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God, Life, origins

More Twitter Debating

I should come up with a name for these types of posts.  The kind of post where I am essentially trying to get a full thought out rather than responding to a half dozen people at the same time with each one of them responding 2 or three times before I even get the complete thought out in 2 or more tweets.  Perhaps this isn’t the best way to do it.  It is however the best way to get my thoughts out.  Not that other people care.  They’ll barely read what you wrote or just skim it in an attempt to pretend to debunk what you wrote.  Well let me start then.  I’m just going to go post by post (well not entirely, I’m skipping some, how many dozens of tweets do I have to respond to before I’m responding).  So I’ll show you a screen grab and then respond to it.


It depends.  Variation does happen.  So I could say yes to that question.  That might not be entirely forthcoming though.  I don’t believe that one type of animal will give rise to an entirely new type of animal.  I see no observable evidence that, for example, an ant, through many successive stages could one day become some other type of creature (perhaps even a mammal).  The second part, that is not as clear in the image is he was responding to talking about what was kept on the ark.  Were there bugs, plants, etc. on the ark?  I’m sure there were some.  However that’s not what Noah was told to house on the ark.  He was told to bring animals that had the “breath of life in their nostrils.”  So all he would have had were mammals, reptiles, birds, etc.  He would not have had to have places for each type of insect.  How did God preserve insects?  I don’t know.  I’ve heard people say that insects could survive the flood fine without being on the ark.  I don’t know if that’s true.  I tend to think that God did something else for them.  Remember we are talking about a non-natural, non-repeatable event.  There are always going to be unanswered questions to a single event that happened in the past unless the individual(s) who caused the event tell you exactly what they did.  Much like if your kid was in the kitchen and a glass cup breaks.  You can discover a lot about the cup breaking without the assistance of your kid.  There will be unanswered questions though unless you ask him/her what happened.  This is the same.  So I don’t have a definitive answer for how all insects, plants, etc. survived the flood.


So this is an attempt to point out problems with my first post.  I see a couple problems with this post.  Most obviously he says I don’t define evolution and then talks about me using the “’micro’ trope.”   Isn’t talking about variation within a species (or microevolution) and what it does, defining at least one facet of evolution?  Secondly why must my post define evolution?  The post is essentially how I am responding to the large number of tweets I get whenever I tweet in response to a particular person.  If it was just me and this person tweeting each other I wouldn’t feel the need to respond in this manner.  But more on that later.


I don’t think I’ve denied speciation anywhere.  Speciation, however, does not prove macroevolution (despite the assentation that it does).  Speciation has been observed to create, for example, different types of canines, but that is all.  They don’t gain new mechanisms.  Some of their existing organs or features vary.  This is not what is required for macroevolution.


This is true, and irrelevant.  I was, in this part of the post, discussing what is and is not an ad hominem attack.  Here’s the definition


In that definition it doesn’t say you have to attack the person you are discussing something with.  It only says that you base your rebuttal on feelings or prejudices.  Often this is in the form of a personal attack on the argument maker’s character.  I then used a hypothetical example.  Unless I’m mistaken that is allowed.  When reading the post, I am discussing the nature of ad hominem, not the specific one she leveled.  So while I could go through my Twitter notifications and clip out the tweet that she made the ad hominem fallacy.  That isn’t entirely relevant though as she admits that she dismisses the argument made based on it coming from a creationist.  That was never really in question.  The question was if that is ad hominem.  She claimed not because she wasn’t addressing me with the fallacy but a third party.  So the question wasn’t if she dismissed the argument because of the person making it but if it was a fallacy because she wasn’t speaking directly to the writer of the article.


This is kind of true, and kind of not.  First of all, I did read some of the link she posted.  There was no actual proof.  But I’d like to discuss the first part of what she wrote.  Yes I do send links to my blog.  But they are not random blogs that I think make points they should read.  They are my responses to the tweets she and other people have made to me.  You may wonder why I write a blog post instead of just tweeting responses.  Well first of all, I get dozens of responses while I’m working.  When I come back there are a number of threads that need responding to (well maybe not need).  If I start responding to tweets directly what will happen (and I know this from experience) is before I finish my second response I will get more tweets responding to my responses (and often times only the first part of the response and getting out any thought in 144 characters that actually has some substance is nearly impossible).   Then I’m trying to keep up with past tweets, and current tweets.  And when I miss some tweets and don’t respond to those, I’m suddenly cherry picking.  So I choose to go through the tweets in a more orderly fashion and get all the responses out at once.  That way the full thought is there and I’m done with all of the existing responses before new ones come in.  If you don’t want a long post to go through, don’t respond with a dozen tweets after I say I’m going back to work.  I assume if you’re tweeting at me you want a response.  That’s what I’m giving you.  If you don’t want to have a back and forth conversation that’s fine.  Don’t pretend you get to decide how I feel it’s best to respond.


I gave this tweet a little more context to make it clear.  I answered the question as to why there are no dinosaurs today for the same reason there are no grizzly bears in California.  For the same reason there are no more Tasmanian Tigers.  Man is good at a lot of things.  There are few things he’s better at than killing other things.


I’m not sure which part of the peppered moth response he has a problem with.  The fact that they faked the pictures (they did) or the fact that there was no net evolution (there wasn’t).  Even if the story and pictures are entirely true.  There are still light peppered moths and dark peppered moths just like there always were.  There is no evolution there.  That’s like claiming that because I have a red haired son and I do not have red hair that he evolved red hair.  No, I have the gene for it, and so does my wife (who has red hair).  That’s not evolution, at least not in the macro sense (I know some people don’t like the terms macro/micro in the context of evolution but I don’t know of a better shorthand for the concepts so I’m going to stick with them).


So I didn’t use those terms in the context of the universe per se.  I said that the universe had a beginning.  Most people acknowledge this.  This isn’t even a concept that Richard Dawkins has a problem with.  I’ve heard him, in a debate with John Lennox, say the universe had a start time and he wasn’t sure how it started (he didn’t seem to care either).  I’m also not sure what he thinks is circular about this idea.  I did also point out that the universe (and time) could not be infinite in its history.  If he can show me how there could be infinite days before today, and still reach today then I’d be interested in seeing that.


I’m not sure where she got the 2 million number for species of animals.  I got my number from two websites.  They can be found here and here.  I’m not familiar with fact monster but their number for mammals matches the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (don’t seem like a creationist organization).  You can see that in these two images.



So if the number of mammals match it is safe to assume they are both pulling from the same data source.  So if you add the non-fish vertebrate animals (which would be what Noah was instructed to bring) you get less than 30K species.  I don’t know what else I can do to show that my numbers are not made up.


I don’t think I ever said they were the same thing.  What I might have said is that atheism requires abiogenesis.  It does so I don’t think that’s controversial.  Either something created life or life came into being through abiogenesis (in which ever form you decide to favor).  If there’s a third option I’d be glad to hear it.


Again a bit more context to this post.  Why wouldn’t they walk on?  Again this is a supernatural, God driven, event.  I recognize that in general those animals wouldn’t get along.  This is not, however, a normative experience.  If, as the story goes, God wanted the animals on the ark, and God is ultimately in control of nature, there is no reason to think they wouldn’t just walk on.  Unless of course you have a preexisting and non-argued anti-supernatural bias.

I won’t quote the “it’s child abuse” tweets that followed these.  The “think of the children” type emotional appeal fallacy (not to mention the un-argued philosophical bias) is just not really worth the time to fully respond to.



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