Sunday, November 07, 2004

Flores Man update...

Reasons to Believe has broadcast a report on the recent story of the Flores Man discovery. You can access their Creation Update webpage here, and the specific broadcast here. It's a very good summary of the discovery, as well as some of the extrapolations made by the scientific community. They also discuss how it is similar, and not similar, to Homo erectus, including some of the reasons why the scientific community uses evolutionary thinking to drive the conclusion that Flores Man is related to erectus.

27 comments:

DarkSyde said...

Rusty they don't know what it is yet. It has a suite of traits similar in some ways to h. erectus such as pronounced supraorbital ridges, an occipital torus, a simian cleft. It also has a couple of traits more akin to pethicines such a root pillow on the large molars.
It could be a hoax, a single clan of deformed modern humans, a derived modern human, or a descendent of earlier hominids.

There is a gene called ASRM which produces a form of microencephaly which is heritable. So there could possibly be a stable population of such poeple with such deformities. Or it's conceivable that a population of modern humans evolved into a species of floresiensis this way or another.
We may get some DNA from the thing and you can bet people are going to be digging all over the place looking for more stuff, so we'll all simply have to wait and see.

I'm curious though Rusty. What is it you hope to accomplish by throwing science back into the dark ages of superstition? We tried that all over the world and it was pretty awful. Religion had it's shot at explaining the natural world and it failed utterly.

EG: Your daughter has a ruptured spleen, you pray for her and do whatever magic rites it is you hold dear, and she'll be dead in a few days. You take her to the hospital for a routine operation and she'll be fine. That's science vs magic Rusty; QED. Why do want to foist futile magical explanations on the rest of us who don't share your mythology when we have something that actually works? What's the payoff for destroying science?

386sx said...

Why do want to foist futile magical explanations on the rest of us who don't share your mythology when we have something that actually works?

And why hold something against people who find it impossible to believe ridiculous bible stories? Example: Send in fiery serpents to kill the population of chosen people and then, after a certain amount of death, spare the ones who look upon the graven image of a fiery serpent? Come on...

Rusty said...

What is it you hope to accomplish by throwing science back into the dark ages of superstition? When have I advocated that?

I have no problem with the laws of physics... it's naturalism as a philosophy that I disagree with.

BTW, I welcome (and so does RTB) continuing scientific research.

And why hold something against people who find it impossible to believe ridiculous bible stories? What does that have to do with my post on Homo floresiesnis?

DarkSyde said...

Perhaps a physics example will help you understand Rusty.The INTELLIGENT GRAPPLING FAQ.

1. What is Intelligent Grappling (IG?)

Intelligent Grappling is the SCIENTIFIC Theory that Intelligent and Conscious Agents "push" things together. It is the only coherent theory that explains why things fall.

2. Doesn't gravity explain why things fall?

NO. Gravity only attempts to describe what objects do. It does not explain WHY they do them. It is that challenge that Intelligent Grappling is intended to meet.

3. Aren't there theories that explain why things fall?

NO. There are theories by atheists and secular humanists that TRY, but they all lead to crazy conclusions no human being has ever seen, like black holes and the so-called "Big Bang". Intelligent
Grappling ONLY deals with the visible world.

4. Is Intelligent Grappling a scientific theory?

YES. Intelligent Grappling is the ONLY VIABLE THEORY fore why things fall. Physicists have tried for a hundred years to explain why things fall and THEY HAVE FAILED. It is time for a new theory, one
backed up by all the evidence, to finally solve the question. IG is that theory.

5. Isn't "Intelligent Grappling" just another way of saying, "Angels push things around?"

NO. Intelligent Grappling says nothing at all about the nature or origins of the conscious agents that perform the actual act of pushing and grappling. All IG says is that conscious agents are the
cause of all apparent "gravitic" phenomenon.

6. In order to accept Intelligent Design, must I accept Intelligent Grappling as well?

YES. Intelligent Design says that there is a non-naturalistic,conscious designer at work at the biological level. Intelligent Grappling says that there is a non-naturalistic, conscious grappler at
the physicial level. Accepting a naturalistic explanation for one phenomenon but a non-naturalistic explanation for another is a philosophically corrupt position and we do not advocate it.

(Source: from Elf Sternberg reprinted at The Panda's Thumb: The theory of Intelligent Grappling)

Additional FAQ's

1. Does IG have any applicatiosn otuside of gravity?

Yes. Intelligent Design Theoristes are hard at work on Intellgent Grappling for the electromagnet effect, the storng nuclear force, AND the weak nuclear force. There are simply much smaller entities pushing the particles around!

2. Is IG a better theory than Quantum Physics?

Of course. Only IG unites all four forces under one explanatory theoretical framework; something atheist naturalistic 'science' has been unable to do in ovwer 100 years of trying.

3. Why would IG'ers spend eternity pushing particles around and why would they be consistent about ONLY pushing oppositely charged particles together and like charges apart?

It's impossible to understand the motives or methods of the Grapplers.

4. Why haven't I heard about IG before?

Athiest secular scientists have been repressing IG for many years lest they lose their tenous hold on the LIE of Quatnum Phyics and General Reletivity.

Do you understand Rusty? So again, why would you work so hard to demolish modern science and replace it with superstitious nonsense such as "IG" or "ID"?

Rusty said...

Interesting concept - this intelligent grappling.

I'm not aware of ever advocating intelligent grappling, as Elf describes it, anywhere on my blog site.

So... what does it have to do with either my post on Flores man or my stance on M/PN?

386sx said...

What does that have to do with my post on Homo floresiesnis?

Because if it weren't for your myths then you wouldn't believe in Adam and Eve and company. (Why do I have to point that out?) Curse all the serpents for the crimes of something that wasn't really a serpent, eh? For silly fables like this we are supposed to throw the science out the door, huh. What an insult!

Why don't you answer my question? Why do people like you hold something against people who find it impossible to believe in invisible gods and the ridiculous stories of your myth book?

DarkSyde said...

Rusty IG is as valid as ID ;) Both are untestable mythological explanations which rely on 'non natural' ideas. If you accept supernatural explanations for one aspect of nature, you must be open to such explanations for all of nature. Otherwise you're philosophically corrupt.
Which is why we in the Reality Based Community are going to introduce new Bills in Congress and in local school districts to cover what the ID'ists have overlooked!
Coming soon will be Intelligent Blowers to explain wind and Intelligent Cryers to explain rain. Really, shouldn't students at least get a chance to hear about these alternative scientific theories instead of learning godless physical science and materialist meteorology?
And I'm saving the best for last; we'd like to see our soldiers not rely on mere materialist weaponry and tactics in Iraq and around the world. We're advocating group prayer over rifles, faith healing over combat medical treatment, and magic invisible shields of Gods and Godesses over body armor. As a staunch advocate of non natural beliefs in science, I expect your full support in this Holy Task.
(Do you understand when you're being ridiculed Rusty?)

Rusty said...

(Do you understand when you're being ridiculed Rusty?)I understand that a scarecrow is stuffed with straw. I'll address yours and 386's comments during lunch.

Rusty said...

386,

Why do people like you hold something against people who find it impossible to believe in invisible gods and the ridiculous stories of your myth book?

Okay, I think I understand your question a little better.

First off, I don’t hold anything against you… I simply think you are incorrect in your interpretation of the scientific data. I also think that your philosophical commitment to naturalism clouds your interpretive skills. If you’ve read even a small sampling of my posts, then you should see that I attempt to take the data and demonstrate how it is just as easily, if not better, explained by the design argument.

Secondly, I have never advocated that we throw science out the door. Quite the contrary, my stance is that we continue scientific research.

Lastly, to imply that if it weren’t for my myths then I wouldn’t believe in, for example, Adam and Eve, is circular reasoning. It appears that you don’t believe in the supernatural, yet it is impossible for you to present the empirical data which demonstrates that the supernatural does not occur. What’s more, the entire base of your methodology rests on the assumption that we can rely on the empirical results of empirical testing. Yet where is the empirical data which demonstrates that using empirical data is valid? Ultimately, you must accept the methodology on faith (ouch!). You already, by the way, believe in things that aren’t physically real: i.e., that numbers exist, that scientists should follow ethical principles (as in should you or shouldn’t you publish fabricated data?), that the laws of logic are valid, the love one has for their child, etc.

The Bible posits that Adam and Eve were specially created by God, and that mankind is unique from the rest of the animal kingdom (the qualities of the Imago Dei). Further Biblical investigation shows that these two initial humans would have been created between 6,000 and 50,000 years ago. Put into just a few scientifically testable terms, we should see that the human race came from two individuals, a relatively short time ago, and that only humans demonstrate the qualities inherent in the Imago Dei.

Consider this: If science were to show that the modern human race really did come from just two individuals, about 40,000 years ago, and that all archaeological data showing advanced cultural expression was from the modern human race, would you concede that the Biblical account of Adam and Eve not only did not contradict the scientific findings, but was supported by them? Or would your disbelief of the serpent story cause you to discredit the Adam and Eve account as well?


Dark,

ID is testable. Otherwise we wouldn’t find a mafia boss putting out a hit on one of his enemies, and telling his hit-man to “make it look like an accident.” Or compare Mt. Rushmore with Thor’s Hammer in Bryce Canyon, and the Washington Monument with Devil’s Postpile. In terms of the scientific testability of life’s origins, check Origins of Life by Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana.

IG is hardly as valid as ID. IG is simply a caricature of ID intended to denigrate ID by means of copious amounts of straw. That’s the thing about caricatures… not only is it easy to spot them, but it’s easy to understand their purpose. Go ahead and propose Intelligent Blowers, Intelligent Cryers, and the like. Comparing them to ID is like comparing Hogan’s Heroes to Saving Private Ryan.

If you’ve read my blog then you must know that I do not adhere to the concept which some ID proponents refer to as, the Big Tent. I am not about positing that while we can determine there is an Intelligent Designer, we can’t determine who it is. I posit that the Intelligent Designer is the God of the Bible. This may come as a surprise to you, but I do not think that Creation should be taught in public science classrooms. I do think that what should be taught are the shortcomings of evolutionary theory as well as how the concept of ID addresses the same data that evolutionists have claimed as their own. Whether that becomes public policy is ultimately irrelevant, though, thanks to the web and our freedom to publish / purchase books of our choosing (e.g., Darwin's Black Box, Evolution: a Theory in Crisis, The Privileged Planet, etc.).

You’re a bit late in advocating that prayers be supplicated on behalf of our troops, their wounds, their families, and their equipment. There have been, and continue to be, many Christians daily lifting them up in prayer.

DarkSyde said...

Rusty I've read of the books you mentioned and many more. I've read every major book put out by creationists as well as the relevant websites, message baords, articles, and tracts. They're invalid.

From a scientific perspective they've been thoroughly dealt with so convincingly that IDC proponents have given up trying to fool experts and instead now appeal to the public directly while trying to radically change the definition of what science means to include unsubstantiated mythological explanations. You yourself openly state that you believe we can determine a non intelligent designer whom you feel is the God of bible but you cannot provide a testable example of non human intelligence which passes any kind of double blind experiment. You claim you do not want creatinism taught, only the shortcomings in evolutionary theory. But your shortcomings in evolutionary theory have nothing to do with information theory, the 2nd law of thermo, the lack of transitional taxa, or the inability of evolutionary evebnts to explain IRC sysetms, which is what forms the basis of your objections to evolutionary theory. These arguments are taken virutally vebatum from prior lines of attack voiced by creationists and long since refuted by the respective fields of science they rely upon.

The shortcomings of evolutionary theory are discussed by evolutionary biologists every day. Anagensis vs cladogenesis? Abrupt vs smooth transitions? Drift vs selection? And so forth. But magic vs non magic is not up for discussion unless you can provide a concrete example of magic to be tested.

So again, why are you so focused on destroying mdoern science and replacing it with your supertitious paradigms? We tried that Rusty for thousands of years. It sucked. People died of easily treated disorders and injuries by the billions. People suffered under brutal religious regimes stripped of any kind of civil right and subject to all kinds of barbaric torutre and repression. In the world today there is a direct correlation between the health and welfare of the members within a given culture and the degree of religious freedom they enjoy. The greater the religious control over their lives, the more horrible inhumane conditions they live and suffer in.

If you or the IDCists have a testable theory of non human intelligent design then present it. Write it up and send off to journal or post it yourself on message boards or websites and see how it plays instead of voting sympathetic fellow theists into position of policy making and power to force you unverified claims of supernatural magic into the annals of science by governmental devree.
If there's something there, you will prevail, if there's nothing there, it will be rejected until such time as you can reconfigure it and support it with data.

Paul said...

ID *isn't* testable in its current form, because it relies on a god outside the machine. Of course it can fill any 'gaps' that evolution hasn't yet filled, because the whole theory is based on hand-waving Jedi mind tricks, and the really cool thing about hand-waving is that it can do *absolutely anything*. So any test I might want to apply to it will automatically pass - the answer to any question that starts "Could the Intelligent Designer...?" is automatically "yes". But the basis for that "yes" answer is dogma, not any type of demonstrable fact or method.

386sx said...

Further Biblical investigation shows that these two initial humans would have been created between 6,000 and 50,000 years ago.

Further Biblical investigation shows that God cursed the serpent to crawl on his belly and eat dust for the rest of his days because the serpent beguiled eve - and it wasn't even really a serpent.

How in the world can you blame people for not believing in ridiculous fables, for crying out loud.

386sx said...

Of course it can fill any 'gaps' that evolution hasn't yet filled, because the whole theory is based on hand-waving Jedi mind tricks, and the really cool thing about hand-waving is that it can do *absolutely anything*.

Exactly right. And absolutely anything can be made to make sense.

God loves people so much he puts most of them in horror and pain forever? Makes sense...

People who don't believe the nonsense dogma but who want to have morals are hypocrites? Makes sense...

Rusty said...

I've read every major book put out by creationists as well as the relevant websites, message baords, articles, and tracts. They're invalid.

No, they're not... but I guess that's part of why we debate each other isn't it?


So again, why are you so focused on destroying mdoern science and replacing it with your supertitious paradigms?

Please stop accusing me of that (or, at least, provide evidence of where I propose such actions).


In the world today there is a direct correlation between the health and welfare of the members within a given culture and the degree of religious freedom they enjoy.

So why are you opposed to allowing me my religious freedom to promulgate the tenets of my faith?


Of course it can fill any 'gaps' that evolution hasn't yet filled, because the whole theory is based on hand-waving Jedi mind tricks, and the really cool thing about hand-waving is that it can do *absolutely anything*.

And, of course, you have examples of such hand-waving Jedi mind tricks from, say, the Origins of Life book?


Further Biblical investigation shows that God cursed the serpent to crawl on his belly and eat dust for the rest of his days because the serpent beguiled eve - and it wasn't even really a serpent.

And how does that negate whether the human race came from two individuals?


People who don't believe the nonsense dogma but who want to have morals are hypocrites? Makes sense...

Actually, I've stated that people who believe that nature is all there is have no logical basis for believing in an abstract, transcendent moral law.

Paul said...

Examples from the Origins of Life? I'm sure there are one or two in there, but on the whole no. There are some examples of incorrect ideas, either through what turns out to be bad reasoning, or from a lack of knowledge that skewed the reasoning. And those have been challenged, and where appropriate found wanting. No, the hand-waving trick is mostly reserved to Intelligent Design, which is why it isn't testable, and therefore isn't science.

386sx said...

Mr. Lopez: And how does that negate whether the human race came from two individuals?

So then further biblical investigation is irrelevant. Then why would you bring it up?

Rusty said...

Paul,

Of course I should have asked you if you had read Origins of Life first. So I suppose you could take that as a challenge: read Origins of Life, by Ross & Rana, and then provide examples of their performing of hand-waving Jedi mind tricks.


386,

Please re-read my question(s) to you. I'm asking you that, if science was to determine that the physical evidence supported the Biblical claims that the human race came from two individuals, approximately 6,000 - 50,000 years ago, and that cultural expression is limited to humanity only, then how would the account of the serpent negate the veracity of those claims? (hint: this has to do with how you justify your belief that the supernatural does not occur)

Paul said...

My apologies Rusty, I had skipped an important word mentally and was thinking of Origin of Species! Without having even read the book, here's some hand-waving from the book - how do they explain the presence in the fossil record of species that no longer exist, and that are reliably dated to millions of years old?

386sx said...

Mr. Lopez: I'm asking you that, if science was to determine that the physical evidence supported the Biblical claims that the human race came from two individuals, approximately 6,000 - 50,000 years ago, and that cultural expression is limited to humanity only, then how would the account of the serpent negate the veracity of those claims?

If science was to determine that the physical evidence supported the Biblical claims that the earth rests on pillars, approximately 3,022 - 47,000,004,000,000.5 years ago then how would the account of the serpent negate the veracity of those claims? If science was to determine that the physical evidence supported the Biblical claims that the grass is green then how would the account of the serpent negate the veracity of those claims? Well, it wouldn't completely negate them of course, but the account of the serpent would still be a (logically inconsistent) fairy tale right smack in the middle of another quite unbelievable myth.

All you're doing is picking and choosing what you like and forgetting what you don't like from a book rife with fables and myths and then pretending as though it should have scientific merit, and then scoffing at people who can't bring themselves to believe ridiculously insane nonsense, and then calling sensible people hypocrites who want to have, in your words: some form of morality.

Rusty said...

Paul,

Please read the book before you make a claim that it incorporates hand-waving Jedi mind tricks.



386,

One point in my highlighting specific aspects of the start of the human race is to juxtapose the evolutionary model with the Biblical model. If it is shown that the data supports the Biblical model (on this point), then we an instance of an ancient document being corroborated by modern analysis. If it is correct on those points, are they other it is also correct on?

Another point is to illustrate the apparent reason you continue to evade my question, namely – your aversion to belief in the supernatural. While it is obvious you consider various accounts in the Bible to be nonsense, you provide no rational response as to why, other than – because. Tell me, since you rely on the scientific method, what empirical data conclusively demonstrates that the supernatural does not occur?

At the very least, you should admit that your aversion to the supernatural is a response based on emotion rather than data.

386sx said...

Tell me, since you rely on the scientific method, what empirical data conclusively demonstrates that the supernatural does not occur?

I don't understand the point of this, Mr. Lopez. Your god can do whatever he wants, yearns for the salvation of unbelievers, but he doesn't want to demonstrate himself. Why in the hell not?

Mr. Lopez, I still don't see how something that tells people to go in and show no mercy when stabbing the little babies and the old ladies and the pet goats can be construed as something other than a monster. I still don't see how you can blame people who can't bring themselves to believe ridiculous stories. Why are you pretending as though somebody could not reasonably come to the conclusion that the bible is packed with a bunch of tall tales that "believers" are trying to foist upon other people as true stories?

Paul said...

Why are we reducing it down to a single book? Name any claim made by ID that:

a) differs from 'conventional wisdom', and
b) is testable.

Anything at all.

Rusty said...

386,

The point of this is to illustrate the true basis for your aversion to belief in the supernatural. Do you believe in the supernatural or not? If not, why? And if not, then why should it matter that you consider the God of the Bible to be unmerciful? Are you implying that if you came across a deity who appeared to be wholly benevolent, then you would accept any supernatural events attributed to such a being?


Paul,

The issue isn't that I'm reducing it down to a single book. Naturalists have claimed that, among other things, ID is untestable and that its proponents resort to using hand-waving Jedi mind tricks to explain the natural realm. All I'm doing is presenting a very recent book in which two Old-Earth creationists have posited a testable creation model with regards to the origin of life.

In other words, I'm calling the naturalist's bluff.

386sx said...

Why are you pretending as though you don't understand what I wrote?

Paul said...

So what's the testable assertion?

Rusty said...

386,

I understand your question. What I don’t understand is why you refuse to explain why you don’t believe in the supernatural. When I attempt to discuss a particular portion of the Biblical account (e.g., the historicity of Adam and Eve) you bring up the account of the serpent. I respond by stating that, 1) the veracity of the account of the serpent does not determine the veracity of the account of Adam and Eve, and by asking, 2) what is it about the account of the serpent that causes you not to believe in it? You respond that supernatural accounts are unbelievable and that the God of the Bible is cruel. So, do you not believe in the supernatural because it is inherently ridiculous? Or, do you not believe in the supernatural because you perceive God to be cruel? Yet, how could you demonstrate, solely through the scientific method, that belief in the supernatural is inherently ridiculous? Further, what would God’s cruelty have to do with whether the supernatural occurs or not?

As to your lack of a clear response I come to two potential conclusions:
1) you believe that it is rational to not believe in the supernatural, but you have no way of explaining such rationale through empirical means, or
2) you believe that it is rational to not believe in the supernatural, and that the rationale is, somehow, self-evident.

I’m not going through these motions for no reason. Whether or not the supernatural occurs is the issue for critics of ID. Virtually all such critics believe that the supernatural does not occur, yet virtually all are at a loss to give an empirically based argument to support their belief.


Paul,

Oh no. You don’t get off that easy buddy. From the debates we’ve had I think it reasonable of me to conclude that you can read the English language. Go ahead and order a copy of Origins of Life to read for yourself (or, better yet, put it on your CHRISTmas list!).

386sx said...

Since we're in the mind reading business now: You won't answer because (1) Your religion dictates that you should say something like, "Only a fool would question these unbelievable tales, and they should burn in hell, and no, Jesus ain't gonna come down and convince your butts either, cuz asking for proof from the omnipotent being is just stoopid," and you suspect that might be a bit too irrational. (2) You're embarrassed by your Bible.

Whether or not the supernatural occurs is the issue for critics of ID.


False. The issue for critics of Id is that ID don't care what the evidence says. For ID, the evidence is a "conspiracy."

I don't even know what you mean by "supernatural," by the way. Right now it's looking to be something like: "whatever Mr. Lopez dreams up in his mind."