may seem to be, we are doing well and are important.


good that i turned the channel then .... or i would have started disliking Picard.


He further made it plain that Q was an infant comparatively. Humans, Picard said, would never cause difficulty to a lesser being just because that lesser being was comparatively stupid.


that's just false...
but, of course, a major theme in all the series -- that in just a couple centuries, H.saps will have become 'perfect'.


Every episode with Q on board showed that the Christian God is an infant.

Remember the original series where Capt. Kirk ran into Apollo? Apollo, it seems, was an actual superior being that had been to earth. He could do anything (with the difference between himself and Q being that Apollo had a power source that could be messed with).

But Kirk gave a speech about the fact that, by 20whatever year it was, man had evolved past the bowing and scraping of worship, and was willing to stand on his own. You kinda felt sorry for Apollo in that he couldn't be worshiped, which seemed very important to him- almost as though the reason for his being was to be worshiped.

Q was like that.


exactly. except i didn't feel sorry for them.
i thought they were irritating.
and i didn't/don't buy the evolution thing.




And Picard was like Kirk.

Every time the admittedly boring Q would show up, I was always reminded of that episode that said such controversial things in the friggin' 60's!

You may not have been interested because you already knew all of that about humans and gods and such, but to a theist at the time, it was eye opening.

k (once again, only my take)


ditto.


(> h

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and i didn't/don't buy the evolution thing.

'Splain.

k
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and i didn't/don't buy the evolution thing.

'Splain.


you didn't know i'm a YEC and don't like any SciFi that's unBiblical?

(>:

..... but seriously folks : it's sci-fi so they just about have to what's 'known' about Science.
Faster than light travel. Time travel. Every third planet has advanced (usually warlike) civilisation. the story works or not based on how much of that you can buy. (typically: everything Science 'knows' is true except for things we need to change to make the plot work)

and in the STs, one of the things they change is the 'speed of evolution' --Everything we dislike about H.saps has evolved away very quickly.... in a matter of centuries. I don't buy it and when the plot depended on it, it ticked me off.

JMO as always.


-j
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and in the STs, one of the things they change is the 'speed of evolution' --Everything we dislike about H.saps has evolved away very quickly.... in a matter of centuries. I don't buy it and when the plot depended on it, it ticked me off.

JMO as always.


Hmm..

And I always saw it as a fictional opportunity to make statements. :o)

k
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and in the STs, one of the things they change is the 'speed of evolution' --Everything we dislike about H.saps has evolved away very quickly.... in a matter of centuries. I don't buy it and when the plot depended on it, it ticked me off.

JMO as always.
.........................
Hmm..

And I always saw it as a fictional opportunity to make statements. :o)


a different and entirely legitimate way to look at it.

for me --speeches from within a context aren't very interesting if i can't believe the context.

even though Hamlet and Macbeth and Lear aren't real --they're speeches work (for me) because i can believe they could be real.

Kirk i didn't believe at all, so his speeches were just Rodenberry prattling;
Picard was mostly believable ....except when he was speechifyin'

.....sort of bringing this back to on-topic --Jesus' speeches strike one differently if one thinks he's entirely fictional, or he's a real guy, or he's god.


=JMO
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The trial in Dover made a big deal out of the fact that in the Panda book "ID" was substituted for "Creation" in a simple search and replace, somehow "proving" that ID is creationism in an expensive tuxedo. But you could have just as easily substituted "Directed Panspermia", thus logically proving that Crick and Orgel were YECs.

But Crick and Orgel didn't do that, presumably (at least in part) because they aren't creationists. You would only actually do it if you agreed with the "science" but wanted to change the terminology.
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But we can see the results of design from known designers today too. Design has certain characteristics that makes it distiguishable from non-design.

1. We know intelligent agents design things (observation)


Yep, that's true

2. We can tell design without seeing the designer in action from its signs


NO. We can tell design without seeing the designer because we know him. We know designer's capabilities, his limitations; we know how he thinks. He is us. We can look at a object and say "Yes, that's how I would solve that problem".

We can also pick out design because, from an informational viewpoint, it is much simplier than it's surrounding enviroment.

3. We find the same characteristics of design in the cell


As yes, IC. When it introduced IC, the Discovery Institute intentionally didn't ask the important question: what features of the human design process lead to designs that are irreduciably complex. The answer is simple. The human design process is a iterative, fitness improving process. We don't design things that are IC right off the bat. We tinker and change, remove components and add components until (sometimes) they become IC.

Those words in bold are also a good description for evolution. Even though it's undirected, it should be no surprise that evolution can also create IC structures. Evolution also tinkers and changes, removes structures and add structures until they (sometimes) become IC.

4. We infer design in the cell.

Since evolution is also capable of producing IC structures, the inference is invalid.
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Everything we dislike about H.saps has evolved away very quickly.... in a matter of centuries. I don't buy it and when the plot depended on it, it ticked me off.

Cultural evolution moves at a different pace than biological. Consider for example how attitudes concerning slavery, women, universal human rights, etc. have changed in the last 500 years.

With the internet, cell phones, and CNN, ideas and memes spread rapidly. I suspect the pace of cultural change will increase, probably dramatically. The question is whether we end up like ST, Bladerunner, the Matrix, or South Park.
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Fred Hoyle is a classic example of someone arguing outside his field with no particular understanding of what he is talking about. Hoyle, brilliant as he was, was an astronomer, not a biologist, and his understanding of evolution was just a complete misperception.

If you actually look at the book however, Hoyle's representation of evolution does not have glaring errors. His mathematics are generally sound and I think most would agree his understanding of evolutionary theory is better than most discussion board members. The fact that he takes the work of Kimura, Maynard Smith, Haldane, and others and reaches different conclusions than they is not a bad thing.

John Maynard Smith, the late, great evolutionary biologist, reviewed Hoyle's book and criticised it for not presenting anything new and for what he considered to be Hoyle's "absurd conclusion" (the impossibility of macroevolution). But Maynard Smith had no problem with Hoyle's understanding of neo-Darwinist theories. I disagree with Hoyle as well, but Hoyle's objections are not trivial.

I think brilliant minds should be doing these types of broad speculation. The rest of us with more pedestrian intellects can do the grunt work of filling in the details and testing the nutty ideas. But geniuses should be pushing the envelop. They'll be wrong 99.9% of time, but that 0.1% generates the next paradigm shift.
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If you actually look at the book however,

Now don't go brow-beating Kazim because he hasn't read the book . . . he's sensitive about that <g>
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Kirk i didn't believe at all, so his speeches were just Rodenberry prattling;

Now, then I may have been 8 years old. :o)

k
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Q was annoying-i'm-changing-the-channel-now ..... pretty sure that was not the intention.


-j


I can understand that. I do the same thing when Bush appears on the channel I'm watching.

g2w
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Happy balloon day g2w!

My take on Q was that he was the epitome of everything that was annoying about the first season, and one of the only things the show didn't outgrow.

- Joe
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Happy balloon day g2w!

My take on Q was that he was the epitome of everything that was annoying about the first season, and one of the only things the show didn't outgrow.

- Joe


Thanks, Joe. This is one of the nicest things to happen to me all year. :O)

g2w


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Q was annoying-i'm-changing-the-channel-now ..... pretty sure that was not the intention.


-j

I can understand that. I do the same thing when Bush appears on the channel I'm watching.



good comparison ...IF i didn't live on a planet that's affected by Bush's actions.


HAPPY 'Loons Day!


-j
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HAPPY 'Loons Day!


-j


Thanks, my friend.

g2w
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Happy BD g2w . . . are your balloons helium or hot air? <g>

Bryan

P.S. I'm about half way through "Fabric of the Cosmos"
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Now don't go brow-beating Kazim because he hasn't read the book . . . he's sensitive about that <g>

Have you picked up Carl Sagan yet?
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Have you picked up Carl Sagan yet?


No, not yet. Demon-haunted world, right? I read some reviews, but it didn't sound too interesting. I wanted a book that makes the case for atheism.

But I will, I owe you.

Bryan
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No, not yet. Demon-haunted world, right? I read some reviews, but it didn't sound too interesting. I wanted a book that makes the case for atheism.


from one of the AMZN reviews:
My favorite part of the book is Sagan's example of the person who claims to have an invisible dragon who breathes heatless fire living in his garage. Sagan points out that there isn't much difference between a dragon like that and no dragon at all; but there are plenty of people who really believe things that are just as bizarre, with an equal lack of evidence.

who knew?? Sagan and Kazim used to hang together.

doesn't *sound* like it makes the case for Atheism ... good question --books that argue for Atheism?


=
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No, not yet. Demon-haunted world, right? I read some reviews, but it didn't sound too interesting.


WTF?
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Everything we dislike about H.saps has evolved away very quickly.... in a matter of centuries. I don't buy it and when the plot depended on it, it ticked me off.

Cultural evolution moves at a different pace than biological. Consider for example how attitudes concerning slavery, women, universal human rights, etc. have changed in the last 500 years.

With the internet, cell phones, and CNN, ideas and memes spread rapidly. I suspect the pace of cultural change will increase, probably dramatically. The question is whether we end up like ST, Bladerunner, the Matrix, or South Park.


good point.

memes do move quickly .... but they still have to fight for 'survival' against other memes and genes. (here's a board where Darwin's meme is fighting and 8000 yr old creation meme)

so i'm skeptical that attitudes have really changed. People know the right thing to say --but do they really mean it?

otoh, it makes for a different take on ST --when Picard says something like <we don't torture puppies anymore> he doesn't mean H.saps have changed. Just that the cool-kids, the highly educated, very special people who man space ships don't do that.
like an atheist saying, "We don't do superstitions anymore."


-j
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memes do move quickly .... but they still have to fight for 'survival' against other memes and genes.

There are those who argue using game theory that in the competiton between cultures there will be a strong selection for those that are open, interactive, and compassionate.

In other words, the seeming irreducible complexity of the ST culture might be overcome by natural selection acting on competing memes.
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memes do move quickly .... but they still have to fight for 'survival' against other memes and genes.

There are those who argue using game theory that in the competiton between cultures there will be a strong selection for those that are open, interactive, and compassionate.

In other words, the seeming irreducible complexity of the ST culture might be overcome by natural selection acting on competing memes.


stuff i read on that --long ago-- argued that a gene for altruism (close enough to "open, interactive, and compassionate"?) could survive in the gene-pool ...not necessarily come to to dominate.

there could now be better arguments,
and i could be wrong .. but you/ST seem to be saying the Meme can dominate the meme-pool and override the genes. i'm cynical about the latter.
( eg. the Jesus-meme .... tonnes of people say it. very few even try to do it )


-j
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