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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Dang, we have to update evolution again…. Biblical Creationism stays the same (Page 8)

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Author Topic: Dang, we have to update evolution again…. Biblical Creationism stays the same
BlackBlade
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I merely mean, assuming homosexuality can be "cured," or at least heterosexuality can be programed into a person, (something I know you don't agree with) that perhaps Exodus is a doomed cause and they will never accomplish their aim. But 30+ years of failure his hardly long enough to deem a cause or effort pointless.

In short, I agree that Exodus' methods don't work, and 30 years is long enough to establish that. But they could revise their methodology either in minor or radical ways and possibly, maybe even reasonably expect to see major results.

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kmbboots
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Not that this is relevant to the discussion, but I can't help being bothered by the assumption that homosexuality is something to be "cured".
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Not that this is relevant to the discussion, but I can't help being bothered by the assumption that homosexuality is something to be "cured".

I'm sure it does bother you, but its an assumption I am keeping so I can avoid discussing the larger subject of homosexuality right or wrong.

Is there another verb that makes your more comfortable? If somebody had a disposition to say lose their temper, what would you call it if through some process that temper was brought under control?

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MrSquicky
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quote:
assuming homosexuality can be "cured," or at least heterosexuality can be programed into a person, (something I know you don't agree with)
I don't disagree that there is a possibility of this. I think, given the failure of over 30 years of very motived effort towards this, that 1) these particular methods don't work and 2) the conception of homosexuality as something that is easy to choose or not is a false one.

If you want to say that some time in the future, it is possible that someone may come up with a way of converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, I can't argue with that, but it won't be based on the assumption that underlie the current failed attempts and it most likely won't be done by the ethically flawed people who currently make up a large section of the ex-gay movement.

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Is there another verb that makes your more comfortable? If somebody had a disposition to say lose their temper, what would you call it if through some process that temper was brought under control?
Brainwashing.

(edited to add the quote)

[ August 29, 2007, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: El JT de Spang ]

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MrSquicky
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boots,
If we're talking about the effectiveness of reparative therapy, you kind of have to grant at least the perspective that homosexuality is something to be "cured".

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MrSquicky
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Hoenst question, BB. Have you looked into Exodus or the ex-gay movement since we talked about it before? I can't tell from your rather general answers.
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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Not that this is relevant to the discussion, but I can't help being bothered by the assumption that homosexuality is something to be "cured".

Same here. It may be possible to change someone's sexual orientation, but whether that's a good thing and whether people should be trying to do so is a much bigger issue to me.

Once we've "cured" homosexuality, what other defects of mind are we going to address with aggressive psychological "treatment." Atheism? Libertarianism?

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0Megabyte
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Well, brainwashing could effect a change... but I'd be curious to see someone using those same methods to turn a heterosexual homosexual!

Depending on the strength of mind, and the willingness of the person, I wouldn't be surprised if it worked, at a similar rate of success.

But to test it would be so unethical... darn my curiosity's evil side!

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King of Men
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Can I suggest that 'changed' would be a good, neutral verb? That is, Exodus has failed to change any homosexual orientations in 30 years of effort.
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MrSquicky
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Actually, ex-gay people did just that. They did basically A Clockwork Orange conditioning on people (along with some mild torture) to try and turn them straight.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
I don't disagree that there is a possibility of this. I think, given the failure of over 30 years of very motived effort towards this, that 1) these particular methods don't work and 2) the conception of homosexuality as something that is easy to choose or not is a false one.
I can agree with this completely.

quote:
If you want to say that some time in the future, it is possible that someone may come up with a way of converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, I can't argue with that, but it won't be based on the assumption that underlie the current failed attempts and it most likely won't be done by the ethically flawed people who currently make up a large section of the ex-gay movement.

Perhaps not. I don't think Exodus is going to make any break throughs in this effort.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
boots,
If we're talking about the effectiveness of reparative therapy, you kind of have to grant at least the perspective that homosexuality is something to be "cured".

I know. Granted for the purposes of discussion. I just wanted to be on record as thinking it's wrong.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
Hoenst question, BB. Have you looked into Exodus or the ex-gay movement since we talked about it before? I can't tell from your rather general answers.

I went to their website and looked it over thoroughly. I considered browsing places that are critical of them but my experience with trying to find truth in sites that are critical of say my own church discouraged me from repeating the attempt with Exodus.

I am being pretty general as while I am at work the opportunity to just sit down and write well thought out posts is very limited. I would be willing to look at any materials you think are academically honest and not trying to meld facts to fit an already established conclusion.

edit: I am willing to use "change(d)" instead of "cure(ed)" for the purposes of any discussion on this topic.

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0Megabyte
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MrSquicky:

Ahh. Yeah... I so want to see how it'd effect heterosexuals then.

I mean, I know it's not going to happen, and I wouldn't dare suggest we test it... but darn, it makes me curious.

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MightyCow
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When do we get a group to turn straight people gay? If it works one way, it should work the other.

I know some guys who could really use with some gaying up.

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Kwea
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Feelin' a bit frisky, are you? [Wink]
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MightyCow
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I'm as gay as I want to be already, as my girlfriend will tell you without reservation.

It's a couple of my friends who need to get a clue.

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beverly
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quote:
Do you see the majority of Christians out there heeding or giving great weight to those verses? Do you see the Sermon on the Mount as something that people have tried to model their society and their lives on? I don't. I don't think, in many cases, it is so much a matter of the dictates being too hard as it is people care or know very little about what the religion actually says.
I have always been very much a part of a religious community and all my life have been very pleased with the majority of the members I have interacted with. That has been my personal experience.

Generally, people seem to view Latter-day Saints as decent people. So many times, just knowing that someone is "a Mormon" automatically people assume that they are honest, law-abiding, and kind. While not everyone lives up to that standard, that view seems to be the prevailing one amongst those who know actual members of the church.

I don't have enough experience with members of other faiths, but I live in a small, very Christian community. I have been deeply pleased again and again by the beauty of the souls of the people around me. I believe they are honest disciples of Christ who do their best to follow His teachings.

You and I must travel in very different circles.

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MattP
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I live in a predominantly Mormon community and the people, in general, don't seem particularly better or worse than the non-mormons I've lived around in the past who were of approximately the same socioeconomic status, except that there is more of a sense of in-group and out-group here.

Otherwise, middle-class suburbia seems to be about the same in Utah as it is in San Diego.

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Samprimary
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What psychology knows about homosexuality indicates that you can't change the fundamental sexual orientation of a person.

What you can do, however, is skinner-box them until they're repressed mental train-wrecks waiting to happen who nevertheless are very forcefully conditioned to believe that they are straight, or at least be too terrified to state otherwise, which is exactly what Exodus has been accepting as a threshold of the success of their 'procedures.'

The same procedures could be used to cause a white man to insist that he is black.

Exodus is an example of very bad things done in the name of faith.

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camus
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quote:
What psychology knows about homosexuality indicates that you can't change the fundamental sexual orientation of a person.
Really? I know that my definition of "attractive" is a rather fluid concept. In some instances there have been a complete reversal in my level of attraction to a person. Granted, that isn't exactly a change in fundamental sexual orientation, but where is the line between changes in sexual orientation and changes in attraction that is more subtle, like body types? I'm not so sure there is one.
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MightyCow
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Are you serious camus? There is a fundamental difference between thinking that an athletic woman is sexier than a curvy woman and deciding that you are no longer interested in women at all and want to make out with a furry, musclebound man.
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camus
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Yeah, I know there is a major difference between the two. I'm just not sure that there is a specific line that differentiates them. If some aspects of sexuality are fluid and changing, I don't see why other parts aren't as well. I don't view it as a biological switch that can't be crossed, but more like a spectrum where your position can change and definitions are blurry. I see the two examples as being a difference of scale instead of a difference in type. But I'm rather unfamiliar with the psychological studies about it, which is why I was curious about what those studies had found.
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MightyCow
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They might be different in scale, but I would suggest that most people have a fairly small range of flexibility on a fairly large scale. If being attracted to the manliest of men is 100 and being attracted to the most feminine women is 1, I might range from 1 to 35, but I doubt I'm ever going to get as far as 75. At a gut level, guys don't do anything for me, it isn't a matter of trying to be more accepting or thinking about it differently, at least not in my case.

It may happen from time to time, but I think experience has shown that relatively few people will be attracted to both men and women sexually, or more to the point, will be able to make such a drastic change from one end of the spectrum to the other.

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camus
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quote:
It may happen from time to time, but I think experience has shown that relatively few people will be attracted to both men and women sexually, or more to the point, will be able to make such a drastic change from one end of the spectrum to the other.
I agree, though it wouldn't surprise me it's actually more than just a relatively few number of people.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
Resh...what's being left out? Can you please give examples? I have an open mind and would like to see for myself.

Well, I've tried pointing them out before, but apparently they are inadmissible to the argument. Nevermind that it doesn't seem fair that the Naturalists don't get to make the rules.

Well, I guess they do, if the game is trying to convince someone that Evolution could not have happened. It goes something like, "You must prove to me that I am wrong, but you must only use arguments that can be proved, even if what you are arguing is unprovable by its nature. Meanwhile, the earth is billions of years old and that's how long it takes for evolution to happen. That's why it's unobservable!! But a proven fact, nonetheless."

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Something else that does not seem to be recognizable to the evolutionists is the fact that this incredible complex tapestry of a theory you have here (and the earlier post about it not being designed so much as something that has developed and modulated or whatever; stop kidding yourself, it has been designed) has done one thing: created a construct where if one does not scratch too deeply, one can envision a universe where all these just-so occurrences can happen that have ultimately resulted in the world as we know it today, but without the otherwise absolutely necessary invocation of some sort of creator/designer. But it certainly doesn't mean that that is what has happened, it it certainly isn't the most likely.

P.S. Don't you admire how well structured that first sentence is?

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TomDavidson
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I'm curious, Resh: what, when you scratch a bit deeper, reveals a flaw in evolutionary theory?
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Reshpeckobiggle
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There's no one thing. I just mean that it's something I started doing a while back and now I don't believe in it. But an example would be the philosophy of Materialism which, while not required to believe in Evolution, does seem to require Evolution as an explanation for its possibility. Unless I'm mistaken, Materialism doesn't seem to hold up as a philosophy when faced with the problem of the existence of information.
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fugu13
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So because something you feel something you don't like is only possible because of evolutionary theory, evolutionary theory must be wrong?

Even assuming Materialism (whatever that is) is only possible because of evolutionary theory, and also that it doesn't "hold up as a philosophy when faced with the problem of the existence of information" (whatever that means; I've had numerous philosophy classes, and I can't parse it), that doesn't imply evolutionary theory has a problem.

That's like saying nuclear physics is incorrect because people can build nuclear bombs with it.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Materialism is the idea that nothing exists in the universe that is not attributable to chance occurrences. The existence of information destroys the concept because all that existed prior to order in the materialist universe was matter and energy, and information is not something that is inherent to these things.

[edit] Is that parsable (my word)? What I can't parse is your analogy.

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Enigmatic
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The point of fugu's analogy is, bluntly, so what if Materialism is junk? You said yourself that materialism is not required to believe in evolution. Therefore, "disproving" materialism does nothing to disprove (or even weaken) evolution.

--Enigmatic

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fugu13
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Ah, that's not the definition used in philosophy when the term materialism is used, hence my confusion.

You seem to misunderstand the concept of information (as far as entropy in information theory is concerned, which is what you are talking about as far as I can tell). Information is inherent in any structure, however it came about. If there is energy, and even moreso if there is matter, there is information. It is not something that is separate from their existence, in some interpretations it is their existence (after all, what is a fundamental particle but a little blob of information?)

Of course, you make the fallacy of assuming the universe had a beginning. If it is merely something that exists, and always exists (which is possible, though it seems likely it periodically collapses to a singularity. We don't know enough about singularities to talk much about what happens when they become involved), then your counterargument holds no water.

Also, even if everything started out with, shall we say, minimal information, that doesn't mean local information can't increase. It is very easy to find huge amounts of local organization/information arising out of what is originally entirely disorganized (ever made salt crystals?).

Therefore your counterargument falls apart even if the universe is finite; increases in local information are driven by decreases in information elsewhere (perhaps by destruction).

Now, I think what you call materialism is wrong, myself (and yet somehow think evolutionary theory is sound), but that's another thought.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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I understood the point. It just doesn't work as an analogy.

But you're (both) right; disproving materialism does not disprove evolution. But it sure knocks some big holes in the need for keeping a dying theory like evolution on life-support.

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fugu13
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Perhaps if you could get back to the original question: why is evolutionary theory dying, according to you?
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King of Men
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You are assuming your conclusion, there, namely that evolution is dying.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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You're getting it backwards, fugu. You are attributing matter to information. All matter has information, sure. But the information exists independently of matter or energy. These words are hitting your eyes because of the properties of the light from your screen. But the same information would be expressed whether the words came in the form of sound waves, or sign language, or letters in sand.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
You are assuming your conclusion, there, namely that evolution is dying.

I was actually just throwing that in there. But it's dying because more and more people, including some of the smartest people and best at communicating ideas, recognize how untenable it is.

[edit] I had to make an edit there. Something about genetics, biochemistry, and statistics, but I realized it was confusing and really not a pertinent point.

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
You are assuming your conclusion, there, namely that evolution is dying.

I was actually just throwing that in there. But it's dying because more and more people, including some of the smartest people and best at communicating ideas, recognize how untenable it is.

Whether or not an idea is popular has nothing to do with its truth.

But I'll bite. Please name some of these smartest people so we can see their arguments.

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King of Men
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quote:
But it's dying because more and more people, including some of the smartest people and best at communicating ideas, recognize how untenable it is.
This is what is known as an 'inaccuracy'.

quote:
You are attributing matter to information. All matter has information, sure. But the information exists independently of matter or energy.
Please define 'information' before you say anything about it. What is the information contained in this:

AACGAGTAAT

and how did you measure it?

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Javert, I'd probably have to put Bill Dembski up there near the top.

quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
But it's dying because more and more people, including some of the smartest people and best at communicating ideas, recognize how untenable it is.
This is what is known as an 'inaccuracy'.

quote:
You are attributing matter to information. All matter has information, sure. But the information exists independently of matter or energy.
Please define 'information' before you say anything about it. What is the information contained in this:

AACGAGTAAT

and how did you measure it?

I don't know if it's inaccurate. I mean, you say it is, but that doean't really prove anything to me.

And there isn't a whole lot of information contained in that tiny string of DNA, but what is there has nothing to do with the fact that the molecules happen to be made of matter. Their effects are only expressed because of their chemical composition, but the language itself does not contain the meaning. What was your point, anyway?

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King of Men
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My point is that until you provide a definition of information, we cannot usefully discuss it. As for the inaccuracy, you haven't provided any documentation for your earlier statement that I was responding to, either, so we're even.
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King of Men
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Oh, and Dembski: Have you seen what happened to the guy during the Dover case? I suggest you read up on it, it's rather instructive.
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MattP
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quote:
I'd probably have to put Bill Dembski up there near the top.
Can you point out something that Dembski has done which you believe qualifies him for that list of "smartest people"?
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fugu13
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This would be couldn't get hired as a statistician until the Discovery Institute paid his bill Dembski?

The one who says a particular concept mathematically proves ID, but then says about that concept

quote:
I'm not and never have been in the business of offering a strict mathematical proof for the inability of material mechanisms to generate specified complexity
Note, he says he's a mathematician, and according to you is a genius, but a sort of key aspect -- that what he says needs to arise couldn't arise from purely material things -- is unproven. By 'sort of key aspect' I mean, of course, 'bit that even if the rest of his mathematical arguments -- which have been shown by mathematicians to be nonsense -- are true, means that they still fail to show what he says show'.

Of course, I should realize that those mathematicians who bother to critique him are lying about how math works in order to support the cult of evolution.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Materialism is the idea that nothing exists in the universe that is not attributable to chance occurrences. The existence of information destroys the concept because all that existed prior to order in the materialist universe was matter and energy, and information is not something that is inherent to these things.
As a materialist and an information specialist, I feel compelled to point out that you're misusing both words.
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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Oh, and Dembski: Have you seen what happened to the guy during the Dover case? I suggest you read up on it, it's rather instructive.

In case Resh still can't summon the wherewithall to spend a few hours on Wikipedia, allow me to sum it up simply:

Dembski ran away from a chance to defend his claims like a scared little girl.

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DevilDreamt
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In the great war between Science and Christianity, I would like to point out an important factor that seems to get overlooked. I'm sure if we can get the word out, the majority of Americans will abandon their superstitious beliefs in favor of rational thought.

Science is sexy. Christianity is not sexy.

It's that simple.

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King of Men
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Dude, have you thought about what those nuns wear under their robes? Not to mention all that cool crux SM stuff. Yeah, baby, I'll nail you up any day.
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