Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nine Minutes with P. Z. Myers

Here is a video, and after that link are detailed comment by comment refutations of first nine minutes or so.

PZ Myers - The Evolution of Creationism
David Broman | 26.I.2013

2:32 "the geologists at that time all looked at him and said 'well no, that's wrong'."

Geology was founded about same time by one Dane, Steno, who converted. He was a Flood geologist.

He was NOT likely to tell Ussher he was wrong.

3:14 "I am not talking about people doing this in the 17th century, [I] talk about people doing it now, right now"


You claim, perhaps, if I did not get you quite wrong, geology has since then thoroughly disproven Ussher (or parallel methods with LXX text, like the St Jerome chronology I use).

The people you talk about would normally be claiming, no, geology has not thoroughly or even probably disproven Ussher (or parallel methods etc).

3:43 "creationists ignore the science, okay"

Sure. Here is one creationist who had a debate under a post of yours a few years ago, arguing your scenario for chromosomal fission is wrong and at least for mammals other scenarios on how chromosome numbers increase are wrong too.

As I recall it, you shut down comments after a certain number, perhaps mine are up again (I think I saw that too) but the point is, I was not ignoring the science, and unless your memory is very selective, you know that.

5:26 I did not know Origin of the Species was a chapter by chapter rebuttal of Paley.

I wonder when Atheist Evolutionists are going to take up a question by question and article by article rebuttal of St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Prima pars, questions 2 - 26 (most involving more than one article). That is what some Protestants had been missing out on since Reformation and what Paley was trying to bring back.

And of course, 5:48, it would be harder to say Aquinas was making an argument from ignorance. He was pupil of his time's top scientist, St Albert (canonised recently, by Pope Pius XI, since long time suspected of sorcery and of being author of sorcery books going by his name).

6:12 I am sorry, but the essay is really not very refuting of anything. It says design has to be proven. Well, design is proven by teleology. By complex things working together for a common meaningful goal.

I note, while subtitles didn't make it clear, your very thorough discussion comes from Percy Bysshe Shelley. I did a google from the words, and also note he is a top writer and used "proved" where we would expect "proven" ... no editors famous for squirming at individual idiosyncrasies of language back then, were there?

Here is a further piece:

Why do we admit design in any machine of human contrivance? Simply because innumerable instances of machines having been contrived by human art are present to our mind, because we are acquainted with persons who could construct such machines; but if, having no previous knowledge of any artificial contrivance, we had accidentally found a watch upon the ground, we should have been justified in concluding that it was a thing of Nature, that it was a combination of matter with whose cause we were unacquainted, and that any attempt to account for the origin of its existence would be equally presumptuous and unsatisfactory.

The analogy which you attempt to establish between the contrivances of human art, and the various existences of the Universe, is inadmissible. We attribute these effects to human intelligence, because we know beforehand that human intelligence is capable of producing them. Take away this knowledge, and the grounds of our reasoning will be destroyed. Our entire ignorance, therefore, of the Divine Nature leaves this analogy defective in its most essential point of comparison.

If Aquinas had strolled along, he would have been noting Percy was attributing the divine agencies proven in five ways to a "nature-god" rather than to a personal one.

For my part, I consider the objections of Aquinas against that as valid. The God proven by the five ways has to be totally pure act, not unrealised potency. This excludes nature from being that God. Or even before that, q 3:

"I answer that, It is absolutely true that God is not a body"

A "nature-god" like that dreamed of by Shelley would be a body.

"and this can be shown in three ways.

"First, because no body is in motion unless it be put in motion, as is evident from induction. Now it has been already proved (I:2:3), that God is the First Mover, and is Himself unmoved. Therefore it is clear that God is not a body.

"Secondly, because the first being must of necessity be in act, and in no way in potentiality. For although in any single thing that passes from potentiality to actuality, the potentiality is prior in time to the actuality; nevertheless, absolutely speaking, actuality is prior to potentiality; for whatever is in potentiality can be reduced into actuality only by some being in actuality. Now it has been already proved that God is the First Being. It is therefore impossible that in God there should be any potentiality. But every body is in potentiality because the continuous, as such, is divisible to infinity; it is therefore impossible that God should be a body.

"Thirdly, because God is the most noble of beings. Now it is impossible for a body to be the most noble of beings; for a body must be either animate or inanimate; and an animate body is manifestly nobler than any inanimate body. But an animate body is not animate precisely as body; otherwise all bodies would be animate. Therefore its animation depends upon some other thing, as our body depends for its animation on the soul. Hence that by which a body becomes animated must be nobler than the body. Therefore it is impossible that God should be a body."

What did Shelley's Eusebes say about that one?

6:46 - ah, you did mention it was Percy Shelley. Thanks.

6:55 It would seem that the part I quoted from Eusebes was not really using the science of the day ... it was philosophising of a kind refuted before AD 1274, March 7th. That being the day on which St. Thomas Aquinas died.

6:59 No, I do not think Eusebes or his author Shelley used logic and reason as established before than as well as St Thomas Aquinas did.

7:06 gasp P Z Myers has no better reply to Intelligent Design than Percy Bysshe Shelley?

7:17 If PZM can claim Percy blew intelligent design, 200 years in advance, why can't an intelligent designer and young earth creationism claim St Thomas Aquinas blew Shelley 540 years in advance or some more?

7:42 Myers is equating "exquisite contrivances" in Paley with "I don't know how it works, it is really complicated"?

I suspect, Myers was very well advised not to take up a carreer in letters.

Exquisite contrivances if translated to anything like the phrase means "I partly do know how it works, it is purposefull and too complex to be purposefull by chance". That is quite another statement.

Darwin's proposed solution:

"we can see 'numerous gradations' giving rise to 'complex and perfect' organs by natural mechanisms with no need for guidance."

For one thing Darwin : Myers = 1:0.

Darwin does see that it is not just a question of "complex" (a splatter of spilled milk is highly complex, not very purposefull, though), but of "complex and perfect".

Then Darwin : Mendel = 0:1

What Darwin thought of as "with no need for guidance" we know since Mendel and even more discovery of DNA has a very complex system of very purposefull guidance. Remember, Darwin knew nothing of genetics. He's the guy who is making an argument from ignorance.

I just made a claim about PZM's academic carreer.

Fact check:

1985 Ph.D. in Biology, Institute of Neuroscience,University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
1979 B.S. in Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1975-1976 attended DePauw University, Greencastle, IN
1973-1975 attended Kent-Meridian High School, Kent, WA

Read more:

8:01 "[what Paley is saying is 'we dont understand it, it is] really complicated, therefore it must be designed' "

Well, it seems PZM cannot read Paley. He is reading Paley through Eusebes in Shelley.

If PZM had tried to do anything in letters, if I had been his professor (I'm in fact still "undergraduate" all or most of my studies depending on how you count equivalencies), and had been given Paley to paraphrase and had paraphrased like this, he would have flunked. Big.

In Swedish - which I suppose PZM might know, and perhaps David Broman too - this is called "läsförståelse".

8:36 PZM is a bit dishonest on the evidence on "evolution of the eye" too.

Where to Darwin each "step" is functional, one can very well see they cannot function AS steps on a ladder, since each being "top step" on a different ladder (fetal development or whatever you call it for invertebrates providing the rungs while eyes are produced).

What is more, in many cases these steps are actually dependent on more than one genes functioning perfectly. I saw a discussing of blind fish, it seems the mutated genes (devolving, not evolving) were concerned with two steps in the production of the eyes, more properly with cone cells or rod cells or both. These two steps involved a total of ten genes which had to be ok.

Note, this means for the one step two genes must - on the "evolu" view - have mutated to functional, while what we know of similar looking genes in blind fish involves dysfunctional for production of eyes, not functional for anything else, and the previous step eight genes were collaborating.

It is not ONE gene which has to flunk right for that step, but EIGHT. Not to mention whatever the origin of those genes previous to serving in functional eyes, since closest genes we know of to some of them, in blind fish, only make dysfunctional eyes.

Darwin's model would have worked if "add a rod cell" or "add a cone cell" had been a unitary evolutionary step.

9:14 World scientists were very quickly convinced ...

Well, here is a zoologist who was not:

Too bad he was a racist, but at least not a political one - unlike one of Darwin's sons and his cousin Galton when it comes to Eugenics.

Since Agassiz was from Switzerland, a country never involved in transatlantic slave trade any more than Sweden or Norway, it is not very surprising that his racism never went beyond that of Tintin in Congo. Which, while incorrect, is fairly harmless.

9:26 Ooh, nice!

You give creationism a different pedigree to what Karl Keating does!

Let's see :

Ellen White+George McCready Price
- > John Whitcomb+Henry Morris
- > Ken Ham+Kent Hovind
- > Philip Johnson

Karl Keating tried to tie fundamentalism and therefore creationism to Calvinism, a quarrel in 19th C.

As you may know (or as I know, at least) Calvinism and Ellen White share a common anti-Catholicism (while Catholics back then tended to share their creationism) and are otherwise to each other like cats and dogs (not having grown up together).

Much obliged.

You also omitted one which I know debated Dawkins : Edgar H. Andrews.

He may no longer be young earth (or I could misrecall a news story), but his history is part of YEC.

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