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Evolution On Trial


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#1 Dave

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 05:42 PM

Thoughts while showering. Literally … I came up with this idea while in the shower a few minutes ago.

 

It occurred to me that despite the best intentions of evolution scientists the theory of evolution could not stand up in court. Sure, there is a lot of evidence that evolutionists claim support their case. But, there is a dearth of proof backing up their claim … at least, proof that would pass for the jurisprudence standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

 

In other words, could someone on trial in a capital case – with the threat of execution as the outcome – be convicted on the circumstantial or conjectural evidence offered up as proof for evolution?

 

Evolutionists like to state that evolution is accepted science, even a fact, like gravity, or a round earth. However, it wouldn’t take even a smart attorney to persuade a jury with the proof for both of those scientific facts.

 

Can the same be said for evolution?

 

I’m thinking it would be fun to play a role playing game here and hold a mock trial for evolution. A couple of members here with a bent for courtroom drama could play the part of prosecution and defense attorneys, offer up evidence, present proof, call witnesses, make opening and closing statements, etc.

 

All the regular court trial rules would apply, like badgering witnesses, leading questions, objections, etc.

 

Since it is my idea I nominate Blitzking as judge, Mike the Wiz as prosecution attorney, and Goku as defense attorney. Or not. Arrange the players as you like.

 

The role playing slips a little in that there has been no crime committed, per se. But, the general idea is to put evolution on trial and make it prove that it is true, using a court trial as the format.

 

I honestly don’t know how it will end. Like in real life, it could turn out that a slick defense attorney can get a guilty person off, or a slick prosecutor can convict an innocent person.

 

Or, maybe this idea doesn’t appeal to anybody. And, that’s OK too. But I think it would be a fun change-up from the usual fare to start out the new year.



#2 cheeseburger

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:08 PM

In jurisdictions derived from the common law only criminal cases are determined upon the standard of "beyond reasonable doubt". Civil cases are determined upon "the balance of probabilities".

#3 Goku

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 12:14 AM

So, if all goes as planned, Mike is charging evolution with being untrue, and I am tasked with defending evolution by demonstrating that my client is not guilty - aka true?

 

An interesting proposition, especially since Mike has talked about evolution standing up to the rigors of court before. We may have to smooth over kinks as they come up, but I'm game. A potential refreshing twist to the standard evolution-creation debate.

 

As acting defense attorney I would ask the court to note that in common law any defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty; the burden of proof lies with the prosecution (this may be a kink). Normally the defense is privy to the evidence the prosecution will bring to court beforehand so as to ensure a fair defense, but so long as the bench allows ample recess to flesh out new evidence as they arise I will waive such privilege.



#4 mike the wiz

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 05:02 AM


 

 

Goku: As acting defense attorney I would ask the court to note that in common law any defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty; the burden of proof lies with the prosecution (this may be a kink). Normally the defense is privy to the evidence the prosecution will bring to court beforehand so as to ensure a fair defense, but so long as the bench allows ample recess to flesh out new evidence as they arise I will waive such privilege.

 

Objection, your honour. (Judge Dave). ;)

 

Judge you must hear me out; there is a presumption here that by default evolution will be regarded as innocent/true. This may place an unfair burden-of-proof upon your humble narrator.

 

Part of the logical problem with this is that this one rule may colour the entire trial. In the past I have actually objected to this rule. I objected to it in the trial of Oscar Pistorius on logical grounds. I only agree with this rule where there is a mitigating exception, which will take some explaining, members of the mischief party, jury.

 

I believe on the balance of probability, this particular rule does apply where probability is applicable. So by analogy, if there was a crime today similar to Jack The Ripper and Goku simply lived in the city it happened in, it would be reasonable to presume his innocence and prove his guilt given there are millions of people in a city. Therefore how logically absurd would it be to presume all 55 million suspects guilty until proven innocent. And even if they had some evidence against Goku it might still reasonably be enforced because of that problem.

 

However where there is an event such as the Pistorius killing, where the suspect admits to the killing, and it seems from all of the obvious, straight forward facts which both sides acknowledge exist, such as bullet holes in a bathroom door, and all the rest of it, I believe in such a circumstance, the burden of proof should switch.

 

That is to say, according to common sense, and high probability, 100% of ordinary citizens don't unload a gun into a bathroom door, whoever is behind it, be it an intruder or a spouse, without the intent to even kill given a closed door doesn't threaten anyone. Most ordinary peoples view of that case was that it was absurd to presume him innocent. And that rule is a poor rule where guilt is highly, highly probable. Think about it, it's like saying this, "all of those solid reasons why the person murdered don't count, because he is presumed innocent, so even if those reasons are almost as good as proof he did it, you have to find something more."

 

Like what exactly? The invention of a time machine so we can go back and see the murder? Because sometimes the evidence is so strong in favour of guilt to put any burden of proof on the prosecution just comes off as absurd. So I cannot take part in a court which predicates it's rules on secular technicalities that depend on a lack of wisdom.

 

Furthermore, I have always argued the axiom that where there is a great claim the greater the burden of proof. 

 

So my argument is that with a case such as evolution, there are different circumstances at play.

 

To read more I wrote a blog on this in the year 2013, proving my objection existed long before this post;

 

https://creationworl...n-of-proof.html

 

Furthermore, in history design (William Paley) and it's obvious anatomical presence was initially accepted as obvious fact. Indeed even today a description of the obvious design of anatomy from such a book as Paley's, would suffice to the default. That is to say, in ordinary circumstances, nobody would ever question that all of the parts in an eye are arranged that way on purpose so that the eye can see. So to my mind, I would say that historically, and based on obvious facts of anatomy, the default position is that teleology in nature is what was accepted as obviously true, factually. The overt facts show that nobody should have to prove that an eyes parts are arranged in the way they are so as to see. That would be no different from requesting I prove a cars brakes and it's parts are arranged so that the vehicle can viably drive.

 

Also with the burden of proof being on me, sometimes it's not possible to prove a negative beyond providing an absence of evidence; http://evolutionfair...ing-a-negative/



#5 Dave

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:59 AM

Goku, Mike and Cheeseburger. Points well taken.

 

I alluded to the "innocent before proven guilty" conundrum in my statement, "The role playing slips a little in that there has been no crime committed, per se."

 

Maybe we can put our minds together and come up with a "crime" for which evolution is charged, and where the defense is put in the position of having to prove the truth of evolution in order to defend against the prosecution's evidence for evolution committing the "crime."

 

As an example, say there is a series of suicides among middle-schoolers after being indoctrinated with evolution by a particularly zealous instructor. This might have to take on a sort of John Bunyanesque format where evolution is anthropomorphized into a human.

 

I don't know. But, it could be fun once we work out the kinks.



#6 mike the wiz

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 10:55 AM

Dave here's an idea to laugh at;

 

Is Darwinism alive and well, or an animated corpse?

 

Is Darwinism, macro evolution, dead because it was murdered by the facts? Darwinism was wrong and the corpse died when they found out natural selection couldn't have evolved life.

 

Evolutionists might argue that there is no body, therefore no murder, by arguing that Darwinism still lives through mutations and punctuated equilibrium, and is alive and well.

 

Non-evolutionists might argue that evolutionists only animate a corpse by use of the mechanism of mutations and other conjectural devices but that evolution despite being presented as a live body, is an animated corpse that only lives on by more and more ad-hoc conjecture being added. (excuses)

 

Evolutionists would be charged with covering up murder, the facts murdered Darwinism in it's original form and all other forms since are an animated corpse. If he is innocent, he must show that it did not die and still lives, if he is guilty, then evolutionists were guilty of covering up the murder and the facts did in fact murder evolution.

 

;)



#7 Blitzking

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:32 PM

I would like to suggest to the court the possibility of recusing myself as Judgeship and instead be relegated to my more natural role as a Merciless and Tireless Bulldog Prosecution Attorney who is out to expose "Evolution" as the toxic intellectual fraud / fairytale that it truly is and I hereby nominate MTW as our Judge.. Any objections from the court?



#8 mike the wiz

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:51 AM

Yeah I think maybe you're more suited to it BK. I don't know if the other members have noticed but I myself am not that argumentative. Sure, to a degree I will respond to posts to me, I may even debate something to an extent but mostly I am a writer, I write things. That's why I have written many topics and blog entries over the years. I wouldn't last long because usually there is a point I reach where I say to myself, "ahh forget it, this fellow is wasting my time and just wants the last word."

 

I was never a very petty person, so I usually give people the last word.

 

What might make this topic a nad more objective and better than other debates is if I could award points, or whoever is judge could award points. Perhaps the first person to say 50 points wins. So in one post, the judge could judge if the argument or response in that particular post was good, say 5 points for excellent, 0 points for an awful post, 1 point for a fairly decent point, etc...then the points could be added. But the judge would have to act objectively, and judge based on logical rules since debating is all about that given the fallacy-content with human nature, is very high. :D

 

In other words, arguments couldn't be predicated on assertions, spin, epithets and mud-slinging, but evidentially backed statements or well argued at least.

 

That's my mikey advice for 2018. My resolution is less forum activity so let the mikey bird fly free now my lads! ;) 



#9 Dave

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:41 AM

I would like to suggest to the court the possibility of recusing myself as Judgeship and instead be relegated to my more natural role as a Merciless and Tireless Bulldog Prosecution Attorney who is out to expose "Evolution" as the toxic intellectual fraud / fairytale that it truly is and I hereby nominate MTW as our Judge.. Any objections from the court?

Sounds good to me.



#10 Dave

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:50 AM

What might make this topic a nad more objective and better than other debates is if I could award points, or whoever is judge could award points. Perhaps the first person to say 50 points wins. So in one post, the judge could judge if the argument or response in that particular post was good, say 5 points for excellent, 0 points for an awful post, 1 point for a fairly decent point, etc...then the points could be added. But the judge would have to act objectively, and judge based on logical rules since debating is all about that given the fallacy-content with human nature, is very high. :D
 
In other words, arguments couldn't be predicated on assertions, spin, epithets and mud-slinging, but evidentially backed statements or well argued at least.

Your point system could be the basis for a "jury" decision once the court proceedings are wrapped up.

 

OK. So, Blitz is prosecutor, Goku is defense, and MtW is judge.

 

Prosecutor, please start it off by writing up a formal complaint. We'll waive the arraignment and preliminary hearing stages and go straight to trial after the complaint is brought. Be thinking about your evidence and witnesses. Present the defense attorney with your evidence and witnesses, so he can begin forming his defense.

 

Question: Will we be seeing actual witnesses, a la quote mining, or will they be fictional, a la Pilgrim's Progress?



#11 mike the wiz

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:22 AM

 

 

Dave: We'll waive the arraignment and preliminary hearing stages and go straight to trial

 

"You killed a good old boy...there is no way this isn't going to trial." - Joe Pesci - My Cousin Vinny.

 

 

 

Dave: Your point system could be the basis for a "jury" decision once the court proceedings are wrapped up.

 

 "Ray  Dave comes up with a winning idea...maybe we should go down and check what's in the basement." - Mr Rumsfied. - The Burbs.



#12 mike the wiz

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:37 AM

Assuming Goku and BK are both game then, please don't pile on the posts too fast. May I request members other than Goku and Blitz limit their posts if they want to say something, to perhaps one post, but not to start off-shoot debates.

 

Also could the prosecutor and defence please not issue more than a post each before I award points please, I don't want to have to go through two pages of debate, one decent sized post each to start would be nice then wait for my points.

 

Here is a mock example of the points system I will employ. (I shall award points and detract them for fallacies.)

 

Pob: "The earth is round because everyone knows it(-1), and you are an idiot (-1). We have a wealth of science to show that the earth is round(+1). We can show how photography of the earth has remained consistent, and can see it's curvature from space(+1)."

 

Total score if that was the sum total of Pob's post; 0 points. Two points lost for fallacy, and only two gained because he only stated his case though his argument was reasonable. 

 

(Also bare in mind with obscure genetics or biology, I am not educated in those areas, I can only judge if I understand the issue, failure to explain clearly and argue cogently could mean you miss out on good points because you didn't make the issue easy enough to understand from my point of view. I shall limit the points awarded per point/argument, 3 points is the best you can score for a brilliant argument within a post.)

 

 

..................All rise.... ;)

 

(P.S. The points are only a guide, it is up to the jury as to whether they deem them most relevant, but since they are basically a way to measure how each person has argued, they aren't necessarily the only determining factor, you must decide yourself as the jury members, though the mikey judge strongly advises you consider the points. The first person to 100 points ends the trial and the jury is out otherwise like an ordinary debate, it would otherwise go on forever.)



#13 Dave

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:36 PM

(P.S. The points are only a guide, it is up to the jury as to whether they deem them most relevant, but since they are basically a way to measure how each person has argued, they aren't necessarily the only determining factor, you must decide yourself as the jury members, though the mikey judge strongly advises you consider the points. The first person to 100 points ends the trial and the jury is out otherwise like an ordinary debate, it would otherwise go on forever.)

I was thinking we'd base it on a more formal trial-type of proceedings as far as how it ends. Normally, the prosecution presents evidence and witnesses until he believes he's made his case, and then rests. The defense can cross-examine each of the witnesses as they are presented. Then the defense presents his evidence and witnesses, allowing prosecution to cross. Then they make their closing statements.

 

That's it. It's then up to the jury ... or, in our case, the judge with his presentation of who won the point system.

 

I just think it would make a more mature, professional style of debate if each side knew they were going to have to pace themselves, present a tight case, and then be done.

 

Your point about people jumping in is well-taken. In order not to interrupt the good order of the proceedings how about we have a parallel topic running the same time as the "trial" topic where members of the trial audience can kibitz, gossip, throw darts, etc. One time when I was a reporter covering trials we had a judge who threw an audience member out of the court because he was sitting in the back and clipping his fingernails. Absolutely no talking or disrupting during his trials ... that was for sure. So, let's try to keep things running smoothly in a similar vein.

 

So, if everybody is ready:

 

Blitz and Goku should share (discovery) with each other what evidence and witnesses they will be presenting during the trial. It will be up to the judge to decide if any skullduggery is being done as far as surprise witnesses, etc., and decide whether to allow certain testimony.

 

Then, Blitz, go ahead and start a new topic, file the charges, and make your opening statement. Goku can follow with his opening statement, and then Blitz will begin presenting evidence and witnesses ... and so forth.

 

Sound like a plan?



#14 mike the wiz

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:50 PM

That's fine by me Dave, it's your idea I'm happy if you are. Though with your knowledge of the procedure you'd probably make a better judge, I likely won't understand the legal terminology if it arises. If you want you could be the judge and I could be your advisor, I would evaluate everything with my points system then hand over the data for your final statement or however it works. :D



#15 Dave

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 08:37 PM

That's fine by me Dave, it's your idea I'm happy if you are. Though with your knowledge of the procedure you'd probably make a better judge, I likely won't understand the legal terminology if it arises. If you want you could be the judge and I could be your advisor, I would evaluate everything with my points system then hand over the data for your final statement or however it works. :D

Wiz. I think you'd be a good judge. You are great at parsing fallacies, and that's what we'll need when the objections start flying.

 

Since I am a moderator on the forum here I'd just as soon stay in that role and keep an overview of the whole process and act as arbiter in case of disputes.

 

One thing I'd like to point out is there is no hurry to get this started and get it done. We've all got other areas we are involved in, and those things need to be kept up too. We can just take our time and take care of our parts as time allows.



#16 Goku

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:41 AM

Your honor, I have no objections to the direction this court is moving in at the moment.

 

I do have some comments and requests for clarification. When we say "call forth witnesses" I had it in my mind that meant other forum members; say as 'expert testimony' for areas various members are particularly knowledgeable about or have noteworthy insights.

 

This brings me to another comment. As we all know the subject of 'evolution' as the forum understands it is extremely broad covering many interdisciplinary subjects. I guess part of it is up to Blitz and what charges he will file, but I am curious if this is supposed to be a specific feature or problem of evolution, or a general look at biological evolution, or more broadly 'big bang to zoo and you'?



#17 mike the wiz

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:26 AM

Ok Dave. :)

 

 

 

Goku: This brings me to another comment. As we all know the subject of 'evolution' as the forum understands it is extremely broad covering many interdisciplinary subjects. I guess part of it is up to Blitz and what charges he will file, but I am curious if this is supposed to be a specific feature or problem of evolution, or a general look at biological evolution, or more broadly 'big bang to zoo and you'?

 

I was thinking about this too, the definition of evolution was bound to come up. I think it should be defined as two parts to be fair to evolutionists, 1. Abiogenesis and 2. macro biological evolution. It shouldn't be argued as to the semantics of what is evolution, we know that even if abiogenesis is not technically the same as life diversifying, but rather life's natural creation, nevertheless both A and E only have relevance to each other. Without evolution theory there would be no reason for an abiogenesis since only macro evolution reduces a giraffe to cells on a fourth dimensional plane so to speak.

 

With that in mind is it fair enough for me to say Goku, that Darwin's protein springing up in a warm pond, was the first serious suggestion of some kind of abiogenesis, since it's prime relevance is that of providing a conjectural ancestor by which all forms stemmed from? So then from my perspective as a logical objectivite, just as a logical claim I would say that the story of evolution depends on both. That is to say, without some form by which macro could act no evolution and without evolution to reduce all forms to that initial form then no abiogenesis.

 

That is not a criticism as I don't intend to debate it, that is just an assessment for the context by which it may be argued for during this pre-trial discussion I act as your legal advisor. :P



#18 Dave

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:00 AM

When we say "call forth witnesses" I had it in my mind that meant other forum members; say as 'expert testimony' for areas various members are particularly knowledgeable about or have noteworthy insights.

 
True. And/or "deposed" testimony from experts in their field outside of the forum.
 

This brings me to another comment. As we all know the subject of 'evolution' as the forum understands it is extremely broad covering many interdisciplinary subjects. I guess part of it is up to Blitz and what charges he will file, but I am curious if this is supposed to be a specific feature or problem of evolution, or a general look at biological evolution, or more broadly 'big bang to zoo and you'?

 

It is up to Blitz to decide what charges to bring. What I recommend is that we don't get into a whole debate right off the bat about what evolution is. Supposedly, evolution has committed a "crime." And that is what the trial is about, not necessarily what the whole field of evolution entails. The efficacy of evolution could be brought out in the trial as testimony in defense of the defendant, but the proving the truth of the theory of evolution itself is not what the trial is all about. It's more about the effect of evolution.

 

I mentioned the example of a series of teen suicides because an over-zealous teacher had depressed his students, making them think their lives were worthless because of evolution. That's one possible scenario.

 

Another one might be evoluton's influence on genocidal murderers like Hitler.

 

Another one might be evolution's influence on Margaret Sanger's bloodbath of abortion.

 

We can all help Blitz with ideas, but it will be his decision what charges to bring.



#19 Dave

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:11 AM

I was thinking about this too, the definition of evolution was bound to come up.

 

I basically addressed this in my reply to Goku.

 

I'm thinking that if the prosecution or the defense wants to bring out the definition of evolution and start a debate they can do so. However, if the trial gets bogged down into a heady, lengthy debate that detracts from what the trial is about in the first place then the judge should detract points accordingly and penalize the one who gets off track that way.

 

Picture the judge calling both attorneys to the bench to instruct them to stick to the trial at hand. That's your job, Mike, to keep the trial about the trial so as not to get bogged down in the typical debates that we have here.

 

What I'm thinking about all of this is creating a whole new paradigm, and new way of thinking about evolution, different than what we've done here before. The mock trial imposes boundaries and limits that tightens up the thinking process. And, like I said, the winner might not necessarily be on the side of right, but might just be the one who makes the best use of evidence and witness testimony. Just like a real trial ... no? Sometimes innocents are convicted and the guilty are set free.



#20 mike the wiz

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:45 AM

 

Dave: I mentioned the example of a series of teen suicides because an over-zealous teacher had depressed his students, making them think their lives were worthless because of evolution. That's one possible scenario.

 

Another one might be evoluton's influence on genocidal murderers like Hitler.

 

Another one might be evolution's influence on Margaret Sanger's bloodbath of abortion.

 

It's up to you but one problem to note with this type of argument is that it's unfortunately a bit of an appeal to consequences. But really I am only here to inform people as to the legitimacy of their arguments so my own views are that of a neutralist for the sake of the trial. In that regard as an inbiased judge I do have to submit that the truth-value of something won't be dependent upon it's consequences. (though I do appreciate you are not arguing as such, evolution's veracity based on it's consequences but you are providing more of a theme or premise for the trial, but I just mention it for mentioning it's sake.)

 

For example if E=MC2 leads to an atom bomb, will that mean the truth value of the formula is up for debate? In that sense it would be dishonest of me to expect Goku to justify evolution's existence by defending it's reputation for these moral consequences in society.

 

However it is your trial, and perhaps then in the case of seeing it in a criminal context, that evolution has charges brought against it in that context. So don't misunderstand, all I am saying is that to be fair to Goku as an objective judge, I couldn't predicate the truth-value of evolution on it's consequences in society. So bare in mind if we do take this more, "humane" or, "human" preference of focus, I have to in my mind, dole out a correct measure of fairness to Goku, if I am to truly be 100% unbiased.

 

In other words Dave, I am the mikey-judge and the jury will disregard your last statement. ;) :D






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