EducateTruth.com promoted on 3ABN

3abn picDavid Asscherick and Sean Pitman appeared on 3ABN Today Thursday 29, 2009. In a two hour special, “The Science of Faith–Seeing God Through His Creation,” they discussed questions regarding creation and evolution. This clip is of Asscherick and Pitman responding to a viewer’s question about EducateTruth.com and their petition.

This is the whole program.

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159 thoughts on “EducateTruth.com promoted on 3ABN

  1. From Atoday blog:
    http://www.atoday.com/content/educate-truth-perhaps-elaborate-spoof-turned-ugly#comment-7661

    Prof. Kent wrote:

    Until you can tell me how many of your fsaar units equate with my Lego units, we really have nothing to talk about. I’m finished. End of discussion.

    Don’t you understand? The concept of fsaars does equate with your “Lego units”. How many basic Lego building blocks, at minimum, does it take to build a structure with a particular type of function? Different functionalities require different amounts of specifically arranged basic Lego units.

    The same thing is true of all language/information systems. It’s like the difference between a 3-letter word and the minimum sequence necessary, in the English-language system, to produce a blueprint that codes for the Space Shuttle.

    As you consider systems with greater and greater minimum structural threshold requirements, be your system made up of Legos or protein building blocks, the ratio of potentially beneficial vs. non-beneficial sequences or structures that could result will decrease, exponentially, with each step up the ladder of minimum structural threshold requirements.

    It is this exponential decrease in the ratio of beneficial vs. non-beneficial that produces the real gap problem for the evolutionary mechanism of RM/NS.

    The reason why I know that the high-level features in the animal kingdom, like eyes or heat-sensing pits, etc., were predictably front-loaded features is because of this non-beneficial gap problem at these levels of functional complexity. Statistically, such features cannot evolve or be produced by any known mindless process of nature even in trillions of years of time. There is no demonstration of evolution at such levels of functional complexity – not a single example where the information was not already within the genome to begin with. And, there is no statistical basis to believe that such evolution would be remotely possible. All that is left as a known viable explanation is high-level intelligent design. That’s it.

    All that is left on your side of the argument are the many just-so stories about how such evolution must have occurred. The problem, as with all just-so stories, is that they aren’t based on science. They aren’t testable in a falsifiable manner and they aren’t backed up by any sort of statistical analysis that produces useful predictive value. Again, as firmly as you believe such stories, your beliefs simply aren’t scientifically based. You can close your mind and refuse to consider what should otherwise be obvious, but the truth of the situation is that your arguments for the evolutionary origin of complex biosystems aren’t based on the best scientific information that is currently available… sorry.

    Sean Pitman

    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  2. @Geanna Dane:

    Carl,

    I see no point in arguing further with Sean, as he clearly believes he can anwser anything. From what I gather, he believes

    1. A new venom protein is easy to make. (just 5 aa changes?)

    Novel single-protein enzymes have been demonstrated to be fairly easy to evolve since they are often no more than a handful of mutational differences away from something else that already exists within the genome. Please consider well-known cases of lactase, nylonase, and citrase evolution in real time – as well as hundreds of other similar cases. The reason why evolution via RM/NS is so successful at these low levels of functional complexity is because of the relatively high ratio of potentially beneficial vs. non-beneficial sequences in sequence space at or below the threshold of systems that require no more than a few hundred specifically arranged amino acid residues. This high ratio produces a very small gap distance between what already exists within the genome and the next closest potentially beneficial enzyme given the proper environment.

    Tell me, if you have no idea as to what is or isn’t the likely minimum gap distance, upon what basis do you consider your arguments in favor of the creative potential of RM/NS scientific?

    2. God created pitvipers and boas and pythons with facial pits because there is no way these structures could have evolved except in trillions upon trillions of years. (So God equipped these snakes but not any others to localize warm-blooded prey before they ever needed to. Vampire bats also have infra-red vision to locate warmth: blood sources close to the skin.. Apparently God had that in mind too.)

    What I said is that such highly complex structures must have been designed by someone very intelligent and creative – not necessarily God. But, the need for an original intelligent designer is obvious due to the fact that no mindless natural process is remotely likely to be able to produce such features this side of trillions of years of time.

    If you do know of any rational statistical basis for your assumptions and just-so stories to the contrary, why not present your real scientific arguments? – instead of basing everything you believe on your incredulity against the idea that no intelligent designer would have done it that way? While I might sympathize with your motives, your feelings about what should and should not be simply aren’t scientific…

    3. Rattlesnakes readily produce new species so there is no problem with 30+ species evolving in the New World in less than the 4,000 years since the flood. (Although he speaks of the biological species concept, he seems completely unaware of the phylogenetic species concept which contrary to his statement is based on gene sequences, either or both mitochonidrial or nuclear. He further seems unaware that southern California’s six species hybridize extremely rarely. Often multiple species are both sympatric and syntopic but readily recognize and mate only with their own kind. Methinks he knows nothing about the gene pool differences of snake species much less any species. Hybridization is not a particularly relevent criterion for even the biological species concept.)

    It isn’t the commonality of hybridization that is important when it comes to evaluating functional gene pool similarities and differences, but the potential for hybridization. Successful hybridization potential is based on their being a great deal of functional genetic similarity between creatures. Without this similarity, successful hybridization would be impossible because the gametes produced would not be viable.

    Also, I am very well aware of the phylogenetic concept of “species” differences as well, but these sequence analysis are also not based on functional differences, but simply on sequence differences without regard for their functionality at any particular level of functional complexity. Because of this, such phylogenetic comparisons say little of anything about the functional similarities of the respective gene pools and therefore say little regarding the potential for successful hybridization or the potential for rapid divergence due to front-loaded information within the original ancestral gene pool of options.

    4. Evolving a venomous snake is easy since less than a few hundred fsaars are needed. (Glad he thinks so,, because he needs to accomplish in <4,000 years what virtually all other biologists require millions of years. I don't think he has a clue the number of traits involved much less fsars.)

    Again, venom isn’t nearly as complex as you imagine it to be. The other structures you mention are far more complex since they have much much greater minimum structural threshold requirements.

    5. He believes that higher-order changes like kingdom, phylum, class and order cannot happen because presumably they require to many fsaars. (I wonder how many fsaars would distinguish the family of viperids from elapids and atractaspids? How would he even know? Let’s not tell him that some classes of worms are entirely parasitic, cuz he’d then have to believe God made them to be parasites.)

    You do realize that it is less genetically complex to become a parasite vs. the complexity needed to live independently? It has been demonstrated, in real time, that certain parasitic features can evolve very rapidly due to this genetic deterioration effect given the proper environment. It is just less work to be a parasite and let others do the work of gathering food for you.

    The evolution of the famous TTSS system (erroneously used by Kenneth Miller as an illustration of how the flagellar system probably evolved) is a great example of this sort of thing since it has been demonstrated that the simpler TTSS system evolved from the pre-formed flagellar motility system – not the other way around.

    Again, a loss of information is much easier for RM/NS to achieve vs. a novel gain of higher level functional information.

    6. He communicates to me in an exceedingly condesending tone and knows with certainty what I dont know.

    All I know with certainty is that you haven’t presented any reasonable arguments as yet explaining how your proposed mechanism of RM/NS can come up with novel systems of function that require at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues this side of a practical eternity of time. Do you have any scientific basis for this notion of yours? Any known demonstrations or at least some statistical argument? Where is your science beyond your bold just-so story telling assertions?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  3. “You do realize that it is less genetically complex to become a parasite vs. to complexity needed to live independently? It has been demonstrated, in real time, that certain parasitic features can evolve very rapidly due to this genetic deterioration effect given the proper environment. It is just less work to be a parasite and let others do the work of gathering food for you.”

    You miss the point. At some time after creation a parasite evolved. then entire classes of these parasites evolved. The differences that relate to this level of classification (macroevolution) are what you overlooked.

    “Do you have any scientific basis for this notion of yours? Any known demonstrations or at least some statistical argument? Where is your science beyond your bold just-so story telling assertions?”

    When will you be able to show with science or statistics that God spoke and it happened? When will you be able to show with science or statistics that a pile of dust or a human rib can instantaenously be transformed into a living breathing human being. Where is your science beyond your bold just-so story telling assertions? You taunt but you cant tow the same line you require of others. PROVE THESE, SEAN, OR ADMIT YOU TELL JUST-SO STORIES YOURSELF.

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  4. @Geanna Dane:

    “You do realize that it is less genetically complex to become a parasite vs. to complexity needed to live independently? It has been demonstrated, in real time, that certain parasitic features can evolve very rapidly due to this genetic deterioration effect given the proper environment. It is just less work to be a parasite and let others do the work of gathering food for you.” – Sean Pitman

    You miss the point. At some time after creation a parasite evolved. then entire classes of these parasites evolved. The differences that relate to this level of classification (macroevolution) are what you overlooked.

    How so? What in your mind classifies as “macroevolution” which was clearly not present in the original gene pool of options? or which was clearly not the result of degenerative, Mendelian, or non-qualitative changes to the gene pool of options? Do you have any examples of evolution in action here? – beyond evolutionary assumptions based on genetic similarities? The similarities are easy to explain. The differences are the problem here – qualitative differences beyond very low levels of functional complexity…

    “Do you have any scientific basis for this notion of yours? Any known demonstrations or at least some statistical argument? Where is your science beyond your bold just-so story telling assertions?” – Sean Pitman

    When will you be able to show with science or statistics that God spoke and it happened? When will you be able to show with science or statistics that a pile of dust or a human rib can instantaenously be transformed into a living breathing human being. Where is your science beyond your bold just-so story telling assertions? You taunt but you cant tow the same line you require of others. PROVE THESE, SEAN, OR ADMIT YOU TELL JUST-SO STORIES YOURSELF.

    The statistics support the idea that some very intelligent source was required. This intelligent source wasn’t necessarily “God”. As far as the basis of the ID-only hypothesis is concerned, it could have been any intelligent source of high-level information. Whatever it was, it was intelligent. How so? Because, the odds against non-intelligent mechanisms doing the job are so extremely remote while being within the realm of known intelligent production.

    This is the basic argument for determining the need for intelligent design behind various phenomena on this planet and even within the Universe. It is because of the statistical odds against mindless production that many scientists, such as Paul Davies, Dean Kenyon, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sir Fredrick Hoyle, Sir Roger Penrose, Arno Penzias, Freeman Dyson, George Greenstein, Eugene Wigner, etc… have determined that a God or a creative force indistinguishable from a God-like creative mind and power created various aspects of the universe and even of biosystem complexity.

    Come on now, if you really want your mechanism of RM/NS to have a scientific basis when it comes to explaining the origin of novel high-level systems of functional complexity, you’re going to have to produce either an observable demonstration or some actual statistical analysis with some useful predictive value to support your mechanism. If you cannot do this, what you have is a just-so story, not science – right?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  5. And speaking of probabilities what is more likly:

    A. A very simple single-celled bacteria came into being from slime.

    B. An extraordinary three-part living being somehow came into existence that is all-powerful, all-knowing and present everywhere at once and which creates all manners of craetures from simple to even complex enough to be labelled “in our image”.

    One thing is for sure,, there is little humility at this website. The proabailities argument is a The proabailities argument is a non-sequitor…but it will be back! We’ll hear more of it again and again and again.

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  6. “What in your mind classifies as “macroevolution” which was clearly not present in the original gene pool of options? or which was clearly not the result of degenerative, Mendelian, or non-qualitative changes to the gene pool of options? Do you have any examples of evolution in action here? – beyond evolutionary assumptions based on genetic similarities?”

    MACROEVOLUTION is defined as evolution of new species or higher-level taxa.

    Kingdom-phylum-class-family-order-genus-species-subspecies

    You tell me, Sean. If new classes evolve after the creation are you going to insist its microevolution?

    I have to run to class now. Have a good day.

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  7. “Whatever it was, it was intelligent. How so? Because, the odds against non-intelligent mechanisms doing the job are so extremely remote while being within the realm of known intelligent production.”

    Oh sure, the odds of intelligence self-organizing are real good! It cant happen on its own (darwinian evolution) but of course it HAS happened so some self-organized intelligence must have existed along- and we know this for fact because probabilities tell us this and anything else would be just-so story-telling. I like the circularity here. Give the man a cigar.

    Off to class NOW…

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  8. I see no point in arguing further with Sean, as he clearly believes he can anwser anything. From what I gather, he believes

    I’m just here to give company to people like you who don’t want to be in the SDA branch of the Flat Earth Society. You seem to have your head well fastened and in good working order.

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  9. @Geanna Dane:

    “Whatever it was, it was intelligent. How so? Because, the odds against non-intelligent mechanisms doing the job are so extremely remote while being within the realm of known intelligent production.” – Sean Pitman

    Oh sure, the odds of intelligence self-organizing are real good! It cant happen on its own (darwinian evolution) but of course it HAS happened so some self-organized intelligence must have existed along- and we know this for fact because probabilities tell us this and anything else would be just-so story-telling. I like the circularity here. Give the man a cigar.

    Who’s talking about self-organized intelligence? That’s also statistically impossible. Whatever the ultimate Source for our origins might be, it seems quite clear that it was/is eternal – i.e., without the need for its own origin (where did the “Big Bang” come from?).

    There’s nothing circular about the concept that informational entropy is clearly evident in the universe in which we live. Informational quality flows downhill, not uphill, over time without the outside input of pre-existing higher level information.

    Mainstream evolutionists, like naturalists in general, believe otherwise; that informational quality can and does flow uphill. The problem with this notion is that it counters all known observable and statistical evidence beyond very very low levels of functional complexity. Above very low levels informational entropy is clearly in play for all forms of high-level meaningfully-complex informational systems.

    So, what is it? Is the “One” responsible for this universe and the very high-level meaningful informational complexity that it contains a mindless uncaring Creator? or an intelligent Creator? Can science even address this question? I think it can and has.

    But, I don’t think you have yet supported your belief in what I call your “turtles all the way down” idea that high-level information can be derived mindlessly, ultimately from nothing, in just under 20 billion years… That notion requires far too much blind faith for me to swallow given the overwhelming evidence, as I see it anyway, that it’s really “turtles all the way up…”

    And speaking of probabilities what is more likly:

    A. A very simple single-celled bacteria came into being from slime.

    B. An extraordinary three-part living being somehow came into existence that is all-powerful, all-knowing and present everywhere at once and which creates all manners of craetures from simple to even complex enough to be labelled “in our image”.

    Again, you assume the “God” came into existence; that there was a point in time when God did not exist. This isn’t in line with the concept of informational entropy. The existence of high-level functional information suggests an ultimate origin for such informational complexity in an eternally-existent Intelligent Source.

    One thing is for sure,, there is little humility at this website. The proabailities argument is a The proabailities argument is a non-sequitor…but it will be back! We’ll hear more of it again and again and again.

    And you are more humble?

    Consider someone who strongly believes and argues that the ultimate origin of everything is clearly mindless nothingness; that science has clearly demonstrated that something can and has come from nothing and that high-level functional complexity can be assembled, mindlessly, from low-level systems in a reasonable amount of time.

    Now, consider someone who argues that something never comes from nothing as far as can be scientifically demonstrated in a testable potentially falsifiable manner and that high-level functional complexity never arises from the mindless self-assembly of lower level systems in observable time nor is it statistically likely to occur even given trillions upon trillions of years of time.

    Who is more humble? I propose to you that it takes just a little chutzpah to actually have a solid opinion from either perspective. You think you’re right and I think I’m right. So what? There’s nothing wrong with having a strong opinion on such things. You’re just upset because my opinion is in the minority. Does that mean, therefore, that I must be the arrogant one here?

    I’m just asking questions about concepts from the mainstream perspective that don’t make sense to me given what I think I know. If you can answer these questions in a way that I can actually comprehend – great!

    Now, I know you don’t like probability arguments, but if you don’t have a probability argument, you don’t have a scientific argument. Science is all about producing useful predictive value you know…

    All I really care about is if you can present something scientifically testable or statistically relevant to support your claims for RM/NS producing high-level functional complexity within a reasonable amount of time. If you can do that, I’ll be most impressed.

    Good luck ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  10. @Geanna Dane:

    “What in your mind classifies as “macroevolution” which was clearly not present in the original gene pool of options? or which was clearly not the result of degenerative, Mendelian, or non-qualitative changes to the gene pool of options? Do you have any examples of evolution in action here? – beyond evolutionary assumptions based on genetic similarities?” – Sean Pitman

    MACROEVOLUTION is defined as evolution of new species or higher-level taxa.

    New species can be produced without any qualitative increase or novel change (not just a loss) in genetic information beyond what was originally present in the ancestral gene pool of options. Therefore, this isn’t a good definition of “macroevolution”.

    Horses and donkeys are classified as different species, for example, but what is the high-level functional difference within their respective gene pools? Do you know? If you do not, where is the “macroevolution” here?

    Kingdom-phylum-class-family-order-genus-species-subspecies

    You tell me, Sean. If new classes evolve after the creation are you going to insist its microevolution?

    Not at all. I’d be very impressed and become an evolutionist. However, don’t make the challenge so hard on yourself. I don’t need something so impressive. Since I define “macroevolution” as the evolution of any qualitatively novel functional system that requires at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues to work, all you have to do is show me evolution at this level or beyond. Even a bacterial subsystem, like the flagellar motility system evolving, or something equivalent to ATP synthase evolving (regardless of the starting point in any organism in which such systems were absent from the ancestral gene pool), would turn me into an evolutionist.

    Most of the time when I present this challenge evolutionists like to come back with stories about systems that they think evolved, but which weren’t actually observed to have evolved nor are there any valid statistical arguments to explain the required functional differences from the proposed ancestral starting point(s). Or, I’ll be presented with arguments like you’ve presented for the evolution of various features for which very little is understood regarding the needed underlying genetic changes or the original ancestral features that were already present within the gene pool…

    So, present some evidence, demonstrable or statistical, to support your argument as being truly scientific…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  11. Sean Pitman wrote, “But, I don’t think you have yet supported your belief in what I call your “turtles all the way down” idea that high-level information can be derived mindlessly, ultimately from nothing, in just under 20 billion years… That notion requires far too much blind faith for me to swallow given the overwhelming evidence, as I see it anyway, that it’s really “turtles all the way up…””

    Wow Sean I had no idea this was my belief. Methinks you are God himself to know this, or perhaps you are a clairvoyant, or perhaps you think you know more than you really do. Whichever you may be you’ve proven yourself wrong again. I simply do not believe what you have stated I believe. Why do you continually tell people they believe something you cannot possibly know whether they actually beleive? [edited]

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  12. Sean Pitman wrote, “All I really care about is if you can present something scientifically testable or statistically relevant to support your claims for RM/NS producing high-level functional complexity within a reasonable amount of time.”

    H-e-l-l-o-?-! Where did I claim this?

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  13. Sean Pitman wrote, “There’s nothing circular about the concept that informational entropy is clearly evident in the universe in which we live. Informational quality flows downhill, not uphill, over time without the outside input of pre-existing higher level information.”

    Does God’s nature violate the law of entropy? Is she going “downhill” or does she violate her own law?

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  14. Sean Pitman wrote, “Since I define “macroevolution” as the evolution of any qualitatively novel functional system that requires at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues to work, all you have to do is show me evolution at this level or beyond.”

    Dude, if you’re going to write your own textbook with your own definitions you only have to agree with yourself. You certainly dont need to convince someone like me that you’re arguments support your conclusions. I have no doubt they do.

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  15. From Atoday blog:
    http://www.atoday.com/content/educate-truth-perhaps-elaborate-spoof-turned-ugly#comment-7679

    Prof. Kent wrote:

    I’ve done some math, though I could have some errors. Sean claims that a functional change of 1,000 amino acids is impossible, i.e., it would require trillions upon trillions of years. However, he seems unfazed that a change of several hundred amino acids would be plausible in snakes. Here are my thoughts.

    It isn’t a change of 1000aa, it is any change, even a single amino acid change in any pre-existing sequence, that ends up hitting upon a new 1000aa system that has an attached function which itself requires at least 1000 fsaars to work.

    Again, the 1000 fsaar threshold isn’t a measure of change. It is a measure of the minimum structural threshold needed to produce a particular type of function. This threshold could be achieved with a single character change to something in the gene pool that just happened to be that close enough within sequence space.

    The problem here is that the odds that the actual gap distance will only be a single point mutation wide is extremely remote at this level of functional complexity. The most likely minimum gap distance at this level is over 50 character changes wide.

    It is this minimum likely distance (50 mutational changes at the level of 1000 fsaar systems) that creates the statistical problem for RM/NS.

    So, here is the shocker (from my perspective; maybe Sean can pull the plug on my defibrillator):

    – a 1000-fsaar change requires much more than 3,650 trillion generations

    – a 200-fsaar change could happen in a mere 1,000 generations (or just 400 generations for some species)

    – thus, a simple 5-fold level of change between 200 and 1000 fsaars requires more than a trillion-fold difference in the number of generations. I ain’t sayin’ this can’t happen, but, well…

    It’s far worse than you think, but I’m glad you’re beginning to see the picture.

    Given a huge population of bacteria (1e30 of them – a population as large as all the bacteria on Earth) crossing a gap distance of just 50 specific character changes wide would require 1e36 generations.

    This is because a gap distance of 50aa changes is equal to a sequence space that size of 1e65 different sequences of 50aa. Dividing this space up between all the 1000aa sequences in our gene pool of bacteria (~1e34 sequences of 1000aa) equals a search space, per mutating 1000aa sequence, of 1e31. With a mutation rate of 1e-8 per codon per generation each 1000-codon sequence of DNA will get mutated once every 1e5 generations. With a generation time of 20 minutes, that is one mutational step every 2,000,000 minutes; which equals ~4 years. So, with one random walk/mutational step every 4 years, it would take 1e31 * 4 = 4e31 years for at least one individual in the entire population to achieve success, on average, at the level of 1000 fsaars (i.e., trillions upon trillions of years).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  16. @Geanna Dane:

    Wow Sean I had no idea this was my belief. Methinks you are God himself to know this, or perhaps you are a clairvoyant, or perhaps you think you know more than you really do. Whichever you may be you’ve proven yourself wrong again. I simply do not believe what you have stated I believe. Why do you continually tell people they believe something you cannot possibly know whether they actually beleive?

    My apologies. I assumed from what I thought was the direction of your arguments (since you seemed to be arguing very strongly against my arguments in question of the creative potential of RM/NS) that you believe in at least some form of Darwinian-style evolution via the mechanism of RM/NS. If you do not believe that informational quality can be improved over time via mindless mechanisms beyond very low levels of functional complexity, by all means do share what you really do believe. That’s usually far more helpful than simply saying that those in a discussion with you have misunderstood you without further clarification of what you do actually believe… After all I’m not a mind reader (as you pointed out) ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  17. In the Atoday blog:
    http://www.atoday.com/content/educate-truth-perhaps-elaborate-spoof-turned-ugly#comment-7682

    Prof. Kent wrote:

    I find it curious that the author Sean obtained his equations from reaches very different conclusions from his equations. conclusions which Sean, no doubt, outright rejects. Apparently, Sean cherrypicks what works to support his views. According to a 2010 paper by Hazen:

    “Nevertheless, the idea that life is “irreducibly complex” and, consequently, that the origin of life required an intelligent designer has been soundly refuted on both scientific and philosophical grounds (Pennock 2002; Forrest and Gross 2004). Indeed, in terms of generating systems of high complexity, evolution by the cyclic Darwinian process of mutation and selection has proven to be far more effective than design.” (Hazen RM, Eldredge N (2010) Themes and variations in complex systems. Elements 6:43-46.)

    There is no cherry picking when it comes to doing the actual math beyond low levels of functional complexity – something that Hazen, Pennock, Forrest, Gross et. al. simply do not do. They simply assume that because the math works in a reasonable amount of time at low levels of functional complexity that somehow someway that RM/NS must be able to do the job at higher levels. This assumption simply isn’t supported by Hazen’s own calculations of how the ratios of beneficial vs. non-beneficial sequences in sequence space decline, in an exponential manner, with increasing functional complexity.

    As far as Hazen’s claim that the concept of “irreducible complexity” has been soundly refuted, this claim is nonsense. Perhaps Behe’s narrow version of it has been refuted in a very limited sense, but the basic idea has not been refuted – not even close.

    It is very clear that all systems of function have a minimum structural threshold requirement below which the system in question will not work at all – not even a little bit. By definition then, all systems of function are “irreducible” beyond this minimum structural threshold requirement. And, as it turns out, different types of systems have different structural threshold minimum requirements. This means that different systems are in fact on different, what I call “levels”, of functional complexity.

    Higher level systems, because of being exponentially rarer in sequence space vs. lower level systems, are exponentially harder to find in a given span of time via random mutations – according to Hazen’s own formulas…

    And that, in a nutshell, is the death knell for the mechanism of RM/NS beyond extremely low levels of functional complexity. It just doesn’t work and statistically cannot work beyond these low levels…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  18. I think Professor Kent at Adventist Today summarized Sean’s position quite succinctly:

    “Complex life forms simply could not come into being on their own, which therefore requires that only a complex life form could create complex life forms.”

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  19. @Geanna Dane:

    I think Professor Kent at Adventist Today summarized Sean’s position quite succinctly:

    “Complex life forms simply could not come into being on their own, which therefore requires that only a complex life form could create complex life forms.”

    Pretty close, except for the caveat that a complex life form, or a functionally complex system of any kind, could only have been originally created by something with access to an even higher level of functional complexity. In other words, it is “turtles all the way up“… not down.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  20. “Complex life forms simply could not come into being on their own, which therefore requires that only a complex life form could create complex life forms.”

    Does anyone familiar with fallacies recognize circularity when they see it? Hello?

    I do’nt disagree with the possibility that one triune God created life but I find the arrogance and taunting of other views quit naseating. I know, I know, nothing I say will change it.

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  21. @Geanna Dane:

    So God Sr. created God Jr., who created God III, and so on?

    “Complex life forms simply could not come into being on their own, which therefore requires that only a complex life form could create complex life forms.”

    Does anyone familiar with fallacies recognize circularity when they see it? Hello?

    I do’nt disagree with the possibility that one triune God created life but I find the arrogance and taunting of other views quit naseating. I know, I know, nothing I say will change it.

    Perhaps you are not familiar with the “turtles all the way down” phrase regarding infinite regress arguments. It’s a cute little story by Steven Hawking, worth looking up…

    I cannot explain God and how God and be infinite or eternal. If I could, I’d be God. Likewise, no one can explain how everything could come from nothing in a “big bang” or where the original singularity came from…

    Yet, we are here and we did come from somewhere by some mysterious means. Which mystery is most likely true? Is our origin the result of a very intelligent infinite and eternal God or is our origin the result of a very powerful mindless creative process that ultimately started with nothing and produced everything? In other words, is the ultimate mystery at the end of a long line of turtles going all the way down or turtles going all the way up? Although science cannot explain God or the Big Bang, even theoretically, can science at least determine which way the turtles are going?

    I think so. If you’ve every played poker you’ll be able to understand the statistical concept behind this idea – determining the statistics of detecting the need for intelligent design to explain certain phenomena.

    As another example, consider what would happen if the Mars landrover came across a highly symmetrical polished granite cube that measured one meter on each side. What would be the most likely explanation for such a phenomenon? – and intelligent or a mindless origin? Can this question even be addressed by science? Is there an answer that can be determined to have the greater predictive value? I think so…

    Yet, you think it horrible that I would favor one hypothesis as having greater predictive value over another? Why is that? You have no problem suggesting that I’m wrong. Why is it such a bad thing to argue that if someone draws aces on me 100 times in a row that the odds are very good that this was almost certainly the result of deliberate design? – not random chance? Is it such a bad thing for me to disagree with someone who thinks it really was random chance and was not the result of deliberate design? If you would agree that such an event would clearly favor the ID hypothesis, upon what basis can you argue that the production of specified functional complexity on the level of a living thing, any living thing, is somehow less clearly the result of ID?

    How are you not being inconsistent? unless you have at least some statistical reason why a hypothesis favoring a mindless origin is somehow more likely to be true? Where is your evidence? Where is your science?

    Why are you so upset when someone disagrees on such issues? – especially when it isn’t anything personal? I have some very good friends who are atheists or agnostic. I disagree with them. I think they are wrong in their arguments on this particular topic. But, I still like them and they like me.

    It’s Ok to be wrong you know. It’s Ok for me to be wrong and it is Ok for you to be wrong. Don’t get so worked up over it…

    My only issue here is with those who think to take money from an employer who is paying them to teach one thing while they go about teaching something completely different. That is clearly wrong in my book – – a form of stealing of the time and money of the employer…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  22. “I cannot explain God and how God and be infinite or eternal.”

    You can’t? I’m shocked! Whatever happened to all that “predictive power” and “evidence” and “statistical probability” that leads you to reject one’s simple faith in an infinite or eternal God?

    This is’nt anything personal. I’m simply telling you that I am tired of those like you who use probability statements to reassure adventists that only idiots could possibly believe in evolution and that our faith in a creator God and his six day creation 6000 years ago can be reduced to stastical evidence. And this when you know darn well that God’s existence is absolutely inexplicable and far, far, far, far beyond any probability that life could evolve onthis planet.

    I’m sorry to disappoint you but as a faithful Seventh-day Adventist I’ve never played poker, and if I did I would’nt want to play against you. You’re playing a crooked hand.

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  23. @Geanna Dane:

    You can’t? I’m shocked! Whatever happened to all that “predictive power” and “evidence” and “statistical probability” that leads you to reject one’s simple faith in an infinite or eternal God?

    You still don’t get it. You don’t have to understand or be able to explain the origin of the intelligence itself in order to be able to hypothesize, with a very high degree of predictive value (high statistical odds of success) that intelligence was required to explain certain types of phenomena. I can’t even explain how human-level intelligence works (or dog level or even bird-level intelligence for that matter). The creative abilities that “intelligence” affords to the owner is a miraculous ability as far as I’m concerned.

    That doesn’t mean that I can’t predict when it is or isn’t needed when it comes to explaining certain types of phenomena… like someone drawing aces on me 100 times in a row. That would obviously require ID with a very high degree of statistical probability backing up this hypothesis.

    I’m sorry Geanna, but if you can’t analyze the statistical probability of your hypothesis being correct when tested over time, you don’t have a scientific hypothesis. That’s simply the nature of science. Science is dependent upon determining the odds to at least some degree of useful predictive value. And yes, determining the likely need for intelligent design to explain various phenomena can be done in a scientific manner.

    Tell me, upon what basis do anthropologists or forensic scientists or even SETI scientists scientifically and with statistically significant predictive value propose the need for intelligent design to explain certain phenomena? Do you know? If so, please explain it to me…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  24. You’re right dude, I don’t get it. Your wrote

    “I’m sorry Geanna, but if you can’t analyze the statistical probability of your hypothesis being correct when tested over time, you don’t have a scientific hypothesis.”

    You have yet to give me a statistical probability for YOUR hypothesis that A CLUMP OF DIRT CAN INSTANTANEOUSLY YIELD A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN BEING. What are you saying about your own hypothesis? Hello?!!!

    You also wrote

    “Tell me, upon what basis do anthropologists or forensic scientists or even SETI scientists scientifically and with statistically significant predictive value propose the need for intelligent design to explain certain phenomena? Do you know? If so, please explain it to me…”

    No, I have no clue and don’t care. I think your statistical arguments are rubbish especially since they are completely and unequivicaly one sided. You can only apply them to RM/NS as one cause but not to higher intelligence as the alternative cause. Thats disingenous. And its dealing from a loaded deck of cards.

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  25. @Geanna Dane:

    You’re right dude, I don’t get it. Your wrote

    “I’m sorry Geanna, but if you can’t analyze the statistical probability of your hypothesis being correct when tested over time, you don’t have a scientific hypothesis.” – Sean Pitman

    You have yet to give me a statistical probability for YOUR hypothesis that A CLUMP OF DIRT CAN INSTANTANEOUSLY YIELD A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN BEING. What are you saying about your own hypothesis? Hello?!!!

    The statistical analysis is in regard to the most likely mechanism that is able to produce a very high level of functional complexity. In other words, the relevant question here is: What is the most likely mechanism that could get a human being or some other equally complex system to be assembled from random component parts (i.e., “dirt”)? According to the odds, the most likely mechanism to explain such a phenomena strongly favors one that has access to very high levels of intelligence – with very near 100% predictive value.

    Again, why do you think Paul Davies, Freeman Dyson, Sir Roger Penrose, and many other physicists have come to the conclusion that only a God-like intelligence can explain the fine tuning of our universe? Blind faith? I think not…

    Come on Geanna, this is a scientific question. There is much more to go on than blind leaps of faith here…

    You also wrote

    “Tell me, upon what basis do anthropologists or forensic scientists or even SETI scientists scientifically and with statistically significant predictive value propose the need for intelligent design to explain certain phenomena? Do you know? If so, please explain it to me…” – Sean Pitman

    No, I have no clue and don’t care.

    Then you don’t understand science and you don’t seem to care to understand it. There’s not much more that can be said in that case…

    I think your statistical arguments are rubbish especially since they are completely and unequivicaly one sided. You can only apply them to RM/NS as one cause but not to higher intelligence as the alternative cause. Thats disingenous. And its dealing from a loaded deck of cards.

    That’s just it! How do you know the deck has been deliberately “loaded” without using science? – without statistical odds analysis?

    You don’t seem to have an understanding as to the scientific/statistical basis for determining the need for ID to explain certain phenomena. The statistics aren’t based on understanding the odds of the intelligent agent coming into existence all by itself. The statistical odds are concerned with a given complex phenomena coming into existence without vs. with the help of intelligent design.

    This may seem subtle to you, but it is an important difference. For example, let’s say I walk into a room and see a Scrabble board on a table. The letters on the board are apparently scrambled into meaningless patterns. I leave the room for a bit and feel a light earthquake (after all it’s California!). I step back into the room and see on the Scrabble board that the letters are arranged that say, “Hello! I’ll be back in a few minutes. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.”

    What hypothesis carries the greatest predictive value when it comes to explaining the most likely origin for this particular sequence of letters? – some mindless mechanism or a mechanism that involved intelligent design? How does one reasonably decide between these potential explanations which one is most likely true? A blind leap of faith? – or some sort of statistical scientific analysis?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  26. @Geanna Dane:
    Faith = undetecting design

    Is Sean the only one here who really believes our faith is as useless as the tooth fairy? Hello?

    Faith is the evidence of things unseen. – Hebrews 11:1. It doesn’t say that faith isn’t based on evidence. It is. God does not ask us to believe without providing ample evidence to support a rational faith.

    If you want your faith in God to be more useful to you or others compared to someone else’s faith in garden fairies or Santa Claus or some vague warm fuzzy feeling inside, you’ll need some sort of evidentiary basis. We are told to be prepaired to give an actual reason for the hope that is within us. 1 Peter 3:15

    Remember when Jesus turned water into wine?

    “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” – John 2:11

    Notice that is was because of the evidence of what John calls a “sign” of who Jesus really was that they put their faith in him – and who in their right mind, after seeing something like this, wouldn’t? Evidence doesn’t remove faith, it strengthens faith.

    “Many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?”

    Notice again the referenced basis of faith – i.e., the miraculous signs. There simply would have been no reason to believe in Jesus as the Christ without some such evidence.

    As a Seventh-day Adventist, you’ll appreciate these thoughts from Mrs. White on this topic:

    “God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His Word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth, will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith.”

    – Mrs. White, The Great Controversy, p. 527. and Steps to Christ, p. 105.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  27. @Carl:

    No one knows how soft tissues would still be preserved after at least 65 million years. Do you? – Erik

    Of course not. However, if you read the links that you posted, it’s not so clear that the original finding will hold up.

    The original finding has been confirmed – by many different methods – as shocking as this confirmation is to the scientific community. Please watch a very interesting videoclip of a 60 Minutes program, dealing with this issue:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilizeddna.html#Fresh

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  28. Note that Ellen White says, “established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant”. She further adds “Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt””

    I totally agree with her. The evidence is based on testimony from those who have had a personal encounter with God. For some reason God did NOT leave rocks sitting around that are stamped with “Made in Heaven”, your fsaar out claims notwithstnding.

    I think we would all do better having a personal encounter with GOd than arguing endlessly over rocks of uncertain origin and throwing rocks at each otehr.

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  29. @Geanna Dane:

    I totally agree with her. The evidence is based on testimony from those who have had a personal encounter with God. For some reason God did NOT leave rocks sitting around that are stamped with “Made in Heaven”, your fsaar out claims notwithstnding.

    The evidence isn’t just in the form of the personal testimony of other people Geanna. If it were, how would you decide who was telling you the truth about God? There are a lot of people claiming to have direct revelations from God that are very contradictory. Which people do you believe?

    You have to make your choices based on the best weight of evidence that is available to you – and that includes physical evidence.

    The biblical authors themselves tell us to “test the spirits” to see if they are from God. God also calls us to come and “reason together” and even to “test him” and see if He is not who he claims to be and does what he claims He does – a very scientific concept.

    “Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence.”
    —Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 255. 2

    “God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he cannot make plain to his finite understanding, will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith.”
    —Ibid., vol. 4, pp. 232, 233.

    Explaining some implications of the historical event of the flood, White notes that during the Flood humans, animals, and trees were “buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history; but . . . the things which God gave them [i.e., to us humans] as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them.”
    – Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1890, 1958), 112.

    Note especially the passage where Mrs. White claims that “God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history.” Clearly then, Mrs. White supports the idea that such physical evidence does indeed have the power to increase faith in God and the reliability of his Word. Faith is not simply based on the testimony of people without any aditional physical testible potentially falsifiable evidence with which to determine the reliability of such testimony. In other words, the physical evidence itself has its own testimony…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  30. “humans, animals, and trees were “buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood.”

    Where are those antediluvians?

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  31. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and trees, many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same error as did the people before the Flood–the things which God gave them as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them. (PP 112)

    I’ve read about animals that are many times larger than animals we have today, but in regard to finding large human remains I haven not seen anything. I’ve heard stories, but nothing conclusive. So if we haven’t discovered them yet, it appears that such a discovery may be found in the future. There might already be some definitive finding out there I don’t know about though.

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  32. @Geanna Dane:

    Where are those antediluvians?

    I don’t know? As far as I am aware nothing convincing has been found in this regard. However, this does not negate all of the other strong evidence for a world-wide Noachian flood as described in the Bible or for a recent formation of life in its vast diversity on this planet (i.e., less than 10,000 years ago).

    Remember, “he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he cannot make plain to his finite understanding [as in the current lack of pre-flood human fossils below the K-T boundary], will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith.” — Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 232, 233.

    In short, your argument that a useful faith need not be based on any sort of physical evidence is strongly countered by Mrs. White herself who argued for faith supported by the “weight of evidence”, not direct demonstration.

    The Christian faith need not be a blind faith, but can be a very intelligent, intellectually as well as emotionally fulfilling, evidence-based faith…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  33. @Carl:

    Note to Sean: When you respond, please point me to a short-history model that can be scientifically tested. You already know the list of events that it must explain in sequence, but you have never addressed that point. Simply saying that things can happen faster than the standard model claims is not sufficient.

    Sure it is. The sequence of events is the same. The only difference is the time between the events – it isn’t nearly as much time as mainstream models require. The sequence of events took place very very rapidly…

    For example, you need to explain the Cosquer Grotto with all of its human artifacts and artwork.

    We’ve already gone over all of this a few times now. I don’t know why you keep repeating yourself without addressing my previous responses to you on your “evidences”.

    Yet again, the human artifacts found in the Cosquer Grotto are post-Flood. They aren’t as old as mainstream scientists assume because mainstream scientists date these artifacts according to a mistaken radiocarbon dating assumptions – assumptions that assume a uniform ratio of C14 vs. C12 in the atmosphere. This assumption is mistaken because this ratio was dramatically affected by the Flood, during which time massive amounts of C12 were buried in the form of coal, oil, and calcium carbonate.

    Then, tropical fossils and dinosaur fossils in Antarctica.

    Why is this a problem? The world before the Flood did not have extremes in temperature, but was much more uniformly warm and verdant than it is today.

    On a global scale, please explain the sequence of meteor impacts – just the big ones: Kara-Kul, Popigai, Chesapeake, Chicxulub, Kara, Manicouagan, Wilkes Land, Woodleigh, Acraman, Duluth Complex, Sudbury, Czech Basin, Vredefort, Stillwater Complex.

    Again, the sequence is the same. Just the timing is different…

    Whey you present a short-history model to explain these things, I also would like to know why the GRI people state that we don’t have a short-history model. Do you have a model that they don’t know about?

    It depends on who you ask at the GRI. As with most mainstream scientists, not everyone at GRI recognizes the evidence for what seems to be much more obvious to me. However, there are those at GRI that do think much more like I do… to include former leaders of GRI. Have you talked lately to Ariel Roth for instance?

    Does this mean that all questions have been clearly answered in my mind? Of course not. There are many unanswered questions. However, the weight of evidence, as I see it anyway, is clearly in favor of a recent creation of life on this planet as well as a recent world-wide watery catastrophe that formed much of the geologic column and fossil record in short order.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  34. @Sean Pitman:

    Yet again, the human artifacts found in the Cosquer Grotto are post-Flood. They aren’t as old as mainstream scientists assume because mainstream scientists date these artifacts according to a mistaken radiocarbon dating assumptions

    I cannot follow your logic. Post Flood?? The only entrance to the cave is about 100 feet under water. When, after the Flood, has the level of the Mediterranean Sea been 100 feet below its present level? The animal drawings in the cave show extinct creatures.

    Have you talked lately to Ariel Roth for instance?

    I have read Ariel Roth and know him to be a skillful apologist and careful scientist. I have never seen or heard about anything in his work as fanciful as your claims.

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  35. @Carl:

    “Yet again, the human artifacts found in the Cosquer Grotto are post-Flood. They aren’t as old as mainstream scientists assume because mainstream scientists date these artifacts according to a mistaken radiocarbon dating assumptions.” – Sean Pitman

    I cannot follow your logic. Post Flood?? The only entrance to the cave is about 100 feet under water. When, after the Flood, has the level of the Mediterranean Sea been 100 feet below its present level? The animal drawings in the cave show extinct creatures.

    I’ve already gone over this with you. It would be nice if you could at least remember these previous discussion and mention the arguments already made and respond to these instead of repeating your same old arguments over and over again as if they were never addressed…

    Yet again, the Mediterranean did in fact empty and dry out after the Flood – only to be suddenly filled in again once the first ice age ended and the sea levels increased and burst through, filling the basin in less than 2 years time.

    A new model suggests that at the flood’s peak water poured from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean basin at a rate one thousand times the flow of the Amazon River, according to calculations published in the Dec. 10 issue of Nature.

    “In an instantaneous flash, the dry Mediterranean became a normal Mediterranean like we see it today,” says lead author Daniel Garcia-Castellanos of Spain’s Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Barcelona.

    Although the Nature article claims that this flood took place a few million years ago during the Tertiary time, in reality it took place after Noah’s Flood just a few thousand years ago.

    Many of the animals depicted in these cave drawings and paintings are indeed extinct, but these are post-Flood animals none-the-less. Many post-flood animals went extinct, such as the Whooly Mammoths and Giant Sloths, etc. I really don’t understand the point of your argument here.

    Really, your entire argument is based on radiomentric dating assumptions, especially radiocarbon dating assumptions in this particular case…

    Have you talked lately to Ariel Roth for instance?

    Sure, I’m good friends with Ariel. We talk and E-mail all the time.

    I have read Ariel Roth and know him to be a skillful apologist and careful scientist. I have never seen or heard about anything in his work as fanciful as your claims.

    Then you must not have read very much of his work. He strongly argues for a short time for life on this planet and provides abundant evidence for the same. How you could have missed such arguments having read much of anything that he has written is quite amazing since this is the main thrust of his books and even his life…

    I suggest you write him a personal E-mail and see if what I have said is not so… in his opinion…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  36. @Sean Pitman:

    I’ve already gone over this with you. It would be nice if you could at least remember these previous discussion and mention the arguments already made and respond to these instead of repeating your same old arguments over and over again as if they were never addressed…

    What I remember well is that you consistently repeat incredible claims for rapid events and changes of life, you present challenges to standard dating techniques, you fail to present a short-history model and then you accuse me of doing nothing more than repeating myself. You’re right, it is repetitious.

    Here’s what I believe you suggest happened at Cosquer: The water level drops by hundreds of feet shortly after the flood; the cave is inhabited by what appears to be many generations; some of the animals pictured go extinct and are now known only by fossils; the sea level rises very rapidly to its present level and covers the cave entrance. The Bible writers tell the story of Noah’s Flood but either don’t know about the later flood of the Mediterranean Sea or choose not to mention it.

    This is the most fanciful speculation I have ever heard. You’re right, I repeat myself.

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  37. @Carl:

    Here’s what I believe you suggest happened at Cosquer: The water level drops by hundreds of feet shortly after the flood; the cave is inhabited by what appears to be many generations; some of the animals pictured go extinct and are now known only by fossils; the sea level rises very rapidly to its present level and covers the cave entrance. The Bible writers tell the story of Noah’s Flood but either don’t know about the later flood of the Mediterranean Sea or choose not to mention it.

    This is the most fanciful speculation I have ever heard. You’re right, I repeat myself.

    Well, at least you’re finally addressing the argument.

    The biblical writers wrote about Noah’s flood because it killed everybody off except for eight people on the Ark. They didn’t write about the Mediterranean flood because it likely had no direct impact on a small select group of people which the biblical authors were most interested in… and likely killed no one since it took 2 years to fill the Mediterranean basin.

    I really don’t see what is so conclusive about a lack of mention of every major geologic event in the Bible?

    If you think this sort of “speculation” would never be entertained by the likes of Ariel Roth, why not ask him? See what he thinks about your arguments regarding the obvious dating of Cosquer cave and the timing of the Mediterranean flood vs. Noah’s Flood… as if your arguments aren’t even more speculative given your complete reliance upon flawed radiocarbon dating assumptions.

    Why not at least try and bring some solid arguments against my “speculations” or actual hypotheses instead of your usual bald incredulity? Do you have any counter evidence that clearly falsifies my position? – any reason why your radiocarbon dating assumptions are nearly as solid as you think they are? Any reason why ice ages cannot be produced and resolve very rapidly? Or why animals cannot die off and go extinct very rapidly during rapid environmental changes? You do realize that millions of Mammoths did indeed die off and go extinct very very rapidly? – likely within a single season?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  38. “Although the Nature article claims that this flood took place a few million years ago during the Tertiary time, in reality it took place after Noah’s Flood just a few thousand years ago.”

    Funny that science can be right on all accounts except for dating, especiallly when certgain the non-dating elements can be used to support one’s views.

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  39. “Although the Nature article claims that this flood took place a few million years ago during the Tertiary time, in reality it took place after Noah’s Flood just a few thousand years ago.”

    Funny that science can be right on all accounts except for dating, especiallly when certgain the non-dating elements can be used to support one’s views.  

    If you think about it, you could say the exact same thing about the Bible.

    Simply put (and in other words): Thats a weak argument because the scientific method, accuracy, and findings as they apply to many areas of science are not entirely reliant nor exclusive to its dating methods.

    Frankly, I think Sean has already given more than sufficient explanation for his views in terms of the replies given. The continued debate here appears (to me at least) to stem more from an unwillingness to concede, than personal (substantiated) belief otherwise.

    That said, have a blessed Sabbath.

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  40. @Geanna Dane:

    Funny that science can be right on all accounts except for dating, especiallly when certgain the non-dating elements can be used to support one’s views.

    I’m not against “science” or “scientific methods”. You have to understand though that it is impossible to do “science” without a subjective element to interpreting the data. There is always bias involved. The very same observations can be and are often interpreted by scientists in completely different ways (Note the latest fiasco in the global warming E-mail scandal to rock the scientific community).

    That is why it is good to do a bit of personal investigation to see if what “scientists” are telling you actually makes sense to you. Some of it makes sense to me. In fact, the vast majority of mainstream science makes sense to me. However, there are key elements of what mainstream scientists generally believe that make absolutely no sense to me and seem to be based on strong personal bias and bald arguments from authority rather than the true weight of available physical evidence.

    But, of course, that is my own personal opinion. All should investigate the available evidence and arguments personally if there is a significant interest in these topics. Don’t simply take someone else’s word for it at face value…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  41. @Sean Pitman: Sean, we’ve had this discussion before, but I still don’t grasp where in your chronology in you squeeze in the time needed for
    a) the mammoth-population, all descendants of some (one pair of ?) proto-elephants coming down the slopes of mount Ararat growing to “millions”, especially given the slow growth rate of elephant polulations.
    b) mammoths (wooly rhinos,…) already having become well adapted to ice age environmental conditions before being hit by the “killer chill”.
    …and the questions go on and on.
    This is not a “I want you to lose – I don’t believe you” but rather the scientific “I’d like you to clarify your arguments so that maybe I could be convinced in the end – I don’t believe you”.

    Mark

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  42. @Mark Houston:

    Sean, we’ve had this discussion before, but I still don’t grasp where in your chronology in you squeeze in the time needed for

    a) the mammoth-population, all descendants of some (one pair of ?) proto-elephants coming down the slopes of mount Ararat growing to “millions”, especially given the slow growth rate of elephant polulations.
    b) mammoths (wooly rhinos,…) already having become well adapted to ice age environmental conditions before being hit by the “killer chill”.
    …and the questions go on and on.

    This is not a “I want you to lose – I don’t believe you” but rather the scientific “I’d like you to clarify your arguments so that maybe I could be convinced in the end – I don’t believe you”.

    The time it takes to double a population of Elephants, given ideal conditions, is around 8 years, and less than ideal conditions, around 12-18 years. It would only take around 22 doublings, starting with a pair of elephants, to reach 16 million individuals – i.e., 200-400 years.

    It is quite reasonable to conclude, then, that the post-Flood environment was relatively warm and lush, world-wide, for 300-400 years before the first ice age suddenly struck the planet and wiped out huge populations of animals of many different types almost instantly in northerly regions (within one season).

    By the way, despite common thinking to the contrary, the Woolly Mammoths were not ideally modified to live in ice-age conditions. And, contrary to popular imagination, these creatures were not surrounded by the extremely cold, harsh environments that exist in these northerly regions today. Rather, they lived in rather lush steppe-type conditions to include evidence of large fruit bearing trees, abundant grasslands, and the very large numbers and types of grazing animals only to be quickly and collectively annihilated over huge areas by rapid weather changes.

    Clearly, the present is far far different than even the relatively recent past must have been. Sound too far fetched?

    Consider that the last meal of the famous Berezovka mammoth, found north of the Artic Circle, consisted of “twenty-four pounds of undigested vegetation” to include over 40 types of plants; many no longer found in such northerly regions. The enormous quantities of food it takes to feed an elephant of this size (~300kg per day) is, by itself, very good evidence for a much different climate in these regions than exists today.

    Beyond this, consider that the mammoths didn’t have hair erector muscles that enable an animal’s fur to be “fluffed-up”, creating insulating air pockets. They also lacked oil glands to protect against wetness and increased heat loss in extremely cold and damp environments. Animals currently living in Arctic regions have both oil glands and erector muscles. Of course, the mammoth did have a certain number of cold weather adaptations compared to its living cousins, the elephants; such as smaller ears, trunk and tail, fine woolly under-fur and long outer “protective” hair, and a thick layer of insulating fat, but these would by no means be enough to survive in the extremes of cold, ice and snow found in these same regions today – not to mention the lack of an adequate food supply. It seems very much as Sir Henry Howorth concluded back in the late 19th century:

    “The instances of the soft parts of the great pachyderms being preserved are not mere local and sporadic ones, but they form a long chain of examples along the whole length of Siberia, from the Urals to the land of the Chukchis [the Bering Strait], so that we have to do here with a condition of things which prevails, and with meteorological conditions that extend over a continent.

    When we find such a series ranging so widely preserved in the same perfect way, and all evidencing a sudden change of climate from a comparatively temperate one to one of great rigour, we cannot help concluding that they all bear witness to a common event. We cannot postulate a separate climate cataclysm for each individual case and each individual locality, but we are forced to the conclusion that the now permanently frozen zone in Asia became frozen at the same time from the same cause.”

    For further discussion on this topic see:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/ancientice.html#Woolly%20Mammoths

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  43. “Animals currently living in Arctic regions have both oil glands and erector muscles”

    There are in fact many arctic ectotherms on land and in the sea. Even frogs occur in Alaska! I assume this is recognized and the statement refers only to endotherms (birds and mammals). However I would think that the heavy mass of pachyderms resulting in a very low surface to mass ratio would make them suitable candidates for retaining internally generated body heat and tolerating cold environments. Further, as Sean aknoweledges there is an obvious reason why the mammoths were also known as “wooly mammoths.” There are many alternative ways for solving the same problem such that oil glands and erector muscles may be unnecessary.. Unfortunately these animals are long extinct and we can only speculate (exercise faith, to some a risky proposition) to what extent they were vulnerable to the cold.

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  44. A sudden extreme cold snap is not necessarily related with a cold period causing glaciers to extend down south to Illinois. If all frozen mammoths really died quite exactly at the same time, they all should give the same age when dated with whatever method available. Even if the absolute age was off, the same “radiometric” age for all the mammoths we’re talking about would support your theory.

    Mark

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  45. “These animals didn’t die gradually over time, but suddenly en-mass due to a catastrophically sudden extreme cold snap for which they were clearly not properly adapted to survive.”

    So did the mammoths dies of cold or starvation? Maybe it wasn’t the intolerable cold, perhaps it was too much snowfall that spoiled access to the vegetation they depended on. Unless most or all of the fossils had identifiable food in their mouths or stomachs (I have heard that some did), how could one possibly know?

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  46. @Mark Houston:

    A sudden extreme cold snap is not necessarily related with a cold period causing glaciers to extend down south to Illinois. If all frozen mammoths really died quite exactly at the same time, they all should give the same age when dated with whatever method available. Even if the absolute age was off, the same “radiometric” age for all the mammoths we’re talking about would support your theory.

    Obviously, given several hundred years of time before extinction, all mammoths didn’t die at the same time. However, there was a sudden extinction event that killed millions of them at or very near the same time, resulting in extinction.

    Beyond this, different parts of the same creature have produced very different radiocarbon dates…

    Musk ox muscle was dated at 24,000 years, but hair was dated at 17,000 years. Corrected dates bring the difference in age approximately within the life span of an ox. With sloth cave dung, standard carbon dates of the lower layers suggested less than 2 pellets per year were produced by the sloths. Correcting the dates increased the number to a more realistic 1.4 per day.

    R.H. Brown, ‘Correlation of C-14 Age with Real Time,’ Creation Research Society Quarterly, 29:45-47, 1992.

    See also:

    http://www.grisda.org/origins/17056.htm

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  47. @Geanna Dane:

    So did the mammoths dies of cold or starvation? Maybe it wasn’t the intolerable cold, perhaps it was too much snowfall that spoiled access to the vegetation they depended on. Unless most or all of the fossils had identifiable food in their mouths or stomachs (I have heard that some did), how could one possibly know?

    It really doesn’t matter if they died directly because of the cold or indirectly because of starvation (though I favor the former idea). Either way, the evidence suggests that they, along with millions of other types of animals, died out very suddenly in line with a sudden global cold snap. That’s the key point here. The cold snap would result in a rapid decrease in the ocean’s water level, resulting in an opportunity to dry out the Mediterranean basin…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  48. One of the best monographs on the ice age that followed the great flood is Oard, Michael, “An ice age caused by the Genesis Flood,” (you can buy it on-line). He not only shows that it is scientifically impossible for an ice age to just happen due to any known fluctuation over any long time period, but show that the flood would have set the earth up perfectly for an ice age. However, it was not the flawed idea that the entire earth became an ice cube. Rather, it was only in high altitudes and in high latitudes. The oceans, including the arctic, were hot which caused very high precip. The mammoths could thrive in Siberia because the arctic ocean was not iced over. However, after many years the oceans cooled off and then the arctic iced over. At that point the climate in Siberia drastically changed and Mammoths could not survive.

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  49. So…ice ages are scientifically impossible and therefore could only result from a global supernatural flood. The arctic seas became hot which caused very high precipitation. Then an extreme cold spell came along that made an iceberg out of high elevations and high altitudes, decreased the ocean sea level and dried out the Mediterannean basin. I assume these explanations fit within the 1000 gsaar threshold (geologically supportable argumentative age reasoning) of explanatory complexity, because if they exceeded this threshold they would require trillions upon trillions of years to be true.. Sounds good to me.

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  50. @Geanna Dane:

    So…ice ages are scientifically impossible and therefore could only result from a global supernatural flood. The arctic seas became hot which caused very high precipitation. Then an extreme cold spell came along that made an iceberg out of high elevations and high altitudes, decreased the ocean sea level and dried out the Mediterranean basin. I assume these explanations fit within the 1000 gsaar threshold (geologically supportable argumentative age reasoning) of explanatory complexity

    Ice ages are not scientifically impossible. They are certainly consistent with a global catastrophe that involved massive volcanic activity. And, massive meteor impacts may indeed have provided the sudden release of the huge quantities of energy needed to produce the initial catastrophe on a global scale. Also, it is well-known that ice ages would indeed reduce ocean levels quite dramatically – easily below the level needed to maintain water in the Mediterranean basin (which is known to have been dry during the last major ice age).

    I fail to see what it is about this scenario that you find so “complex” and unbelievable given the starting premise of a sudden massive release of energy on this planet?… What would you expect to happen? Orderly weather as usual? The whole surface of the planet was broken up by the massive impact that set the whole catastrophe in motion… the aftershocks of which we are still feeling to this day.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  51. I fail to understand how anyone believing in the “Big Bang” would have trouble believing in subsequent catastrophic events. For that matter, anyone believing in the random beneficial mutation of the genome (what are the odds?) should not have any trouble with an ice age. It seems that such an event would actually give Darwinists a point in time by which to test their “survival of the fittest” ideology, and would certainly explain the mass extinction of certain species.

    Mt. Saint Helens taught us a lot about how rapidly things happen during and following a natural catastrophe. It certainly proved how things assumed to require millions of years could occur in a matter of days. So, what exactly is the evolutionists’ problem with said ice age? Are they just afraid that their house of cards will get toppled if they open their eyes to real evidence?

    Erik

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  52. Um, I think the evolutionists are the ones who informed us about ice ages. They have given us more information about ice ages than creationists have and nothing, I repeat nothing, is going to change that. They have no problem with ice ages whatsoever.

    What is it with Adventists suddenly talking a lot about Las Vegas, card games, houses of cards, gambling and betting? I’m bewildered.

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  53. @Geanna Dane:

    Um, I think the evolutionists are the ones who informed us about ice ages.

    You’re mistaken. Evolutionists were not the first ones to propose ice age theories – theories which were around well before Darwin published Origins in 1859.

    For example, Andrew Ure (1778-1857) was one of the top chemists of his day with an international reputation as a meticulous scientist, a prolific writer and an effective teacher. But he was also one of those brilliantly versatile men of science in the early 19th century. In 1829 he published A New System of Geology in which he proposed some new theoretical ideas for the reconstruction of earth history, one of which was one of the earliest conceptions of an ice age, which he speculated would have resulted from the Flood. One of the author’s he quoted was Jens Esmark (1763-1839)

    Jens Esmark also argued a sequence of worldwide ice ages well before Darwin. In a paper published in 1824, Esmark proposed changes in climate as the cause of those glaciations. He attempted to show that they originated from changes in the Earth’s orbit. Adding to Esmark’s work, Bernhardi, in a 1932 paper, speculated about former polar ice caps reaching as far as the temperate zones around the globe.

    http://creation.com/british-scriptural-geologists-in-the-first-half-of-the-nineteenth-century-part-4
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jens_Esmark

    They have given us more information about ice ages than creationists have and nothing, I repeat nothing, is going to change that. They have no problem with ice ages whatsoever.

    They have no problem with ice ages, true. But, they do have a definite problem with the idea of very rapid, even catastrophically sudden, formation and regression. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that scientists began to realize that glacial melts can happen many times more rapidly than they tought possible just 10 years ago – to include the melting of Greenland’s ice-cap as well as the Antarctic ice. No one thought that such rapid melting could ever happen as rapidly as it is taking place today.

    http://www.DetectingDesign.com/AncientIce.html

    What is it with Adventists suddenly talking a lot about Las Vegas, card games, houses of cards, gambling and betting? I’m bewildered.

    It is often a very good way to get important statistical concepts across to those people who don’t usually deal with numbers and the scientific usefulness of statistical odds analysis… like you ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  54. Geanna

    It would sure be nice to deal with people who would educate themselves about the opposite side [edit]. There is no way one can give full account of a position in places like this. Go read Oard’s book and then come back. You’ll then have a knowledge base to work with.

    I am well educated on the evolutionary side as a student of paleontology at the local University. I know the evolutionary viewpoint inside and out. I’ve also read many of the latest anti-creationist books and articles.

    I recommend that you be as well educated on the creationist side by reading current creationist publications. Keep up with CRSQ, Answers On-line Journal, Creation Journal, and books published within the last 10 years.

    If you don’t have the time or inclination, it will be harder for you to effectively present your case. [selective editing]

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