The Talk.Origins Archive

Posts of the Month for 2009

January: Astronomy shows that science is reproducible outside the laboratory
Tom Bridgman demonstrates that the models and theories we construct from astronomical observations can be confirmed or falsified by testing the predictions they make. When we fail to see the predicted results new scientific discoveries can result.
February: Is present human diversity possible if only eight people survived Noah's flood?
Lenny Flank shows that any model a creationist may propose to explain how present human diversity arose from an original population of eight less than five thousand years ago leads to absurdity.
March: Did evolution make Darwin a racist?
John Wilkins argues that Darwin's very limited racism contradicted the theory he formulated and was due to nineteenth century english culture, including the lack of key distinctions that prevented him from being able to separate nature from nurture.
April: Does what we know limit what we may say about the unknown?
Jim Willemin, in a discussion of earth's origins, explains to a creationist, who wants to fill in his knowledge gaps with whatever suits his fancy, that theories about the past must be consistent with what we know.
May: Does evolution follow a path both straight and wide?
David Dryden argues that many paths lead to a few possible protein functions. This undercuts those creationist complexity arguments which require the existence of an astronomically large number of possible (mostly useless) protein types, only a tiny fraction of which could have been tested or reached by evolutionary processes since earth formed.
June: Does Dembski's process for detecting Intelligent Design work in the real world?
Burkhard describes what happens when the principles used by William Dembski for detecting Intelligent Design are applied to real world life and death problems.
July: Is the Scientific Method the only source of reliable knowledge?
Garamond Lethe takes a stand against Scienticism, presenting an example of rational thought outside of science.
August: A visit to AIG's Creation Museum.
Ron Okimoto describes the triumph of faith over physical evidence, including T-Rex as a vegetarian and hyper-fast evolution, all under the watchful gaze of armed guards.
October: Can Biblical "kinds" have a clear technical meaning?
John Wilkins, explains that "species" has been given an explicit technical meaning within various professional fields, while "kind", like the Hebrew "miyn", is a vernacular term that can refer to any ad hoc collection or grouping.
November: I've escaped - Where to go from here?
A new poster, apparently overcome by the conflict between strict fundamentalist dogma and demonstrable reality throws religious faith out completely, and asks for advice on how to bring his friends along.
December: Two Seekers of Truth
Brenda Nelson explains to George, who believes that revelation is the only route to certain truth, that science is a better way because there are clear procedures for distinguishing its results from those of an active case of schizophrenia.

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