Since many ID critics not only think that science can be used to address the existence of God, but has actually discredited the existence of God, I thought I would check to see what science they are talking about. So I went over to PubMed, a database that includes over 17 million citations, and used the search string, "detect God," figuring that some scientist must have developed a method or instrument that attempted to detect the existence of God. I got six hits and here they are:
Archive for April, 2007
Apparently feeling pressured by Tux, supporters of Darwin, an open-source version of the Mac OS, decided they needed their own mascot. The result is Hexley, a curious platypus who in some images is portrayed with horns and a pitchfork "“ enough evidence for several intelligent design theorists to offer him as proof of the satanic origins of evolutionary biology.
No evidence of these "several" intelligent design theorists is presented. So I did a little digging. I managed to find only a single website using Hexley as proof of the satanic roots of evolution. What's worse, the page is an obvious parody. The short Wikipedia entry specifically mentions the Hexley hoax, which was featured in other medias back in 2001.
A little tip, Panda-bloggers: If you didn't spend so much time taking pictures of yourself sticking your hands up the butt of a panda puppet, you might have time to figure stuff like this out for yourselves.
In our comments section I am encouraged to add Christopher Hitchens to "TT's list of official bogeymen." Of course, there is no such list at Telic Thoughts, as this is just a way to frame valid criticisms of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. But, since I'm the type who is often willing to play along, I checked out a review of Hitchens's new anti-religion book.
Biologist PZ Myers accuses the theistic evolutionists of being creationists:
Has anyone in the Bush administration confided in you about being an atheist?
Well, I don't talk that much to them"”maybe people think I do. I know something which is known to few but is not a secret. Karl Rove is not a believer, and he doesn't shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly. I think the way he puts it is, "I'm not fortunate enough to be a person of faith."
Something one of our critics said in a post to the Sam Harris vs. Andrew Sullivan, Part II thread is worth exploring for what it tells us about believers-in scientism, and how science so easily takes the place in their minds/lives of that ever so 'irrational' God they claim so stridently doesn't exist.
In the comments section of a previous thread, I noted, "Yet if I were to abandon my hobby and rely on the experts, I'd find little more than screaming that ID = Creationism while arguing for the existence of evolution and demands to see the designer-in-action. It doesn't begin to address the really interesting stuff. So I am left with my hobby." This led fellow TT member, Aagcobb, to reply as follows:
What is the really interesting stuff to you, Mike? I thought that ID ended with the inference that a particular biological structure was designed. To me, the interesting stuff would be when, how, why and of course who designed the structure, but as I understand it all of that is outside the scope of ID.
Of course, what is deemed "interesting" is often dependent on the person. Thus, let me answer Aagcobb's question and lay out what I consider to be "the really interesting stuff."
Beliefnet has posted Part II of the Sam Harris/Andrew Sullivan debate. In this one Sullivan bows out with a single response, while Harris predictably moves to assert his dominance without showing even the tiniest smidgeon of understanding about where Sullivan was coming from throughout.
Behold the orange. Being perfectly round, it has no sharp edges with which to poke you in the eye if it happened to fall from the tree. Note how easily it fits into the palm of my hand. And it even comes with its own biodegradable wrapper! To open it, you"¦..hey wait, the thing doesn't have a tab! Where's the dagburnit tab?!
Ah, behold the thumbnail. Note how it so perfectly punctures the biodegradable wrapper and….. Read the rest of this entry »
In a new study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Newmark and his colleagues at the U. of I. report that planarians share some important characteristics with mammals that may help scientists tease out the mechanisms by which germ cells are formed and maintained. Newmark's team made a few discoveries related to a gene, called nanos, which was previously known to play a critical role in germ cell development in several other model organisms.
Unlike fruit flies and nematodes, which show signs of germ cell initiation in the earliest stages of their embryonic development, planarians do not generally express nanos or produce germ cells until several days after hatching. This delayed initiation of germ cell growth is called inductive specification, and is common to mammals and a number of other animals.
Researchers from the University of Darmstadt in Germany and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry reported this week on a family of mites that have forsaken asexual reproduction and re-evolved to reproduce sexually. Reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the revival of a complex trait such as sexual reproduction after it had been dormant for millions of years raises interesting questions about our understanding of evolutionary biology.
The discovery raises some intriguing questions. Why do some organisms continue to reproduce asexually, given the distinct evolutionary advantages – especially defenses against parasites, predators and competitors – from reproducing sexually and mixing genomes? And how can an organism jump-start a group of genes – such as those specific to sexual reproduction – after many millions of years of not being used?
Here is the study. I have not read it yet, but it sure looks interesting.
Larry Moran, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Toronto, is comparing the New Atheists to the women's rights movement:
Do you realize that women used to march in the streets with placards demanding that they be allowed to vote? At the time the suffragettes were criticized for hurting the cause. Their radical stance was driving off the men who might have been sympathetic to women's right to vote if only those women had stayed in their proper place.
The comparison, of course, is ludicrous. The women's rights movement was about securing basic civil rights, such as the right to vote, to women. The New Atheists are all about taking away the rights of others, demanding that religious upbringing be made illegal and that ID-friendly students should be flunked.
Like taking a dump on a doorstep and then knocking to ask for toilet paper, the New Atheists' attempt to appropriate the respect of civil rights movements is the height of chutzpah.
Update: More at Mixing Memory.