Music

Steve Bougerolle steveb at creek-and-cowley.com
Fri Jun 21 05:35:47 PDT 2002


On Fri, 2002-06-21 at 16:40, Björn Lindberg wrote:

> I found the article interesting and refreshing. Maybe because we don't
> have much creationists in Sweden, so I've never had to "defend"
> evolution theory before.

It struck me as being simply a series of flat statements with no
justification.  Since it is aimed at the public, that's fair enough.  I
only object to being treated as part of the "ignorant masses".

> My impression was that you made some arguments in this thread that
> seemed to be of a creationist nature. That article contains all the
> science that is needed to refute creationism. Maybe I am totally wrong
> though, and I am just misunderstanding you. In that case I am truly
> sorry. Are you disagreeing with any one of the points discussed in that
> article?

I didn't see any discussion in there that could satisfy me for more than
five seconds.  It looked like the most general sort of summary with a
too-large dose of argumentum ad hominem attacks on creationists.  First,
I'm not interested in defending creationist theories.  In fact, I agree
many of them are nutty.  Second, it offends me when I make particular
criticisms and get back vague sweeping answers.  It really doesn't take
too much of a critical mind to find the weak points in evolutionary
theory.  Why is it so hard to answer reasonably when people point them
out?

> I am not a close-minded evolution theory supporter BTW, but a competing
> theory would have to be based in /science/, and it would have to explain
> all the known evidence and facts equally well -- or preferably better --
> than the currently accepted theory does.

Fair enough, but there are a few critical points in evolutionary theory
that look to me to be almost pure hypothesis, so it shouldn't be too
hard to better them.  Is anyone trying, though?  It looks to me like too
many of you are happy to just sit there and assume the entire
theoretical mound is correct because large areas of it have lots of
evidence.

> > children and know-nothings.  If I were on your Ph.D committee or
> > reviewing your thesis you'd be in a fathom of hot water now...
> 
> I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean? Even if that article is
> directed towards the layman, it is still factually correct.

You mentioned you are doing a master's degree in computational biology,
IIRC.  If you go on to do a Ph.D you will have to defend it, against
questions from academics outside your department (in other words, people
much like me) as well as specialists.  If you try to answer them with
the same sort of simplistic response in this article, you will get a lot
of trouble very quickly.

> I may be completely wrong here (it has happened before :-), and in that
> case I apologize. I would like to know though; do you disagree with any
> of the points in the article?

No.  In two or three points, however, he has carefully chosen his
wording so that it's not possible to reasonably disagree.  Specifically,
in #7 and #11 he says things like "biologists have shown this *could*
happen."  The word "could" doesn't impress me.  Numbers will impress
me.  I think I made my points abundantly clear in my rant to Albert,
though.

This is also annoying because he hypocritically spends paragraphs at the
end fogging about how science is better than creation science because it
makes definite predictions while creation science asserts unclear
unprovables.

-- 
Steve Bougerolle
Creek & Cowley Consulting

http://www.creek-and-cowley.com

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