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Mountainboy19682

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About Mountainboy19682

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    63
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    Atheist
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    Brisbane, Queensland
  1. Mountainboy19682

    Is Evolution Obsolete?

    I think you just made it up to slander scientists. If you can back up your claim with a an actual verifiable attribution, I will very abjectly and humbly apologise. There you go again trying to put words into the mouths of others. I don't see any of your statements as logical consequences of atheism or a belief in evolution.
  2. Mountainboy19682

    Is Evolution Obsolete?

    I simply dispute that its the attitude of any scientist. Many people famous or mundane, religious or irreligious, pro or anti evolution have said stupid things. As you point out with Martin Luther, selective quoting can be misleading. However at least its possible to debate what was actually meant. Making up a quotation and then falsely ascribing it to a whole group of people is a lot worse - its slanderous and its cowardly. Now you are attacking academics - without any evidence. My experience with scientists is that there are many who are quite humble. (And of course many who are religious. Kenneth Miller, the biologist who totally destroyed Michael Behe's argument in the Dover trial is a devout Catholic). A world view that thinks the Universe is 14 billion years old, and that we occupy a tiny planet, circling an ordinary sun, which is one of billions in an ordinary galaxy sounds to me more humble than one that thinks humans were specially created in the image of the Creator of the entire Universe. Among the many things that evolution does not explain is the origin of life itself. Evolution requires a self replicating organism as a starting point. Evolution does not preclude God. Many evolutionists are religious and see their scientific endeavours as a way to glorify God by trying to understand how he works. Even Darwin did not preclude this view of God, but he did rebel against the idea of a benificent God working to create each species because he felt the life style of some iof the creatures he studied to be too cruel. His famous example in the letter to Asa Grey was the parisitic wasp larva feeding on the living body of a caterpillar. Flawed reasoning and fraud unfortunately are things that many humans engage in. I believe science eventually uncovers most fraud - from Piltdown man to Burt's fraudulent use of IQ tests. Give some examplesand we can debate them. I can also give you plenty of examples of fraud among the religious - as in Jimmy Swaggart The Jews certainly had a lot of good reasons to hate Christians after the treatment they received in Spain and other countries, but I don't know of much real anti Christian literature. Many of the examples used by anti semites were forgeries - such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Could you give examples? I hold to this. If you want to claim that another group has a certain viewpoint or opinion, then you should cite some evidence and not just make up unattributed quotations.
  3. Mountainboy19682

    Human Women Cannot Contribute To Evolution!

    Actually this whole issue was well covered in Sir Ronald Fisher's 1930 book The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection . Its typical of Conservapedia that they don't mention Fishers book, or bother to respond to his research but just make the outrageous claim that the subject has been ignored. For many evolutionary scientists, Fishers book is considered second in importance only to Darwin's Origin of The Species. There are many examples of evolution and natural selection on the exclusively female DNA in the X chromosomes and the mitochondria. One example is the development of malaria resistance in mitochondria - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_resistance_to_malaria
  4. Mountainboy19682

    Is Evolution Obsolete?

    Hard to counter your cowardly slur on scientists because you give no reference or evidence for your accusation. However it was definitely the Christian pastor Rev Jim Jones who arranged the poisoning by cyanide of his 909 followers on November 18 1978. Among the dead were 200 children. Apparently the Rev Jones felt they were better dead than facing up to reality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones
  5. Mountainboy19682

    Darwins Evidence

    Observation is a legitimate means of gaining evidence – scientific or not. Some sciences are entirely the result of observations – for example astronomy. In any case Darwin did numerous experiments which he reported in Origins and other publications. For example in chapter 12 he reported on experiments on the survival of seeds in sea water after several critics had questioned his assertions that islands are populated with vegetation from nearby continents. I am not sure of the meaning of your reference to sun and moon. Do you think that the Sun goes around the earth on the basis of Joshua 10:13? His book is crammed full of evidence, including numerous experiments. You should read it first before making assertions that have no anchor in reality. Darwin never claimed Molecules to Man evolution. His book is about the origin of species – not the origin of Life. The dictionary at chemistry.about.com defines a theory as “A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it's an accepted hypothesis.” You haven’t presented any evidence to dispute any of Darwin’s theories, which are accepted not only by the vast majority of biologists but also by the Pope. I would really like to hear a Creationist explanation for how the marsupials got to Australia without leaving any traces on their from Mt Ararat. The theories that eukaryote cell structures are derived from incorporated prokaryote organisms is supported by thousands of scientific papers with numerous lines of evidence including genetic code differences. Some estimates say that more than 99% of species are extinct. This seems like a huge fact to leave out of a creation story – self evident or not. I prefer to think that a meteorite or planet wide volcanism caused the extinction of the dinosaurs rather than Eve’s temerity in eating an apple. Yes it is Common descent was accepted by biologists because it was self evident. The cause of the similarities has been explained by the advent our ability to read the genetic code. Related species are similar because their DNA is similar. Empirical evidence abounds. No one says that humans evolved from chimps. The claim is that humans and chimps had a common ancestor. To see the similarities look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/67018913@N04/6180149108/ . Or for your recessed trait http://evolutionfun.com/tails.htm You are quite wrong here. Variations in numbers of chromosomes between parent and offspring is very common in plants and not that rare in animals. For example Down's syndrome is caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. The various wheat varieties so widely grown in agriculture are due to multiple copies of the chromosomes in the original wild precursor. A recessive gene will be expressed if offspring inherit a copy from both parents. Genes can have complex effects. For example the gene for sickle cell anaemia is fatal if inherited from both parents. But if inherited from one, it confers partial immunity to malaria.
  6. Mountainboy19682

    Is Evolution Obsolete?

    There is a paradox here which is similar to the paradox between Capitalism and Communism. Capitalism appears to be the less attractive. Economic life revolves arouid the competition between suppliers to supply the market and buyers to buy for the lowest price. Innefficient high cost companies go bankrupt, just as unfit species go extinct. When economic circumstances change, companies with rigid structures that can't adapt become uneconomic and dissappear, just as species which can't adapt to changing environments go extinct. In theory the communist economies with foresight and planning should have been able to ensure the survival of all with none of the ungy consequences of capitalism. But in practice in the real world it is the capitalist countries which have been able to provide the best lives for their citizens, and which have triumphed. It is the capitalist countries which have shown the most creativity and spawned Edison, Tesla, Bell and many others. Survival of the fittest works in the economic world. Why not in the biological world?
  7. Mountainboy19682

    Darwins Evidence

    Observation is a legitimate means of gaining evidence – scientific or not. Some sciences are entirely the result of observations – for example astronomy. In any case Darwin did numerous experiments which he reported in Origins and other publications. For example in chapter 12 he reported on experiments on the survival of seeds in sea water after several critics had questioned his assertions that islands are populated with vegetation from nearby continents. I am not sure of the meaning of your reference to sun and moon. Do you think that the Sun goes around the earth on the basis of Joshua 10:13? His book is crammed full of evidence, including numerous experiments. You should read it first before making assertions that have no anchor in reality. Darwin never claimed Molecules to Man evolution. His book is about the origin of species – not the origin of Life. The dictionary at chemistry.about.com defines a theory as “A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it's an accepted hypothesis.” You haven’t presented any evidence to dispute any of Darwin’s theories, which are accepted not only by the vast majority of biologists but also by the Pope. I would really like to hear a Creationist explanation for how the marsupials got to Australia without leaving any traces on their way from Mt Ararat. The theories that eukaryote cell structures are derived from incorporated prokaryote organisms is supported by thousands of scientific papers with numerous lines of evidence including genetic code differences. Some estimates say that more than 99% of species are extinct. This seems like a huge fact to leave out of a creation story – self evident or not. I prefer to think that a meteorite or planet wide volcanism caused the extinction of the dinosaurs rather than Eve’s temerity in eating an apple. Yes it is Common descent was accepted by biologists because it was self evident. The cause of the similarities has been explained by the advent our ability to read the genetic code. Related species are similar because their DNA is similar. Empirical evidence abounds. No one says that humans evolved from chimps. The claim is that humans and chimps had a common ancestor. To see the similarities look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/67018913@N04/6180149108/ . You are quite wrong here. Variations in numbers of chromosomes between parent and offspring is very common in plants and not that rare in animals. For example Down's syndrome is caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. The various wheat varieties so widely grown in agriculture are due to multiple copies of the chromosomes in the original wild precursor. A recessive gene will be expressed if offspring inherit a copy from both parents. Genes can have complex effects. For example the gene for sickle cell anaemia is fatal if inherited from both parents. But if inherited from one, it confers partial immunity to malaria.
  8. Mountainboy19682

    Darwins Evidence

    Experimentation is not essential to scientific method. Some Sciences including astronomy are more amenable to observation and prediction. However Darwin himself did numerous experiments and reported on them in The Origen of the Species". For example in chapter 12 he did numerous experiments on the survival rate of seeds in sea water to counter critics who claimed that ocean islands could not be populated by plants and animals crossing from continents. In his first experiment he discovered that 64 out of 87 different species of seed germinated after immersion for 28 days. In chapter 14, he reports on his experiments in breeding barnacles and shows that contrary to previous assertions by Cuvier, barnacles are crustaceans. In chapter 10, he predicts that more intermediate fossils will be found - since borne out in spades. Since the invention of antibiotics in the 1940s, a huge experiment has beren carried out by the medical community. The presence of Golden Staph demonstrates natural selecrtion at work. More closely controlled in the laboratory Lenski has been able to demonstrate that bacteria can develope new metabolic pathways. On the prediction side the discovery of Titaalik as an intermediate between lobe finned fish and tetrapods was predicted to be in late Devonian rocks and specifically searched for on Ellesmere Island. The search was dramatically successful. Darwin spent 20 years observing and experimenting before he felt confidant enough to publish. His evidence and his experiments are very readably reported in his books. Read them and learn. No, from this we can see that changes in plants and animals could arise naturally, in a similar manner to changes brought about by deliberate selection by humans. Darwin did not claim that his theory explained the origin of life from non living molecules - it is "The Origin of Species" - not "The Origin of Life". I am not sure what point you are making here. In Origin of Species Darwin discusses "Miscellaneous Objections to my Theory" at great length, and is very frank about observations and discoveries which would invalidate his theory. None of the potential fatal observations have ever been found. What observation would invalidate your theory of divine creation of the species? See my response to 1. The observations and experiments are there. The evidence for cellular structures in eukaryotes being derived from incorporated symbiotic prokaryote cells is actually quite strong and has been discussed in thousands of peer reviewed scientific papers, like http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC122206/?tool=pmcentrez . Why not? Don't you read your Bible? One of the most surprising facts to come out of the fossil record is the estimate that more than 99% of species are extinct. When did they go extinct? Why doesn't the Bible cover this amazing fact? Were there dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden? The point here is that we have two theories - common descent and individual creation. The fact of the morphological similarities and the intermediate fossils supports the common descent theory over the individual creation theory. Yes its circumstantial evidence rather than the direct proof that you are pushing for, but there are many people in jail on a lesser standard of proof. You are quite simply wrong in your assertions on this point. Sir Ronald Fishers Theory of Population Statistics has replaced Mendel's Laws. Fisher was able to mathematically prove that if a gene is harmful when present in both allelles, but otherwise recessive, then it will eventually be eliminated from the gene pool. Examples of apparent exceptions, like the gene for sickle cell anaemia are found to have some favourable property - resistance to malaria in the case of the sickle cell anaemia gene. Different numbers of chromosomes between parents and offspring is quite common in plants. Rarer in animals - but it still occurs. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyploid
  9. Mountainboy19682

    Darwins Evidence

    Darwin wrote a whole book about the Origin of the Species. Its crammed full of observations. Darwin was not an armchair theorist. He started out as a Creationist, and at one time planned to become a priest. However he signed on for a five year voyage around the world in HMS Beagle. It was on that voyage and due to the observations he made that he became convinced that common descent was a better explanation for the origin of the species than special creation. A starting point was his observation that: Animals and plants are capable of producing far more offspring than are necessary to simply replace themselves. Therefore many of these offspring cannot possibly themselves reproduce otherwise the world would soon be overflowing Animals and plants show variation within species Many of these variations are in part or whole passed to the next generation Man has taken advantage of the variation and inheritance to select and breed animals and plants that provide benefits to man. Darwin hypothesised that natural as opposed to human selection would work to preserve those features in animals that enabled them to produce the most surviving offspring. Geographic distribution ranked high in Darwin's mind. Why are all the kangaroos (and indeed almost all the marsupials) in Australia. Evolution of Marsupials in Australia provides a better explanation than supposing that the kangaroos disembarked from the ark at Mt Ararat and somehow made their way to Australia without leaving any trace on their way there. In the Galapagos, Darwin collected 26 birds which he thought were different species. Back homme in England skilled anatomists pointed out to him that all 26, although superficially differing, were related and Passerine birds - similar to a species in South America. Darwin was also intrigued by the similarity of structure among animals. The skeletons of all tetrapods are very similar - with in most cases analogous bones. The hand of man, the wing of a bird, the wing of a penguin, the front foot of a horse all have bones that are clearly analagous. This is not so for human designed objects. The wheels of a car, the sails of a boat or the wings of a plane are designed and manufactured for their purpose. They do not bear signs of common origin,. Darwin also was concerned about extinct animals. The Bible nowhere suggests animals go extinct, and yet there are far more extinct species than living ones. Why would a Creator destroy so much of his work? Darwin was concerned about a lack of intermediate fossils. This is one level of evidence that has since turned up in abundance. Not long after Darwin printed his book - Archaeopteryx was found in Germany - clearly intermediate between dinosaurs and birds. More recently a beautiful line of fossils have been found linking whales to the land based mammal families that include hippos. Donald Prothero has published a book called "Evolution what the fossils say and why it matters" which comprehensively discusses the many many intermediate fossils. You really should read this book if you are influenced by the Creationist websites which use out of context quotes to try and push the idea that there are no intermediate fossils. Darwin's concept of common descent was accepted by biologists almost immediately, but his mechanism of natural selection remained controversial into the 1940's. One of the reasons was that 19th Century ideas of inheritance seemed to suggest that any improvements would be rapidly diluted in the gene pool. It took the inheritance theories of Grehgor Mendel to provide an explanation of how improvements could survive and prosper. More recently the discovery of DNA and its mode of operation have provided a piucture of inheritance that is wholly consistent with evolution. The evidence for Evolution has become so strong that many church leaders - including those in the Catholic church support it. Evolution is not inconsistent with religion. Studying the methods that God uses by studying the natural world is an honourable pursuit for many.
  10. Mountainboy19682

    Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg

    Well - going by one of your previous posts, you are putting me in the same category as Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama. I am flattered but I don't think I make that grade. And why do you use "we" - is it the royal we or the divine we? But on your questions you do have a point. I was so outraged by your characterisation "faster than a jet" that I spent little time researching the actual questions. A jet travels at 500 to 2000 miles per hour, while the transcription mechanism moves at 4 inches per year. Also the animated video is rather misleading in showing the DNA as more or less straight. In fact to fit into the nucleus of a cell, it is tightly coiled. Some have responded that the comparison should be scaled. So the real quote should be "faster than a microscopic jet going round in tiny circles". However I think the analogy misses the really important points about transcription. Its comparable to a data reading process in a computer - something everyone agrees was designed. As a data reading process, transcription is pathetically slow. To compensate for this deficiency, transcription is massively parallel. Some sources suggest 10,000 parallel transcription processes in a single cell. To me that is the really surprising statitic. Someone else claimed that the process is accurate. It isn't. To compensate for innaccuracies in the initial reading, transcription, at least in eukaryote cells, employs a complex error checking and correction mechanism, which causes transcription to halt and backtrack every 23 codons. Again, in the human designed data reading mechanisms we don't do this. The cell mechanism is a bodgie fix up - another clear sign of evolution at work rather than design. But to come back to your questions: 1. Since it takes a helicase to open the double helix then what was the origin of the first helicase protein? The first helicase protein evolved from a simpler protein molecule. When I googled "helicase evolution", I got 254,000 hits. Some of them are duplications and some are Creationist sites claiming that it can't be done. But many are real sites - often with highly technical papers. Almost everyone working in the field thinks that early life used RNA rather than DNA as the genetic material. RNA doesn't have a double helix. There are six major varieties of helicase, with innumerable minor variations. http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/192/test-tube-rna is a non technical site explaining the RNA world concept. When the transition to RNA occurred a carryover was a protein originally used in the RNA process that now functioned as a transcription enzyme and was the precursor to the helicases. Clearly there are a lot of people working on this issue. The technicalites are well beyond the competencies of a mining engineer like me. 2 Where does nature make the helicase outside of living organisms? Answer: It doesn't. Helicase is a complex protein that is made by living organisms and has come about because of the evolution of those organisms. Early chemists divided into organic and inorganic chemists because it was thought that organic chemistry required a "vital force". The first chink came with the laboratory synthesis of urea. As physiology came to be understood increasingly in terms of physical mechanisms, vitalistic explanations for the functioning of the body were refuted one by one. The last holdout for vitalism was the kidney, but it fell into total disrepute after the elegant experiments of Homer Smith in the 1930s demonstrated clearly the filtration and secretory mechanisms of that organ. 3. How does the helicase know just where the start/stop codons are with virtual perfect functioning? Answer: Again a google search for: "Recognition of Stop Codon", came up with 1.2 million hits. The first sentence of the abstract from the first hit ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14651631 ) says " Release factors RF1 and RF2 recognize stop codons present at the A-site of the ribosome and activate hydrolysis of peptidyl-tRNA to release the peptide chain. Interactions with RF3, a ribosome-dependent GTPase, then initiate a series of reactions that accelerate the dissociation of RF1 or RF2 and their recycling between ribosomes." Further down it continues "The interaction of the truncated factors with RF3 on the ribosome is defective: they fail to stimulate guanine nucleotide exchange on RF3, recycling is not stimulated by RF3, and nucleotide-free RF3 fails to stabilize the binding of RF1 or RF2 to the ribosome. However, the N-terminal domain seems not to be required for the expulsion of RF1 or RF2 by RF3:GTP." This is way beyond me and you would have to ask someone in the field. Clearly there are a lot of people who are working towards a close understanding of how this works. 4) Which came first the Chicken or the Egg? Answer: The first eggs, as opposed to sperm, came about with the evolution of s@x - sometime in the late Pre-Cambrian. This could have happened with intermediates because some bacteria can exchange some of their DNA. Sperm and eggs represent two different reproductive strategies. Sperm are produced in great quantity and persist because a small perxcentage survive. Eggs are produced in small numbers but are endowed with more resources, making their survival more likely. A combining of the two strategies by the interchange of DNA is one possible origin of s@x. By this explanation, the answer to your chiildhood riddle is that both the chicken and the egg came from two parthenogenic organisms. Googling "Evolution of s@x" gets 96.4 million hits - some of them probably X rated - but definitely an embarassment of riches doubtless containing many other possible explanations. Chickens are part of the Amniote clade - whose distinguishing feature is an egg with a shell and membranes suitable for survival on land - have a common ancestor with other tetrapods back in the Carboniferous. Casineria , a reptile like creature was an early amniote. So another answer to your riddle is that the egg came first, laid by the chickens ancestor.
  11. Mountainboy19682

    On Evolution's Credibility

    jason777, on 18 June 2012 - 04:04 AM, said: It seems curious that you believe textbook diagrams instead of actually looking at the rocks themselves. Flowering plants didn't appear until the cretaceous, yet we can find them beneath cambrian fossils in three different countries. http://www.mcremo.com/saltrange.html Michael Cremo has never looked at the rocks themselves. He is not a geologist - he is a Hindu Creationist working out of Los Angeles. His research paper doesn't report on new work. It rehashes old arguments. The evidence is from old findings from 1947. One researcher described the findings as ""unidentifiable brownish markings, possibly organic". A geologist who genuinely found Eocene remains in Cambrian rock would become famous. The reports of anomalous fossils are all very dubious. Have a look at John Woodmaropes list of 200 anomolously ocurring fossils at http://www.nwcreatio.../anomalies.html Its pathetic. Any geologist can immediately see rational explanations for every single one of them. JB Haldane when asked what would disprove evolution famously responded "rabbits in the Pre Cambrian". No anomolous fossil cited has come even close to such a finding. I am not a geologist - I am a mining engineer - but I know that geology works - its how we find mineral deposits. Its why oil companies and mining companies employ geologists. Creation Science has never found a valuable mineral deposit - but the sciences of geology and paleontology have found thousands of them. Oil companies and mining companies don't care about overturning scientific dogma. They want results - and you don't get results by thinking that geologic science is circular. And incidently the Salt Ranges cited by Cremo have been extensively studied in recent years by petroleum geologists. None have them have comne back with findings of Eocene fossils
  12. Mountainboy19682

    Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg

    In science the whole idea of "laws" or "natural laws" is very 19th Century. Newtons laws of motion have been superceded by Einsteins Theory of Relativity. You can confirm the truth of Einsteins theory over Newton's laws every time you use a GPS because the GPS clocks must be adjusted for relativity affects. (See http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/gps-relativity.asp for details) Similary Boyle's Gas Laws have been replaced by the Kinetic Theory of Gases. Kinetic theory gives a more accurate result than the Gas Law. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyle%27s_law#Relation_to_kinetic_theory_and_ideal_gases for details). Mendel's Laws on inheriitance have been replaced by Ronald Fishers Theory of Population Statistics. In the 19th Century, matter and energy were thought to be distinct - resulting in the Law of Conservation of Mass. This "Law" was dramatically violated at Trinity, Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and every day now in hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world. The famous 19th Century physicist Clerk Maxwell proposed his "demon" as a thought experiment as to how the Laws of Thermodynamics might be violated. Scientific interest in this idea persists and recent experiments have come close to violating the thermodynamic "laws". (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_demon for details). The 20th Century physicist Fred Hoyle was an atheist and pro Darwin, despite being frequently quoted (usually out of context) by Creationist sites. His reputation and ability was established by his Theory of Stellar Nucleosynthesis - which successfully explained the abundance of elements in various kinds of stars. Hoyle was the author of the term "Big Bang". He supported an elegant alternative called the Steady State Theory. In order to account for the observed expansion of the Universe, Hoyle postulated the continual creation of matter in space. The fact that this might violate some 19th century "law" certainly didn't bother him. Big Bang has only triumphed over Steady State because of careful statistical analysis of the density of galaxies at varying cosmologiical distances. The bottom line is that I don't think citing some 19th century "laws" which were only derived empirically can in any prove (or disprove) the existence of God. That is a question that I don't think science will ever resolve. All other issues - including the origin of the RNA transcription process and why it moves so incredibly slowly are open season. As an atheist, I would question the divinity of Jesus Christ, but I admire his wisdom, exemplified in Mark 12 : 17
  13. Mountainboy19682

    Bias

    Amazing - your complaint is about insults from atheists and yet your whole post is littered with insults like the word fanbois and the references to my age and playing dumb. Atheists are alleged to make themselves out to be intellectually superior and yet the label on the video you post claims the non atheist is "much wiser". Calypsis makes himself out to "spiritually superior" to the Pope and the Dalai Lama. Are you sure that you have the right target? I have openly admitted that I consider a number of prominent religious leaders and philosophers to be intellectually superior to me. Could you admit the possibility that an atheist could be intellectually superior to you? Perhaps you should read Matthew 7 : 5 I don't care about Dennet and I truly have never heard of Peter Atkins or William Craig before. I don't like Dennet's books and I think his concept of "brights" is as intellectually arrogant as Calypsis4's claims. On the other hand, Dawkins book The God Delusion contains a lot of hard fact to support his opinions. He supports his claims of an irreligious elite with statistics of religious belief among people with different levels of schooling. He supports his claim that Jehovah is a control freak with several stories from the Old Testament. In all the criticism of Dawkins, I have yet to see anyone point out an error in his statistics or in his biblical allusions. Arrogant yes - deliberately offensive - probably in factual error - no. However Dawkins real strength is a as a Biologist.His books on evolution are full of facts. Again I have never seen anyone point out a truly factual error. Where there are differences of opinion, he is usually civil in pointing them out - for example his discussion on Stephen Jay Gould's "Spandrel" theory. He also points out that belief in evolution does not preclude religious belief. He praises Kenneth Miller, who is a devout Catholic and also prominent in the field of evolution. In previous posts I have given many other examples of people who accept both religion and evolution. As for your last comment it comes back to an area where I do have professional knowledge. I am a mining engineer by profession, and a geologisty by hobby. I have been involved in the discovery and development of a number of new mines around the world. When JB Haldane was asked what would disprove evolution - he responded "Rabbits in the pre-cambrian". No such anomolous fossils have ever been found. Attempts to disprove this such as John Woodmaropes list of 200 anomolous fossils are pathetic. You only have to look at a complex coal mine, such as Mt Owen in the Hunter Valley with its 37 complex seams to realise that Creationist attempts to cram geology into 6000 years of creation are very amateur. Mining and oil companies employ geologists and paleontologists because the science works. It finds oil reserves and mineral deposits. Companies that used Creation Science or ignored fossils and geological timescales because the logic is somehow "circular" would soon go broke. It is no accident that the many of the founders of geological science such as William Smith were practicing engineers. Evolution could be easily disproven if the evidence was there. It isn't. The writer I most respect is Stephen Jay Gould. Yes, despite a Jewish upbringing he was an atheist and a strong proponent of evolution. But he had many other interests. Just try reading his seven page essay at http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_house-ussher.html It is about Archbishop James Ussher, who in 1607 calculated that the world had been created at noon on October 23rd 4004 BC. Gould gives a mostly sympathetic and in places admiring portrait of the Archbishop - with some criticism of his intolerance for Catholics. He goes into the calculation in some detail and explains the problems Ussher faced and how he overcame them. He has also tracked down that the time of 9 am on October 26th is not what Ussher calculated and its common acceptance today is the result of repeated copying of an erroneous text. He is frank in explaining his initial predjudices and leaves himself open to malicious selective quoting. Gould's idea of Non Overlapping Magesteria (NOMA) for the scientific and religious worlds is also one I admire and believe shows great wisdom. Although Gould had occasional hissy fits when Creationists quoted him out of context in order to suggest he had abandoned Darwinism, he reserved his greatest ire and contempt for Daniel Dennet and Richard Dawkins. The former as a philosopher ponderously trying to explain biology and the latter for his emphasis on the gene. I would believe your quote above if you could come up with a single creationist writer who displays the wit, humour, elegant phrasing, breadth of intellect, graciousness, scholarship and sheer humanity of Gould. And now I am ready to answer the question posed at the beginning of this thread. I think this comes down to asking why many evolutionists/atheists are arrogant and intolerant of other views. The answer is clearly that these are human traits. They are actually the very traits that got Adam and Eve expelled from the Garden of Eden. Arrogance and intolerance are certainly not restricted to evolutionists or atheists (as explained earlier these are two entirely different groups). And in all sincerity, I think the world would be a very boring place if we didn't have idealogues like Calypsis4 and Richard Dawkins, or Duane Gish. In would be nice if they could express themselves less rudely and intolerantly or with the elegance and humility of Gould - but thats who they are.
  14. Mountainboy19682

    Bias

    I have never heard of Atkins before and the two hour debate on the introductory video looked extremely tedious. Dennet I have read, and I find him ponderous, and in their rather public disputes, I would side with Stephen Jay Gould. Gould was a real polymath who would have been well justified in considering himself the intellectual superior of many - except that he was far too humble a man to have made such a claim. As for Dawkins, I think he is a brilliant writer who has convinced many people of the truth of evolution. As I pointed out elsewhere, he places himself a 6 on a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 would be an absolute believer like Calypsis4 and 7 would be the equivalent atheist. While I am less enamoured of The God Delusion, one of Dawkins strengths is that he endured the same compulsory religious indocrination in the British school system that I endured. (Fascinating that the US which has the Constitutional prohibition on religious teaching in public schools is a much more religious society than Britain. Be careful what you wish for!) As a result he actually knows his Bible. So I will answer your question if you could point out exactly what misleading claim you are accusing Dawkins of.
  15. Mountainboy19682

    Bias

    I can only speak for myself, but I don't think of myself as more intellectually superior to believers. In fact I have given you a list of believers who I respect and consider intellectually superior to myself. I don't necessarily believe all their arguments - but if that was the criteria - where does it leave you? As for Peter Atkins, notice that the video clip at the start of this thread was labelled "Atheist Peter Atkins loses debate to much wiser Christian theist". Now I don't know who gave the clip that title. If it was Atkins himself it would indicate humbleness on his part worthy of JC himself. If it was a theist it would indicate the very claim to intellectual superiority that you are accusing the atheists of. And now could you answer my question - because it goes to the heart of just who is claiming intellectual superiority. Do you claim that your interpretation of the Word of God is superior to two Popes, renowned Christian philosophers de Jardin and Dobshansky, Evolutionary and Christian Kenneth Miller, and the Dalai Lama?
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