Sep 102005
 

There are some pests which IDists are dealing with at a another discussion board known as ARN.

One of the members there is a real pest. He goes by the pseudoname, Pixie (that’s right, this guy chose to identify himself with a species of fairy). He epitomizes the “derail, misrepresent, spam and jam” tactics of Darwinists trying to disrupt the valiant work of IDists trying to communicate and educate the interested readers.

I decided to post here at Teleological.org in the hopes of having a place where IDists can be free from tactics of critics like Pixie. Also, I hope my presence here will draw more web traffic, and I hope to soon give some exculsive news on the developing Caroline Crocker saga.

When the ARN discussion board began in 2000, it was flooded with Darwinists. In the good ole’ days, it was 100 Darwinists to 1 semi-IDist by the name of DNAunion. Things have changed over yonder at ARN.

People like Teleologist, Mike Gene, myself saw many battles over that discussion board. The complexion of that board has completely changed since those early days.

The Darwinists have been giving ground in general, not just at ARN. In 2000, ID was obscure, but now even the President of United States has endorsed it’s teaching, and this is paralleled by so much of ID’s advance into the mainstream culture. This general change in the culture has been reflected by the much stronger participation by IDist at ARN. I would also like to publicly express my thanks to the ARN management.

However the remaing crtics of ID don’t go down without a fight. They insist on being entitled to spam and jam discussion with garbage. I’ve been falsely accused of not facing them, not true. You can see their cowardly response to my debate challenges last year:
My Challenge to My Critics and Their Cowardly Response

They want to attack in Wolfpacks and in I describe in Defeating Wolfpacks how to defeat them. They are too chicken to take me on, one-on-one.

Pixie accuses me of not being able to handle his comments. Readers know I’ve been quite successful at dealing with Pixie’s comments and have dispensed with several critics who never came back to ARN after being soundly defeated in debate.

Pixie writes at ARN in:
The Tree of Life (or lack thereof)

This is exactly the behaviour I was describing. If you do like how a thread is going, you like to delete. If you are posting rubbish, you make a thread the skeptics cannot post on. Even better, you have your own forum, and you can delete the comments you cannot handle.

I can handle any of your comments, Pixie. I can also handle the excrement of dogs. My unwillingness to handle dog excrement does not imply inability to handle dog excrement, only dislike of the doing so. Same principle applies to your comments.

Salvador Cordova

0 0 vote
Article Rating
97 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Regarding:
http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002502.html

Salvador says “I’ve been quite successful at dealing with Pixie’s comments …”

This has involved:

Deleting the whole thread to “deal” with my comments (no longer permitted at ARN after this came to light)
Setting up “Rule 9” threads I cannot post on (he devised “Rule 9” for this purpose)
Concentrating on one minor point and ignoring the important points (see the thread in question)
Generally just ignoring difficult questions

Salvador says: “He epitomizes the “derail, misrepresent, spam and jam” tactics of Darwinists trying to disrupt the valiant work of IDists trying to communicate and educate the interested readers.” If you read the thread (and I ancourage you to do so), you will see Salvador responds EXCLUSIVELY to the off-topic comments and ignores all my on-topic comments. Why do you think that might be?

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

Hiya Pixie!

Welcome to Teleological.Org. Nice to see you! I’m so glad you’d visit this thread. Let me say, you are free to say what you want on this thread, just remember, there are outsiders reading this, so you may want to temper what you say….

Would you really like to debate about the biotic message of nested hierarchies? We can do it here in this thread.

Again, welcome to teleological. We’re happy to have one of the premeire critics of ID posting here. We hope you’ve enjoyed your visit here, and hope you’ll choose to post through teleolgical the next time you take a flight through the internet.

In any case, I commend you for successfully derailing the Tree of Life thread at ARN. That was an impressive derailment, absolutely. The way you got the thread to wander off topic was phenomenal. I don’t think there is anyway I could get back on topic.

In fact your approach is so effective let me formalize it:

1. Join the thread, say a few things on topic, then fabricate an incriminating sounding accusation against a member and subtly introduce it

2. Get the victim party (like me) to go for the bait and defend his reputation again

3. rinse and repeat

Follow steps 1,2,3 and you’ve got a great strategy for very effective derailment.

Sal

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

“Would you really like to debate about the biotic message of nested hierarchies? We can do it here in this thread.”
The only problem with doing it here is that I do not trust you not to edit my posts. ARN is an ID friendly site; why not there?

“In any case, I commend you for successfully derailing the Tree of Life thread at ARN. That was an impressive derailment, absolutely. The way you got the thread to wander off topic was phenomenal. I don’t think there is anyway I could get back on topic.”
Sure you could. You could answer any of the points I listed. If you think they are wrong, just explain why. Thread back on rail.

teleologist
15 years ago

Welcome Pix. I was thinking of posting on this topic. I guess I’ll wait to see what you have to say first. I am late to the party. Would you please recap for me and the readers here what are the points that you’ve listed? How are they relevant to Darwinian evolution? Thanks.

scordova
15 years ago

The only problem with doing it here is that I do not trust you not to edit my posts. ARN is an ID friendly site; why not there?

I’m promoting this new weblog. The little debate here will help me advertise it some more.

Save what you write here somewhere. That will be proof to you I didn’t change your posts.

Please answer teleologists questions. Thank you.

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Salvador

I really do not find your post reassuring; just becaise I know you have edited my posts, how would I prove that to anyone else if you can quickly delete my protests? With that in mind, I have started a thread at ARN:

http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

teleologist
15 years ago

Pix,

You are being ridiculous. Has he edited or deleted any of your posts so far? How and what could Sal do to your posts without it coming across that you are not engaged in a debate? Lastly, there is no need to edit or delete any of your comments because it is better to let you embarrass yourself. You are defending an untenable Darwinian position.

Is Sal right that the only way you can debate is to have other pest at ARN help you to distract, obfuscate and equivocate out of the issue? It would appear so.

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Teleogist

It is a fact that Salvador would delete whole threads at ARN; seemingly the only thing that stopped that practice was a change to the forum rules. He gives a different reason for why he did, but he surely did it.

On that thread at ARN he said: “See:IDEA club at GMU may get more news coverage for a sample of the new weblog. I’d like to let you know you’re more than welcome to post there, and I’m more than welcome to delete your posts.”
http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002502/p/2.html?

If I am going to have a formal debate with him, I want it not only to be done fairly, but to be done so I can TRUST it to be done fairly. Maybe Salvador would be entirely fair and honest, but given the above I cannot be entirely sure of that. If I win the debate, how can I be sure he will not delete my posts or the whole web page in a year’s time? The only way to be sure is to deprive Salvador of the opportunity by having the debate at ARN (which is an ID forum, so is hardly friendly to me).

You said: “You are defending an untenable Darwinian position.” I think not, and have posted a lengthy text explaining why molecular distances support the tree of life. I am not afraid to debate Salvador; I am afraid to debate him here.

The debate thread, where the Darwinian position is (hopefully) clearly explained:
http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

In that case then, Pixie, please refrain from posting outside of thist thread at teleological unless I give the OK. You may keep posting to this thread, but not other threads at this website.

From here on out, I will moderate threads I start. Posts which I deem useless rehahes will be subject to being moved to a memory hole, or being deleted.

Thanks in advance for you cooperation.

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Teleogist

There you go; Salvador has clearly stated he will delete my posts in certain situations. Is it any surprose I will not debate with him here? If he wants to “play God” here, then so be it. We debate at ARN!

http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

Pixie

teleologist
15 years ago

Well Pix, he stipulated under what condition he would moderate threads. If you are able to debate without useless rehashes then you have nothing to worry about. You claim he can’t be trusted, but from his perspective you can’t be trusted either. You must realize the other side would feel the same way about you right? It would be nice to see you debate here.

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Teleogist

Yes, Salvador stipulated under what condition he would moderate threads – but I do not trust him to restrict himself like that. He might, he might not. And I agree that from his perspective, I cannot be trusted either (not that I have ever deleted threads or threatened to delete posts). So the solution is to debate at ARN, which is as neutral a site as we will find.

scordova
15 years ago

As far as the thread Pixie opened at ARN,
Do molecular distances support the tree of life?

Pixie obviously ignores what I say, and misrepresents it to suit his needs. See what I said here:
CSI detected through Molecular Systematics.

If you think this thread is an argument agaist the “tree of life” then you don’t understand what this thread is about. You may be thinking I’m arguing against the “tree of life” since I’m a creationist, but for the sake of argument I’m granting common descent as a working hypothesis in this thread.

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Salvador

How can my post at ARN about molecular distances misrepresent what you said when I do not indicate what your position is at any point in the two posts? I had supposed that you do not believe molecule distances support common descent. As it sprung from a thread that you had called “The Tree of Life (or lack thereof)”, and you are well known to favour YEC, I kind of felt I was on safe ground. Was I wrong?

Do you believe that common descent is likely? Or do you believe common descent is unlikely, but you accept that the molecular evidence supports common descent anyway? Either way, just state clearly what your position is.

Otherwise, if you believe the molecular evidence does not supports common descent then we can have a debate.

Finally, if you know in your heart molecular evidence supports common descent, but refuse to admit it publicly, you would do best to try to evade commiting yourself one way of the other.

Then there is the issue of “the jewel of perfection”. It would seem to me that you are (also) claiming that the “perfection” in the molecular distances is the product of intelligence, rather than random mutations. If you still make that claim (and please state either way), then again we can debate that issue.

At the end of the day I do not know what you are claiming, and have often found it frustrating at ARN trying to drag it out of you. My opening posts on the debate thread at ARN present MY position (and to give casual readers a good background on the subject too), and should allow you argue against what every part of it you disagree with. I am sure there will be some you agree with. I am equally sure there is some you disagree with.

Pixie

teleologist
15 years ago

Pix, this is what I mean. Sal said nothing about you deleting post at ARN. His point is that you debate with useless rehashes that is not germane to the point. There is no control over at ARN to do that. I have encountered that myself at ARN, which is why I am also over here.

P.S. This is like the debate before the debate between politicians. ๐Ÿ™‚

scordova
15 years ago

Pixie asks: Was I wrong?

The tree of life thread was simply posting some developments. You and that other pest Gary S. Gaulin turned it into a debate about molecular and morphological distances and about accusations about me deleting threads where I’m supposedly losing the debate.

You accused me deleting the biotic message thread. I did not, and I proved it.

As far as former threads which I deleted, I did so because I had the option of doing so at the time. It’s not my fault some of you all didn’t understand the options. And as far as me supposedlylosing the debate, the subject matter was carried on into a featured thread. Little old me against 22 Darwinists. Is that a fair debate. Well, the IDist at ARN know who was left standing at the end of that exchange.

Response to Salvador

Anyway, what’s the point of opening a thread, saying it’s a debate, when both sides are not even arguing over something. I said for the sake of argument, we can assume common descent. The point was to show, common design was implicated, even on the generous assumption of common descent. Apparently, you didn’t get it. We don’t communicate.

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Pixie

” His point is that you debate with useless rehashes that is not germane to the point.”

I thought he was being ironic!

See that thread anbout the tree of life from which this all sprung. Towards the end of page 1 I pointed out that a certain diagram was wrong to use the phrase “morphological distances”, and I even repeated the diagram in my post to make it clear exactly which one I was talking about… And still Salvador replies by talking about another diagram altogether. How much “not germane to the point” can you get? And when this was pointed out, suddenly he decides I am a low priority!

Check out Salvador’s posting habits from about a year ago for spam posting, especially any started by Dembski, where Salvador frequently said how pleased he was that Dembski was posting, then made some off-topic comment that would successfully derail the thread.

“There is no control over at ARN to do that.” Look, at the end of the day I just do not trust Salvador (not because he is a creationist/IDist, but based on past experiences), and I will not debate at a site that he moderates.

Neutral site – great
Pro-ID site – fine
Anti-ID site – I would not expect Salvador to want to debate there
Salvador-moderated site – no way

By the way, are you the say Teleologist who posts at ARN?

Pixie

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Salvador

“You and that other pest Gary S. Gaulin turned it into a debate about molecular and morphological distances …”
But these were issues you brought up; you were (in my opinion) using them erroneously to support the claims of the OP. I was arguing that you were wrong (I made other points too about how the claims of the OP were wrong). That is how a scientific discussion goes. One person proposes a hypothesis, and gives the evidence to support it. The opponents of the hypothesis are then free to point out that evidence is wrong, or that it fails to support the hypothesis, if they believe that to be the case.

You offered a diagram of time against morphological distance, presumably to support your claims. I pointed out that the diagram was fundamentally flawed, and thus implied that it offered no support to your claims. If the issue of morphological distance was not permitted on that thread, why did YOU bring it up?

“… and about accusations about me deleting threads where I’m supposedly losing the debate.”
It is a fact that you deleted threads at ARN, and only a change in the rules stopped you. I made it clear that it was just my opinion that you did it when you were losing (fortunately RBH saved one, so people can judge for themselves).

“You accused me deleting the biotic message thread. I did not, and I proved it.”
I ASKED if you had, knowing that you had been in the habit of doing so. It seemed entirely likely to me at the time. You told me you had not. I accept that

“As far as former threads which I deleted, I did so because I had the option of doing so at the time.”
Your reason for deleting threads was just because you could?

So if I debate you here, where you have the option of deleting my posts, I guess I can assume you will delete my posts “because I had the option of doing so at the time”

“I said for the sake of argument, we can assume common descent.”
Here we go with the evasion. You know very well that molecular distances fully support common descent.

[quote]The point was to show, common design was implicated, even on the generous assumption of common descent.[/quote]
I do not want you to make the “generous assumption of common descent”, I want you to debate what you believe. Do you believe in common descent? If so, have the decency to say so, and not call it a “generous assumption “. If not, then let us debate how and why the molecular evidence supports common descent.

“Apparently, you didn’t get it. We don’t communicate.”
Well if you really want to communicate, you could start by stating clearly if:
* You believe in common descent.
* You believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent

But we both know you cannot answer those questions without getting deeper in the poo-poo.

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

Pixie opined,

“That is how a scientific discussion goes. ”

No, that’s how discussions between IDists and annonymous Darwin Internetists goes. Dembski describes it well for IDists on the net dealing with critics:

“A bright young novice to this debate comes along, makes an otherwise persuasive argument, and finds it immediately shot down. Substantive objections are bypassed. Irrelevancies are stressed. Tables are turned. Misrepresentations abound. One’s competence and expertise are belittled. The novice comes back, reframes the argument, clarifies key points, attempts to answer objections, and encounters the same treatment. The problem is not with the argument but with the context of discourse in which the argument is made. The solution, therefore, is to change the context of discourse.

Hardcore critics who’ve adopted a zero-concession policy toward intelligent design are still worth engaging, but we need to control the terms of engagement. Whenever I engage them, the farthest thing from my mind is to convert them, to win them over, to appeal to their good will, to make my cause seem reasonable in their eyes. We need to set wishful thinking firmly to one side. The point is not to induce a cognitive shift in our critics, but instead to clarify our arguments, to address weaknesses in our own position, to identify areas requiring further work and study, and, perhaps most significantly, to appeal to the undecided middle that is watching this debate and trying to sort through the issues.

Critics and enemies are useful. The point is to use them effectively.”

Both teleologist and I have learned much about how to better present ID to others through the process of discussion on the net. For me, ARN is only meant to be “batting practice” for engaging the public at large. It turns out the internet practice has been valuable and successful at preparing IDists to participate in the public arena. So thank you for the batting practice, it helped refine a message that I used to help get our movement publicity!

Engaging Darwinists on the net is only for practice and getting them to reveal their cards and for amusement. Over time, I’ve learned how you guys do business on the net. Let me describe the typical scenario:

Let me describe the Darwinist debate template:

1. IDist opens the topic

2. Darwinist makes an irrelevant comment, a mis-representation, an ad hominen (veiled or direct), a red-herring.

3. IDists fights to quash all the off-topic nonsense, but in the process only perpetuates the derailment.

4. Sock Puppets join in the fray….

5. Topic Derailed, Darwinists succeed in preventing communication.

There are counter measure tactics to deal with the above template. This weblog is one of them, and Rule 9 is another….

Now, I noticed the uproar over the Sock-Puppet counter measures rule, the infamous Rule 9. It allowed IDists to control the terms of engagement. Readers won’t be forced to sift through your off-topic, confused postings before they get to the insightful comments of the IDists. Now we have supplemented that with weblogs. We now have more effective means of engaging Darwinists on the net.

Cheerio,
Salvador

scordova
15 years ago

“But these were issues you brought up; you were (in my opinion)”

No, look at the first response, it was that pest Gary S. Gaulin (banned by the way after 1 post from ISCID!) bringing up a doctored diagram and erroneous diagram. (What did I say about Darwinist tactics).

I ended up responding to his garbage and the thread was derailed. Well, I could start the thread up under Rule 9 ask that you, Gary, and new members refrain from posting. Nice way to dispense with jamming maneuvers…

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Salvador quotes Dembski about what anti-ID “pests” do. They are all very general; he makes no attempt at anything specific, just tars me with one very broad brush. In contrast, when I asked about his thread deleting activities, I was very specific about what thread, allowing Salvador the opportunity to clear his name (for that thread anyway). I ask that Salvador do me the same curtesy, and if he has any real complains about what I have done on this web page, on the Tree of Life thread, or the debate thread at ARN, I ask that he state exactly what I have done wrong, and give me the opportunity to clear my name as he did. For reference, the accusations are:

1. Substantive objections are bypassed.
2. Irrelevancies are stressed.
3. Tables are turned.
4. Misrepresentations abound.
5. One’s competence and expertise are belittled.

Please, Salvador, try to be as clear as you most possibly can. If you think I have misrepresented you, please state what position I have put upon you and (no chance of this, but I ask anyway) what your real position is. If there are numerous instances, please feel free to restrict yourself to the worst five.

On the other hand, if there are actually no examples of the above five behaviours, then just skip all this, and we will know you were talking about other people.

Dembski says: “The point is not to induce a cognitive shift in our critics, but instead to clarify our arguments, to address weaknesses in our own position, to identify areas requiring further work and study, and, perhaps most significantly, to appeal to the undecided middle that is watching this debate and trying to sort through the issues.”
I applaud this sentiment. Please, Salvador, address the weaknesses in your position (rather than “generously” allowing common descent, accept common descent is true, or debate the evidence for it) and most importantly clarify your arguments.

Salvador: “Let me describe the typical scenario:
Let me describe the Darwinist debate template:
1. IDist opens the topic
2. Darwinist makes an irrelevant comment, a mis-representation, an ad hominen (veiled or direct), a red-herring.
3. IDists fights to quash all the off-topic nonsense, but in the process only perpetuates the derailment.
4. Sock Puppets join in the fray”.
5. Topic Derailed, Darwinists succeed in preventing communication.”

Look at the Tree of Life thread, and see what really happened.
1. IDist opens the topic (OP)
2. Darwinist makes a response (Reply #1)
3. IDist posts an irrelevant or erroneous diagram (Reply #2)
4. Darwinist fights to show why the diagram is nonsense (Reply #3, 5,6,7, 10)
5. IDist focuses on single off-topic comment among numerous on-topic comments, successfully derailing topic (Reply #11)
6. Topic Derailed, IDist succeeds in preventing communication.
7. Darwinist drag thread back on topic (Reply #25)
8. IDist cites paper that, if he had read he would know does not support his case (Reply #26)
9. IDist continues to evade the issues raised (Reply #31)
10. IDist complains on other thread/site about Sock Puppets (above)

Actually, that is fairly standard. Sadly Dembski’s ideal of clarifying points, addressing weaknesses just does not happen.

“No, look at the first response, it was that pest Gary S. Gaulin (banned by the way after 1 post from ISCID!) bringing up a doctored diagram and erroneous diagram. (What did I say about Darwinist tactics).”
That is just not true. Gary S. Gaulin produced a diagram showing the tree of life that does NOT mention morphological distances, and is a good summary of the situation as described in the paper from the OP (the so-called doctoring is an edit to reflect the findings of the paper). Salvador’s next post gives a different diagram, that DOES have morphological distances. Salvador, if you want to change your mind about the validity of that diagram then say that on the thread. Otherwise, if you think the diagram is valid and presuming you posted it because it supports your claims, then it is perfectly reasonable to your opponents to point out why it is nonsense.

Still waiting to see if you can answer these questions:
*You believe in common descent.
*You believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

Pixie,

Can you ask me a simple question, one at a time?

Salvador

teleologist
15 years ago

Pix,

You accuse Sal of ignoring the important and difficult questions? Is it related to cytochrome-c? Can you specify just one of those questions? How is it evidence for Darwinian evolution?

BTW, yes I am the same teleologist that posts on ARN. ๐Ÿ˜€

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Salvador

One question:

Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

Pixie asked:

Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?

Personally, no. But I won’t use molecular distances to argue against common descent because it would not be a solid argument. There are better arguments against common descent.

Thus, I said, for the sake of argument, regarding molecular distance, let’s assume common descent true since I don’t think it’s the best argumen against common descent.

Have you figured out yet that my discussion over hierarchies was over design not descent?

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Sure, I could see straight away that you wanted to avoid a debate over whether molecular distances are evidence of common descent – for the simple reason you can think of no counter argument. Thus, you are so keen to make the “generous” concession that common descent is true. What is especially ironic is that if I was to suggest that you believe in common descent I would get accused of misrepresentation. but if you want to misrepresent your own position…

Well, okay then; there are, you claim, better arguments against common descent, but at least we know where we stand. I say molecular distances are evidence for common descent. You say molecular distances are neither evidence for nor evidence against common descent. We have a disagreement, that means we can have a debate.

Perhaps you would like to debate the design inherent in the molecular distances too. That is fine.

Pixie: Molecular distances are good evidence for common descent, but are not evidence for design.

Salvador: Molecular distances are not evidence for common descent, and even if they were then they would be good evidence for design anyway.

The thread awaits, and has been for some days now.

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

What would you like me to say, how about this: “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent if we close our minds like good and faithful closed-minded Darwinists and fail to weigh any other evidence that would resolve the issue.”

But oh, crud, we do have the problem of convergence, the fossil record, the problem of theoretical transitionals (like the common ancestor of protostome and deuterostome for starters, eukaryotic transcription versus prokaryotic transcrion, etc.), irreducible complex structures, abiogenesis, population gentics….. I mean, in the absense of other evidence, sure, you can believe molecular distance supports common ancestry. Heck that’s practically the only thing ye Darwinists appeal to, when perhaps an alternative explanation is in order given the other evidence.

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

I thought we had half an answer then, but no, Salvador has changed his mind… In answer to my question, “Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?” last time around he said “Personally no”, this time he is saying “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent”, but say there is (in his view) a lot of other evidence against common descent.

And herein lies the problem. Take that thread that Salvador deleted. There was one question everyone wanted to know the answer to, but despite numerous posts asking for him to clarify what he believes in, all we got was obfuscating rubbish. Eventually Salvador ran over of obfuscations and deleted the thread. Or look at this on-going thread (http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002514/p/2.html), about the Explanatory Filter, where Salvador complains that Darwinists keep asking the same question over and over again (“Darwinists like to repeat their misrepresentations even after being repeatedly called on them. That is known as Argumentum Ad Nauseam”). The REASON Darwinist keep repeating their misrepresentations, keep asking the same questions is that Salvador is pathologically incapable of giving a straight answer.

Why is that? I think it is because he is too worried about the political implications to actually commit himself. In this case he would like to say “no, molecular distances are NOT good evidence for common descent” (he is a YECer, though even there he is careful not to commit himself), but if he states it clearly like that he will get sucked into a debate he knows he cannot win. So we get the answer that molecular distances are not good evidence AGAINST common descent, and later, well actually molecular distances are SUGGESTIVE of common descent, but there is a lot of other evidence against common descent.

teleologist
15 years ago

Pix wrote: Salvador has changed his mind” In answer to my question, “Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?” last time around he said “Personally no” , this time he is saying “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent” , but say there is (in his view) a lot of other evidence against common descent.

Pix, are you sure that is what Sal said? Did you missed this part of his sentence “if we close our minds like good and faithful closed-minded Darwinists” I don’t see any conflict in what Sal said.

You think molecular distances are good evidence for common descent. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Teleologist

Salvador said: molecular distances are suggestive of common descent if we close our minds like good and faithful closed-minded Darwinists and fail to weigh any other evidence that would resolve the issue

I said, quoting Salvador: “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent” , but say there is (in his view) a lot of other evidence against common descent.

I know Salvador’s words require a kind of mystical reading, but the way I understood it, he was agree that the molecular distances are evidence of common descent, but he was qualifying that by saying that common descent is shown to be wrong (in his view) by so many other things. What is your interpretation? I am still keen to debate with Salvador on this, but even when I ask a simple question about what he believes it takes days to actually get an answer that we all read to have the same meaning. Perhaps Slvador can clarify, but I strongly suspect his next post will muddy the waters further. You have obviously read his posts, what do you think Salvador is saying here; can you tell us in your own words? Or has he confused you too?

Pixie

scordova
15 years ago

Teleologist,

Given what I have said, can tell me what you think my position is on the issues? I’m guessing yes. Is it my failure to communicate, or is Pixie just refusing to understand?

1. What do I personally believe about common descent?

2. Are the reasons I doubt common descent things like:
the problem of convergence, the fossil record, the problem of theoretical transitionals (like the common ancestor of protostome and deuterostome for starters, eukaryotic transcription versus prokaryotic transcrion, etc.), irreducible complex structures, abiogenesis, population genetics

3. Though I disbelieve common descent on account of some of the things listed in #2, I don’t believe molecular distances are a good way to argue against common descent.

thanks,
Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

This is how it goes. I ask a questiopn, Salvador answers three others. There is your failure to communicate. So teleologist, can you answer this one, a slight rehash of my original question for clarity:

4. Ignoring the other possible problems he has with common descent, does Salvador believe molecular distances offer good (or any) evidence for common descent?

scordova
15 years ago

Pixie says, “This is how it goes. I ask a questiopn, Salvador answers three others. ”

Teleologist, Pixie is playing sematic games. To illustrate the tactic:

Pest Asks: “Have you stopped beating you mother yet?”

I could respond with:

1. Yes
2. No
3. I have not beat my mother and am not beating her
4. I point out the suspicious nature of the question

Pest response:

1. You were guilty of beating your mother
2. Your are guilty of still beating your mother
3. You didn’t answer my question
4. You’re disucssing things irrelevant to my question so you can evade debate

rinse and repeat

In regards to molecular distances, consider this. If you drank some really hot tea (say 160 Farenheit) and immediately put a thermometer in your mouth, in the absense of consideration that you drank hot tea, would that be suggestive that you had a fever????

Now, in the absense of all the other considerations, are molecular distances suggestive of common descent. Do you see the parallels and the semantic games being played here??

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

“If you drank some really hot tea (say 160 Farenheit) and immediately put a thermometer in your mouth, in the absense of consideration that you drank hot tea, would that be suggestive that you had a fever????”
Surely the answer is yes, if you had no knowledge of the tea, you would suggest fever as being one possible reason for the high temperature. You would also say recently have a hot drink was an alternative hypothesis, sure. Would you prefer that I phrase it like this:

Are the molecular distances compatible with common descent?

teleologist
15 years ago

Pix, I think Sal’s position on molecular distances, as common descent is pretty clear. He said no it is not good evidence for common descent. I think your confusion might have arisen due to his colorful response. ๐Ÿ˜€

From my reading of both your exchanges here, this is what I think Sal’s position is.
Sal thinks that there are better arguments against common descent and so do I.

His point is that even if you assume common descent is true, molecular distances is still not a good evidence to demonstrate common descent.

Is this your position Sal? Maybe I understand what Sal is saying because we probably have similar positions.

As I’ve said I was thinking of writing a post similar molecular evolution so I am interested in this debate. Why do you think molecular distance is a good evidence for common descent? I don’t. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?

teleologist
15 years ago

Pix, I don’t think that your analogy is a good example of molecular distances and common descent. I think to make your analogy more accurate you have to say you don’t know where the thermometer reading came from. Would you then still say that it is indicative of a fever? This is the problem with molecular distance and its’ relation to common descent.

The Pixie
The Pixie
15 years ago

Teleologist

We have some data, and we are trying to decide how the data fits the competing hypotheses. If the data is compatible with the theory (and is relevant), then it offers evidence for the theory. Sure, the evidence could offer evidence for more than one theory, so would not be good evidence to distinguish between the them.

For the analogy, the data is a high temperature in the mouth. Say we have four hypotheses; a fever, a recent hot drink, wearing a hat and dead. There are some questions to ask:

Is the high temperature compatible with the hypothesis?
Is the high temperature relevant to the hypothesis?
Is the high temperature explained by the hypothesis?

If the answer is yes to all three, then your hypothesis is well supported, but not proven, as there may be other hypotheses that do just as well. In this contrived example, we can eliminate the “dead” hypothesis as not compatible with the data. The “dead” hypothesis has been disproved. We can also eliminate the “hat” hypothesis as not relevant to the data. Unlike the “dead” hypthesis, the “hat” hypothesis is not disproven, it is just not relevant. But the “recent hot drink” and “fever” hypotheses both answer yes to all three questions. The data we have supports both hypotheses, and we must look elsewhere to distinguish between the two.

Perhaps the person states that he has not had a recent hot drink. This new data is not compatible with the “recent hot drink” hypothesis, so that is disproved. The new data is not relevant to the “fever” hypothesis, so we would not say that this data supports the fever hypothesis. However, now we have eliminated the “recent hot drink” hypothesis, we can go back to the early data and hypotheses, and note that only one hypothesis remains.

Then we have the molecular distances data. We have various hypotheses, common descent is the one of interest. The questions are:

Is the molecular distances data compatible with the hypothesis?
Is the molecular distances data relevant to the hypothesis?
Is the molecular distances data explained by the hypothesis?

I believe the answer to all these is yes (see the thread at ARN). It sounds as though Salvador would reluctantly accept that the answer to the first is yes too, as he says he would not use the molecular distances data to argue against common descent. What you you think? What do you think Salvador believes?

Are molecular distances compatible with common descent?

Pixie

teleologist
14 years ago

Pix,

The analogy of the thermometer is that it assumes it came from a mouth. Unless it was observed coming from a mouth then it is only an assumption. All of your competing hypothesis is meaningless based on that assumption.

Similarly if you assume common descent any hypothesis based on common descent would be meaningless. Are there any hypothesis that does not rely on common descent? And please don’t use cladistic because that is bogus.

To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent. Do you know why it is not compatible with common descent? You need to answer these questions first. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates? I have many more questions but you can start with these.

The Pixie
The Pixie
14 years ago

“The analogy of the thermometer is that it assumes it came from a mouth. Unless it was observed coming from a mouth then it is only an assumption. All of your competing hypothesis is meaningless based on that assumption.”

But it is usually the case that we know how data was obtained. We know the molecular distances data comes from comparing cytochrome-c amino acid sequences (among oter places), and if you look back at Salvador’s original scenario, he states “put a thermometer in your mouth”; we know that the high temperature reading comes from the mouth, and we build hypotheses on that basis. If all you have to go on is a thermometer reading of 39.3degC, and no idea what that relates too, then the data is useless.

“Similarly if you assume common descent any hypothesis based on common descent would be meaningless. Are there any hypothesis that does not rely on common descent? And please don’t use cladistic because that is bogus.”

We make the assumption that the paient has a fever, and consider the consequences of that assumption. One consequence is an elevated temperature in the mouth. This is a therefore a prediction of the hypothesis. We look at the evidence; an elevated temperature in the mouth. This is consistent with the prediction, it is compatible with the hypothesis. We note that an ordinary temperature, on the other hand, would not be compatible with the hypothesis, but instead would disprove the hypothesis. We have a prediction that follows logically from the assumption of the hypothesis, a falsifiable prediction at that, and the prediction is shown to be true by the data. The data therefore supports the hypothesis. Of course, it does not prove the hypothesis, as other hypotheses might make the same prediction (such as the “recent hot drink” hypothesis).

“To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent. Do you know why it is not compatible with common descent? You need to answer these questions first. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates? I have many more questions but you can start with these.”
I do not know why you believe molecular distances are not compatible with common descent. How about you just tell me, rather than (rather rudely) demanding answers of me first. If you want to see why I believe molecular distances ARE compatible with common descent, please see this page at ARN, where I go into significant detail, without requiring any IDist first answer any number of loaded questions.
http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html

Do you think Salvador also thinks molecular distances are not compatible with common descent? Or has he failed to make his position clear?

Is there any chance of Salvador answering the question himself?

Pixie

scordova
14 years ago

We had several evo-post Docs appear at the IDEA meeting at Paul Gross school. I told them the molecular clock hypothesis is doomed. They said, “no one believes the molecular clock anymore….”. They practically accused me of using the molecular clock hypothesis as a strawman! lol

If the molecular distances are incompatible with empirically measured mutation rates, then molecular distances are a weak support for common descent at best, and a refutation at worst. The considerations for common descent therefore should be made by examing other lines of evidence.

The early indications are we’re on the verge of a disaster because of the problem of evolutionary convergence at the molecular level! Further the laboratory measured mutation rates are showing indications of not being consistent with prevailing theories (more disasters for evolutionary theory, at some point one wonders if theory that is so malleable is anything more than a just so tautology with promises to provide a future mechanism, just so long as it is naturalistic). My bold prediction is measured rates (which are hard to determine because thay are so slow) will refute prevailing views.

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
14 years ago

That sounds pretty much like a “No, molecular distances are not compatible with common descent” (I admit I am not absolutely sure). So here we have an issue to debate. I say molecular distances are compatible with common descent, Salvador says not. I have stated my case at ARN already.

Just to be clear, I do not advocate molecular clocks; I agree with Salvador’s collegues who suggest this may be a strawman. My posts at ARN explain why a constant mutation rate is not required.

I hope Salvador can offer us “bold predictions” of what science might find in the future…
Pixie

teleologist
14 years ago

Pix, debate it here. We can use the publicity. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve invited you to answer a few of my questions a few times already. Answer my questions and debate it here.

If molecular clock is a strawman then it is a creation of Darwinists. I don’t remember an IDist using molecular clock as evidence for evolution do you?

scordova
14 years ago

Pixie wrote:

I say molecular distances are compatible with common descent, Salvador says not. I have stated my case at ARN already.

I am saying you are framing the discussion from a misleading perspective. Would you say gravity supports or refutes common descent or common design? In similar manner, the molecular distance in and of itself is insufficient to say one way or another, and that is my position. My position is you are framing the discussion incorrectly, the better phrasing is what lines of evidence support or refute common descent, what lines of evidence support common design?

You’ve essentially asked me, “have you stopped beating your mother yet?” You are framing the argument incorrectly. The question should first be, are molecular distances in and of themselves capable of addressing the issue of common descent. If “no”, then it is in appropriate to ask if molecular distances support common descent. As poorly framed as your question was, I tried to provide an answer, any way. Perhaps I would have been better advised to point out why it was not an appropriate question in the first place.

When someone asks, “have you stopped beating your mother yet?” I will respond, the first question to ask is “are you beating your mother?” If the answer is no, then it is logically in appropriate to ask “have you stopped beating your mother yet?”

Pixie is asking framing the debate incorrectly. This seems a standard operating procedure by Internet defenders of Darwin.

Salvador

scordova
14 years ago

Pixie asked:

Shall we try it this way:

Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances (and please do not answer that there are better ways of disproving it — that is irrelevant to this discussion — just can you do with molecular distances)?

Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.

For the sake of the readers, let me clarify my position to you:

Do I believe in special creation? Yes.

Do I believe it can be defended on theoretical and empirical grounds? Yes.

Would I use molecular distances in isolation as an argument? Not at this time.

Why do I discuss molecular distances in the first place? To establish common design, to establish how flawed certain evolutionary assumptions are (like the molecular clock hypothesis), not specifically to refute common descent.

Salvador

The Pixie
The Pixie
14 years ago

“I am saying you are framing the discussion from a misleading perspective. Would you say gravity supports or refutes common descent or common design? In similar manner, the molecular distance in and of itself is insufficient to say one way or another, and that is my position.”
Oh, dear, I thought we had done this to death with the elevated oral temperature analogy.

First of all, please note that I have modified my question; I asked whether molecular distances are COMPATIBLE with common descent (and you quoted that in your last response), and you answered about whether molecular distances SUPPORT with common descent. Is this because you do not read my posts, or you do not understand the difference?

Remember, the “Fever” hypothesis and the “Hat” hypothesis were both compatible with the high temperatuire, but only the “Fever” hypothesis was supported by it. Gravity does not support common descent, but you cannot disprove common descent with gravitry, so gravity is compatible with common descent.

Shall we try it this way:

Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances (and please do not answer that there are better ways of disproving it – that is irrelevant to this discussion – just can you do with molecular distances)?

If not, would you accept that molecular distances are COMPATIBLE with common descent (in the same way that gravity is compatible with common descent)?

Either molecule distances can be used to disprove common descent (and if you believe that we can debate it) or molecular distances are compatible with common descent (and if you agree with that we can discuss what common descent and design predict about molecular distances). I am happy to concede that molecular distances are compatible with any design theory I can think of, by the way.

Pixie

teleologist
14 years ago

Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances

Can you prove common descent using molecular distances?
1. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium?
2. What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?

The Pixie
The Pixie
14 years ago

Salvador

“Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.”
I read that as: As far as you know, you cannot disprove common descent by molecular distances, or, as far as you know, common descent is compatible with common descent.

“Would I use molecular distances in isolation as an argument? Not at this time.
Why do I discuss molecular distances in the first place? To establish common design, to establish how flawed certain evolutionary assumptions are (like the molecular clock hypothesis), not specifically to refute common descent.”
Do you believe molecular distances PROVE common design, SUPPORT common design or are COMPATIBLE with common design (do you appreciate the difference)?

What other evolutionary assumptions do you believe are disproved by molecular distances, other than molecular clock hypothesis (which I also reject) and common descent (which you say you do not know if molecular distances disprove or not)?

Teleologist

I was hoping you would present your reasons for believing you can refute common descent using molecular distances. I am sure Salvador will be interested, as he states above he does not know how to do that himself.

“Can you prove common descent using molecular distances?”
No. Think back to the elevated oral temperature analogy. Can you PROVE a fever from that data? No. All you can say is that the “Fever” hypothesis predicts an elevated temperature, so is supported by the evidence, but you cannot be sure another hypothesis does not predict the same – such as the “Recent Hot Drink” hypothesis.

“Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium?”
No. Can you tell me the name of every extant species?

“What was the mutation rate of each of these species…”
See previous answer.

“… and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?”
I would suppose that life has evolved an optimum mutation rate (or range of mutation rates). Too fast mutation, and too many offspring will die before they are born. Too slow and the species will not be able to change when the environment changes. This supposes some inheritable mechanism(s) that can influence the mutation rate; error correction is one such. The optimum mutation rate will vary from species to species and from situation to situation.

Hopefully now you have these answers we can look forward to your refuting of common descent by molecular distances. Yeah, right.

Pixie

The Pixie
The Pixie
14 years ago

Teleologist

Sorry, just spotted this:

“If molecular clock is a strawman then it is a creation of Darwinists. I don’t remember an IDist using molecular clock as evidence for evolution do you?”
Er, that would be a bit odd, IDists using something as evidence for evolution… We shall see if Salvador tries to use it as evidence against evolution; he has already brought it up twice, and I have stated I reject it twice. A third time, and I think we can safely label it an ID strawman.

Pixie

scordova
14 years ago

I wrote:

“Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.”

Pixie re-words:

I read that as: As far as you know, you cannot disprove common descent by molecular distances, or, as far as you know, common descent is compatible with common descent.

No, Pixie, you are again misrepresenting what I said. You are making an unwarranted extrapolation from my comments.

scordova
14 years ago

Pixie,

You seem to have a pathalogical condition. I call it the “misrepresent what IDist say” (MWIS) syndrome. I afraid I don’t have many cures for that malady. But can you find it in yourself, not to reword what I say, not to draw unwarranted extrapolations from what I say. Here is an exercise for you that I think might alleviate you of some of the symptoms, though I think the root cause of your Malady is that you are a Darwinist, and you suffer from the logic illnesses of DarLogicians (an oxymoron by the way).

Here is the exercise, quote the following of what I say in your next post:

Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.

and then offer an interpretation by simply repeating what I say by cutting and pasting:

Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.

That way you are ensured of not misrepresenting what I way. I would like to see if you can accomplish that little task. If you can’t do that, that is evidence you are still suffering MWIS syndrome, and you have my regrets.