Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Science, Just Science!

I’m sorry I seem to have gotten myself caught up in the Culture Wars. I don’t want this blog to turn into a peeing match, or an insult war. No flames, no insults, or go elsewhere.

I’m much more interested in scientific debate, however. This post is the place to do that.

Ground Rules are “below the fold”.

Here are the ground rules, please don’t make me add more.

1. Sort of like Godwin’s Law, if you insult, you lose and you get banned. I will not tolerate it.

2. This is a science debate about whether evolution or Intelligent Design correctly describes modern humanity. No religion, no politics, no fluff.

3. This is for you to make positive arguments for your case, backed up by science. No attacks on the other side, no critiques even, until I give the OK for rebuttal. POSITIVE EVIDENCE FOR YOUR POSITION ONLY!

4. I am the sole arbiter, and though you may certainly appeal to me any decision you think is unfair, “I think you’re wrong” is not a sufficient argument.

5. One comment at a time. We’ll start with Dave. Dave will make a positive scientific argument for ID. I will then make a comment, and IAMB (Matt, right?) will make his rebuttal. I will then make a comment, and IAMB can make a positive scientific argument for evolution. Everybody see how this is going to work?

6. If someone else would like to make a comment, a positive argument or rebuttal, please comment with just “ahem, rebuttal to Matt”, or “ahem positive evidence”, and I’ll let you know when you can make your comment.

7. Kissing my butt and gratuitous compliments to me are not positive scientific arguments for your position, but they are welcome anyway.


I know this all sounds rather dictatorial, but it’s the only way I can think of to keep this from degenerating into a flame war.

Those are the rules, I’ll add more if they become necessary, but we’re all supposed to be grown-ups, so please don’t make them necessary.


Dave, you’re up first because I believe that Matt took a shot at you personally first, thus making you the first-injured party here.

Filed under: Biology, Fundies, Religion, Science

36 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. blipey says:

    I know I’m not Dave, but I don’t think you’ll get a positive ID argument out of him (or anyone else).

    Over a decade into the movement and nobody has offered a positive argument yet, so why start now.

    I do truly hope he poses an argument, though…it would be interesting to do something besides go over the same boring psuedo-science again and again.

  2. JanieBelle says:

    As I mentioned in my Open Letter to Arden and Bourgeois I have offered the floor to Matt, Arden Chatfield, or Bourgeois_Rage.

    Matt has declined.

    If either Arden or Bourgeois would care to begin, comment with “ahem” and I’ll give you the go ahead.

    Remember the rules, or go play somewhere else.

  3. JanieBelle says:

    In the comments section of my Open Letter to Arden and Bourgeois, Bourdeois has also politely declined the floor.


  4. JanieBelle says:

    Since Arden has apparently not gotten the memo, I am left in a bit of a spot, here.

    However, in my post Public Apology to James I have, by way of apology, given the floor to James, with whom I had a bit of a spat.

    James, the floor is now left to you.

  5. Zachriel says:

    Hi Janiebelle,

    Before any reasonable discussion on science can begin, it’s important to understand the distinction between science and other forms of inquiry. What exactly does it mean to make a scientific assertion?

    The scientific method: hypothesis, prediction, observation, validation, repeat.”

    Next is to define the Theory of Evolution. “Evolution is …. The Theory of Evolution explains ….”

    If the truth matters, and I’m sure you agree it does, then it is important to stand up for that truth. The vast majority of the scientific community and scientific evidence from multiple fields of empirical research strongly support the Theory of Evolution, including the Theory of Common Descent.

    NATIONAL ACADEMY of SCIENCES: “The theory of evolution has become the central unifying concept of biology and is a critical component of many related scientific disciplines. In contrast, the claims of creation science lack empirical support and cannot be meaningfully tested.”

  6. JanieBelle says:

    Since everyone else on the entire planet declined to make the first post in this thread, I went ahead and let zachriel’s comment post.

    I certainly agree that the truth matters, that’s the point of this thread. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

    You make some very good statements and all, but what exactly is your point? What positive evidence are you presenting?

    Give me something to work with, here. “The National Academy of Sciences says so” is not without weight, but it’s not really good evidence for anything.

    Please give me a piece of evidence FOR EVOLUTION, that I can examine and question, and see if I can understand it.

    Salvadore at UD has taken a great deal of time to help me out with one argument for design, and I wish someone here would do the same for evolution.


  7. Zachriel says:

    Hi JanieBelle,

    Sorry I wasn’t clear. Try clicking the links:

    The Scientific Method

    The Theory of Evolution

    Evolution, the change in heritable traits in populations, is directly observed. The Theory of Evolution is a variety of interrelated assertions. One of these assertions is Common Descent which is inferred from a variety of evidence, including the succession of fossils and the nested hierarchy of genomes.

  8. Zachriel says:

    (PS. I am more than willing to take the time. Just start with some basics, then we’ll talk.)

  9. JanieBelle says:

    Hi Zachriel,

    Sorry I haven’t properly welcomed you to my blog. I’ve been a bit frustrated with this whole thing.

    Perhaps it is me who wasn’t clear.

    I really, really, really don’t want “There’s lots of evidence, click here”. I could build a website that says “the moon is made of green cheese” but that doesn’t make it true. “Click here” also isn’t helping me to ask questions, so I can understand.

    What I DO want is for someone to say “XityYityZity proves evolution is true”.

    Then I can say “I don’t understand Xity. Explain it to me.”

    Then, when I get it, I can invite an ID supporter to say “well that would be true, but Yity is a faulty assumption, because blah blah blah”.

    Does anybody get what I’m trying to do here?


  10. Zachriel says:

    Hi JanieBelle,

    I thought I had provided important information to get you started. I hope you at least glanced at the information I provided. There are many lines of evidence, all mutually supporting, from geology to genomics.

    To help you with specifics, let’s start with the succession of fossils. In order to understand that, you have to understand a bit of geology. Strata are layers of sediment laid down one on top of another. Over a long period of time, they turn to rock. Many areas of the world have excellent geological formations, so you can probably see the strata yourself. What is important to realize is that this evidence is independent of geology.

    So now we have strata. In undisturbed strata, the layers on top are obviously newer than the layers below. Geologists call this the Principle of Superposition. Anyway, we know from looking at these strata that organisms have become trapped in the sediments and fossilized within them. And we can put them in relative date order!

    Now, the interesting part. Life long ago is not like life today. There were completely different ecosystems. And, importantly, each new organism is a modification of an organism that came before it. Each new feature is a modification of a feature that came before it. There is a tree of descent. This is the same “nested hierarchy” that is used to determine paternity or for genealogical research.

    This nested hierarchy pattern allows us to make very specific predictions about what will be found in various strata. It also allows us to make very specific predictions about what characteristic of newly discovered species, extant or extinct, might have. It allows us to make very specific predictions about what strata to look in for species with intermediate characteristics.

    It is the ability to make specific empirical predictions that makes the Theory of Evolution a scientific assertion.

    Darwin predicted that there would exist “ape-men”. And many have been found called hominids. When Donald Johanson wanted more evidence, particularly near the root of the divergence of humans and other apes, he mounted an expedition to Africa and looked in specific strata. He found a species with intermediate characteristics. Other scientists recently returned from years spend looking in specific strata in the Arctic and found a species with intermediate characteristics between fish and land tetrapods. Other scientists predicted from genomic evidence that whales and hippos shared a common ancestor. An expedition to the wastelands of Pakistan found the predicted fossils.

    John Horner had loved duck-billed dinosaurs since he was a kid. He wanted to find dinosaur eggs. From other evidence, it was believed that dinosaurs were closely related to birds, and Horner reasoned that they may lay eggs near bodies of water. From geological science, he knew that there was once, at the period of time of interst, an inland sea in the interior of the North American continent. So he want to Montana, looked in the appropropriate strata for dinosaur eggs. He found not just eggs, but baby dinosaurs. Not just babies dinosaurs, but entire nesting colonies. And the babies were toddlers with bones too ill-formed to walk. Siblings were being cared for in the nest! Maisaurus, Good Mother Lizard.

    Lucky guesses?

    This is not secret evidence, or evidence that requires an advanced degree. Fossils can be found in almost all parts of the world, and there are many hobby collectors. And the evidence always supports the succession of fossil life and the nested hierarchy of descent.

  11. Zachriel says:

    I gave you quite a bit there, but that is just a minuscule bit of the available evidence with new discoveries filling scientific journals every day.

    My turn-time on posting is usually every day or so. I will return to answer any questions you might have.

  12. janie:

    I was really hoping to see the positive evidence for design by DaveScot here, but I guess that’s not going to happen.

    I guess you’re looking for a specific piece of evidence. First, let me say that I am not a biologist. I studied engineering, so I am not an authority. The way I’ve learned about this was to read as much as I could about it. I’ve also read the arguments against evolution, and I found them to be unconvincing.

    I’m not going to retype the same old arguments, but I’ll summarize and post a link.

    As someone who enoys writing, maybe you could relate to the similarities of plagiarization in molecular genetics.

    If you copy someone else’s homework, a teacher may get suspicious if two sentences are exactly the same wording. However the teacher may just write it off as similar wording and while improbable, it is possible. However if both you and the person that you copied off of misspelled the same word in an unconventional manner, the teacher will be much more suspicious and would go as far to conclude that plagiarism is involved. You see it is not the similar thoughts, but the similar mistakes that seem to point to out and out copying.

    Now as for molecular genetics, many species can syntesize their own Vitamin C. But humans along with other primates cannot, and they must consume foods with vitamin C in order to get the needed amount (or else they end up with scurvy). In this case sometime in the past a mammialian ancestor’s gene for vitamin C mutated and broke. Now because vitamin C is abundant the ancestor was able to survive by consuming the needed vitamin C, and they pasted it down to their children and so on. So this gene copy, while broken, is still in our DNA.

    So if you are the teacher grading this paper and you find that both these primates and humans (which are also primates) have the same error in their paper (DNA). Your thought as a teacher should be it sure looks like the humans and other primates copied off of each other, especially because the rest of the class got the vitamin C gene right in their DNA.

    In other words, the DNA defect is a sign that says humans are directly related to other primates and the defect shows a strong connection.

    For further reading on this specific example: Click Here

    I hope this is what you were looking for.

  13. Zachriel says:

    bourgeois_rage: “So if you are the teacher grading this paper and you find that both these primates and humans (which are also primates) have the same error in their paper (DNA).

    That’s an excellent example. And it is important to note that there are thousands of such data-points within the genomes which can be read sort of like barcodes and categorized into a nested hierarchy of descent.

    This is why the molecular geneticists agree with the geologists who agree with the biologists about the nature of evolution and common descent.

  14. JanieBelle says:


    Thank you for taking so much time and putting so much effort into your comments. I really do appreciate it, and I promise I will come back to those.


    See, now this is EXACTLY what I want, and you used a good comparison. I like that. It’s something that helps me understand. Simple (and preferably silly) examples work.

    So, about this Vitamin C plagiarism thing. I get that. Now I’m going to look into that later today and get back to you on it. (I just want to verify, please don’t be offended.)

    One last little nit to pick:

    Please stop poking Dave with a stick. It’s only going to incite a flame war on my blog.

    Referencing his not posting in this thread is like spray painting on my notebook. It’s counterproductive. Thanks.

  15. I just want to verify, please don’t be offended.

    I would be more offended if you didn’t try to verify it. There’s a lot of nonsense on the internet and it should all be checked.

    Please stop poking Dave with a stick. It’s only going to incite a flame war on my blog.

    Ok, I won’t bring him up again.

  16. JanieBelle says:

    Just so ya know, I’ve not abandoned this thread.

    Corporal Kate’s just been keeping me, shall we say, a little busy this weekend.

    I’ll come back to it this week, while she’s at work.


  17. JanieBelle says:

    Ok, I’ve not completely abandoned the idea of this thread, but more of the Vitamin C conversation can be found here.

  18. JohnADavison says:

    The fundamental error that the Dawrinians and the Lamaarckians both made and still make is that there is or ever was an external cause for evolution. Such a cause never existed which is why it cannot be identified.

    Phylogeny originated strictly from within those forms still capable of evolution. There is no question that such organisms once existed but there is also no evidence that such creatures still exist. That is what allows me to state with great assurance –

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution indemonstrable.”

    Just as ontogeny occurs strictly through the controlled release of “prescribed” front-loaded information so in the past did phylogeny do the same. Ontogeny is the perfect model for phylogeny. Just as the individual dies when that information is spent so does the species become extinct for exactly the same reason. Both have been preprogrammed from beginning to end by an unknown number of programmers at unknown times and places in the geological column.

    Allelic mutation, sexual reproduction and natural selection are all anti-evolutionary devices and prevent rather than produce organic change. All that selection, natural or artificial has ever accomplished is the production of intraspecifc varieties and, in some few instances, subspecies.

    A new genus has not appeared in two million years and a new true species not in historical times. Chance also had absolutely nothing to do with either progressive evolution or ontogeny just as Leo Berg claimed long ago

    “Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance.”
    Nomogenesis. page 134

    Darwinism is nothing but 147 years of uninterrupted mass hysteria perpetuated by “prescribed” ultra liberally irreversible mentalities that are congenitally incapable of realizing that everything in the universe was determined long ago.

    “Everything is determined… by forces over which we have no control.”
    Albert Einstein

    How do you like them apples?

  19. JanieBelle says:

    Wow, Davison. That’s a lot of statements without much to back them up.

    I’d ask you to walk me through your position, the way the evolution supporters and the ID supporters are doing, but…

    You made that up. C’mon, tell the truth, you’re just yanking my chain.

  20. JohnADavison says:


    I can’t walk you through it all but I can assure you that I am entirely sincere. Punch in “Davison” and “evolution” in Google and you will find my published papers, the most recent of which is “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis.” Much of my work has been discussed at length at ISCID’s “brainstorms” forum as well. I have done little more than to extend the views of my several distinguished predecessors to a logical and formal conclusion. As far as I am concerned both the Fundamemtalist Creationists and the Darwinians are dead wrong. Both factions act as if they never had any critics. There are sins of omission as well as of commission. The Darwinians especially are masters of both. Both factions live in mortal fear of me and my sources although they will never admit it. If you don’t believe it just watch!

    I hope this helps.

    “Darwinians of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your natural selection.”
    after Karl Marx

    “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  21. JanieBelle says:

    I showed Janie some of your stuff last night, John, in between connection down times.

    Feel free to stick to the lighter topics.


  22. JohnADavison says:

    I tried to but was deleted. Because I are a bonehead. It really doesn’t matter anyway. I am a raving loon who does this sort of thing for amusement only. If no one wants to have their nose picked that is fine with me.

    I love my peepee so!

    Fixed that for you John.–Kate

  23. JanieBelle says:

    You were deleted because you were being a butthead.

    Enlightenment doesn’t seem to be your goal, rather antagonizing Dave does.

    Buh bye.


  24. JanieBelle says:

    I am a published scientist…

    Which issue of The Amazing Spiderman was that?

  25. JohnADavison says:

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. JanieBelle says:


    In the “Mom, Please Don’t Read This” thread, you said…

    You run a great little flamepit here. Remind me not to post here again.

    Consider yourself reminded.


  27. DaveScot says:

    butchwads rage et al,

    I’ve written probably a million words on evolution and intelligent design. I don’t have a thing new to say on the matter and I don’t feel like indulging you or anyone else by repeating myself here. You want to know what I have to say on the subject? Google

    davescot site: pandasthumb.com


    davescot site:uncommondescent.com

    Thanks in advance for not trying to bother me again on this subject. To be blunt, I’m burnt the fuck out on it and would sooner stick needles in my eyes than write another word about it.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Davison is the purest form of crank.

    someone who used to have a scientific mind, but lost it completelY (and literally).

    in Davison’s case, he had some sort of mental breakdown in the mid 80’s, whereupon his university immediately revoked his teaching privileges, and granted him emeritus status (IOW, they quickly retired him). He’s had a rather “colorful” history since then; even tried to run for governor once, IIRC.

    Davison’s PEH is ranked “crankiest” over on crank.net in the evolution section for good reason.

    Of course that meant Revista di Biologia published it without revision as soon as he gave it to them.

    Getting rid of him can only make sense; he never spouts anything but hate and inanity these days.


  29. JohnADavison says:

    I am an idiot and a masochist.

    I love it so when Janie and Kate make me look stupider than I am.

    It’s a tough job for them

    John A. Davison

  30. JanieBelle says:

    Are you starting to get the subtle hint, Davison?

  31. JanieBelle says:

    Ok, I think Dave’s made his position and his response perfectly clear. If you wish to engage him on other topics, feel free. With civility. No flame wars unless Hurricane Jane starts them.

    Dave’s welcome here, same as anybody else. Treat others well, we’ll treat you well. Be an ass, wind up like Davison.

    Any questions?


  32. blipey says:

    I would like to take this moment to thank DaveScot for his dogged, unwavering, constant, and complete contributions to the positive evidence for ID on this thread and others at UDoJ.

    It seems he is back at home with his censorious friends and comrades at UD. God be with him and in him and around him and especially in, with, and around his science. Even though he is agnostic….

    Go Dave!

    p.s. just replace the words “contributions to” with the words “avoidances of” in the first paragragh.

  33. […] So I’m looking into this broken Vitamin C gene because of Bourgeois Rage’s comments on The Science Thread. Yes, I’m aware I’m breaking my own rules. My Blog, My Rules, My Prerogative, Behold the Door. […]

  34. […] Since Dave has been rather busy lately, I will surrender the floor to Matt, or to either of you two gentlemen to speak first. You can decide between you, and whoever gives the first “ahem” in the science thread gets the floor in the Science Thread. […]

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