Bob Ellis opens this posting as:
I used to believe in evolution…until I realized it was 5% science wrapped in 95% conjecture and guesswork masquerading as “fact.”
The whole bogus article is here.
My reply which will almost certainly be binned as Ellis has a habit of doing with people he cannot best (Freedom of Speech only seems to go one way: his) follows below.
Hi Bob, perhaps you would be good enough to explain in more detail where you get your figures of: "5% science wrapped in 95% conjecture and guesswork masquerading as “fact.”"
I would agree that evolutionary biology doesn't know everything, but 95% seems very definite figure. The accompanying picture and video (for instance) lists a bunch of things that have precisely nothing to do with biology - creation of the universe, how, when and why the solar system formed are just four examples.
How the first life came about (in scientific terms) is called abiogenesis and that's only loosely connected with biology; it is more often associated with biochemistry. As is the development of RNA and DNA into life.
We know the age of the Earth very accurately; we know the age of the universe to within a few 10s of thousands of years too. We know how the solar system cam about and we know why water is the way it is only on Earth and no other planets in our system...
None of these things are guesses - they have excellent and verifiable scientific proofs. And again, not one of these examples belongs under Neo-Darwinian evolution. The video above about sexuality is almost 100% wrong, too.
It proves that the writer was ignorant of the entire subject and has tied evolution up with astrophysics, geophysics, developmental biology and probably a whole bunch of other disciplines I could and would be happy answer most of these questions - but I'm guessing you wouldn't believe me.
I admire anyone who doesn't agree with accepted science - that's a valid perspective, but you can only do this if you know all the facts.
Ellis knows me of old - so that will go against me - others may want to attempt to get a published response, but don't hold your breath. Ordinarily, I don't bother with this ultra-conservative excuse for a human, but that was just too bloody much.
======= UPDATE ======
OK, I've lost it this time! ;-)
This time he's going to have to put up or shut up because he won't silence me and I'll be damned if he's going to force his sh*t down the throats of good people.
The kicker is at the end and it's aimed right for his (enormous) ego. I do hope he takes up the challenge - but if he does not, we can hold him up as a lying, deluded coward.
Bob, thank you for patience, I will admit that mine is about at an end.
In the interests of transparency, I note that you are a professional author - or journalist, perhaps? I don't make much of a distinction - but I have worked as both.
I have much to discuss with you and defend the remarks I have made; in the face of blinding ignorance and perfunctory rudeness with which you defend your scientifically untenable position.
For instance, I didn't imply gravity is responsible for the formation of stars - I SAID IT WAS.
We don't really know what causes gravity (yet) the best theories lie in the realm of quantum physics that are above my pay grade.
You say (I've edited the sarcasm for brevity): "How does disorganized matter attain enough mass to cause enough gravity to organize the matter into a solid form?"
I'm sorry Bob, but you're exposing your ignorant hatred very well here. You simply don't understand the most basic idea of gravity, do you? You think you do, but if you bothered to learn from people who know about this stuff (Newton was a creationist, as I have pointed out before) you would know that every single atom - even a single atom of hydrogen has mass - so it has gravity. It's so simply my seven year old daughter gets it!
That's how. Gravity may be weak but its range is tremendous - how the hell do you think the most distant planet (now Neptune as pluto got demoted) keeps its perfect orbit around the sun? Do you really believe that it's held there with supernatural string?
It's about 2.8 billion miles away in your money. Yet gravity packs such a punch that it is unable to get away. Our entire galaxy orbits a supermassive black hole at its center: and that's light years away - the entire thing is 100,000 light years across; and yet every piece in the wonderful cosmic dance is held together by the weakest force in nature.
You knowledge of the scientific method is so blinded by your belief that it's turning you into a fascist denier.
Much of what you claim is based on pure ignorance buoyed by your own self-belief that you have all the answers.
You know why I don't comment on your political posts? Here's a clue - because know less about the American political system than you know about neo-Darwinian evolution. Which by your version essentially means that I know volumes.
The funny thing is; no properly qualified scientist I know - and I know a fair number - would ever claim to know everything. Science is constantly reexamining what we know.
Now, I guess you must be pretty fed up of my battering you with questions and demanding reasoned answers - which you have so far refuse to give - so here's an idea.
As you'll have noticed I post all of these comments to my Facebook account for all to see: so even if you chose to exercise your right to not post these, they can be read anyway. As it is, I just don't know how many reasoned responses from other writer you have binned.
So here's something for you to consider. We take this discussion fully public - where no one has the option to delete anything just because they can't get their head around it.
You have two options (this post will appear on Facebook and elsewhere in time).
You come out from behind that censor wall and debate with the scientists, atheists and everyone else including believers in a level playing field.
You can, of course, delete this remark from AC, as is you're stated right and pretend the glove was never thrown.
But then how does that make you look?
Think hard about that one.
I'd say that would make you look like a coward - and as much as disagree with you, I don't think you're a coward.
Which is it?
just checked and your comment is up.
I disagree with you on Wikipedia. Yes, there is sometimes inaccurate information in it, but then there is also inaccurate information in published physical encyclopedias. I wonder if anyone has studied the reliability of Wikipedia compared to other sources...
Wikipedia is no academic source, but it's a good starting point for learning about something.
Here is something (from Wikipedia, pardon the biased source) about its own reliabilty:
"In December 2005, the journal Nature conducted a single-blind study comparing the accuracy of a sample of articles from Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica. The sample included 42 articles on scientific topics, including biographies of well-known scientists. The articles were compared for accuracy by academic reviewers who remained anonymous − a customary practice for journal article reviews. Based on their review, the average Wikipedia article contained 4 errors or omissions; the average Britannica article, 3. Only 4 serious errors were found in Wikipedia, and 4 in Encyclopædia Britannica. The study concluded: "Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries", although Wikipedia's articles were often 'poorly structured'."
One good thing about Wikipedia is that you can look to their sources to learn more on the topic.
In any case, I was simply using Wikipedia's terminology to describe a difference that i saw between kinds of atheists.
Well, obviously if we don't know the answer, the solution is to make something up. I mean, that's so much more reasonable than accepting that you don't know everything and trying to figure it out. Why bother? The Invisible Bearded Sky Wizard did it.
Did you know that we don't know how it is that the first female and male just happened to appear at the same time with all of their reproductive systems in place and functioning perfectly?
Well, ya see, Bobby, they kinda didn't. The idea that anything just appeared in its current form is one of your made up stories, not one of ours.
And then the idea that science (using evolution in this case isn't actually accurate) has no explanation for why so much life on earth reproduces sexually is preposterous as well. Sure science does have an explanation for that--a common ancestor. If we all came from the same starting point way far back on the evolutionary tree, it makes perfect sense that we'd have significant similarities.
Did you know that religion has no explanation for the similarities in our biology? What, God wasn't feeling particularly creative so he just reused the same stuff?
No fossil evidence of one organism evolving into another? We have warehouses FULL of evidence!
That video is just amazingly ridiculous. Evolution covers one thing--how things evolve. It does not cover the origin of life or how matter came into existence.
Sadly, he says that he used to 'believe in' evolution - but we don't want to believe in anything (and I'm not trying to get into a discussion about knowledge, etc.). Simply saying that we should want reasonable evidence for our assertions, and bigger claims require bigger evidence. If you tell me it's raining outside, I'll take my umbrella without checking the weather, but if you say that the world will end in 2012 so I should give you my money, then I want much more evidence along with disconfirming information. Belief as he describes it has nothing to do with this topic, or the scientific method. It is a waste of time and not worth our effort.
Personally, I can't see how someone could go from an informed atheist perspective to a religious perspective. I could see how it's possible if you just weren't raised believing in a God but also don't understand enough about science to see that religion is an unnecessary fantasy. But then, I wouldn't necessarily call that atheism, maybe more like nontheism?
Ironically you are just proving that you would be considered an atheist by your own definition, since to understand science you need to understand basic logic. May I recommend you look u the "no true Scotsman" fallacy?
Susan, I think you might want to reread my post, because I'm not sure how your post relates to mine.
Then by all means explain it to me.
"Ironically you are just proving that you would be considered an atheist by your own definition"
I never said otherwise.
"May I recommend you look u the "no true Scotsman" fallacy?"
I am fairly well versed in logic and I know the fallacy. Please explain how you believe that I've committed it.