Self-Published Genius #42: Darwin Dissenter

We have another addition to our series about Self-Published Geniuses, where we bring you news of authors with a vanity press book in which the author claims to have made paradigm-shattering discoveries, and announces his work by hiring a press release service.

This author’s press release is titled New Book Doubts Darwin on ‘Darwin Day’. It was issued by Christian Newswire, which describes itself as “the most effective way to get your press release into the hands of reporters and news producers.”

In addition to the press release, we need more to confirm that the book qualifies for our collection. Was it published by a vanity press? It seems so. Although the press release doesn’t disclose that information, we learned at Amazon that the publisher is something called Athanatos Publishing Group. Their website says:

Author should be able to establish that there is a high likelihood that on his own efforts alone he will be able to sell 300-500 books within an 18 month period. (Ie, a pastor with a congregation, a professor assigning the book to his students, an average joe with a mailing list of 500 names, etc). Also, while some marketing will be provided, including press releases and web page construction, the author should plan on rolling up his sleeves to promote his own book. In fact, the willingness to promote one’s own book is a huge factor in our decision making process.

[…]

At this time, there are no advances or stipends available.

As mentioned above, we have a hybrid approach to publishing. The era of the self-publisher is upon us and traditional publishing houses haven’t kept up very well. The way things were done in the past will probably give way to a new model into the future.

Okay — we’ve got a vanity press book and we’ve got the author’s press release. Let’s find out what it says, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

February 12th is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, but not everyone agrees ‘Darwin Day’ lives up to the hype. Charles Darwin is known for his theory, along with Alfred Russel Wallace, that natural selection could account for all of the biological diversity observed on the planet. It was quickly seen as finally answering William Paley’s argument from design, put forward in his book, “Natural Theology.”

What kind of book-selling press release is this? It sounds like a Discovery Institute blog article. Ah well, let’s keep going:

But Darwinism’s grip has loosened considerably, and not just for philosophical and theological reasons. Science itself conspires against it, and scientists themselves are increasingly willing to rethink it. One hundred and fifty years later, evolutionary biologists are writing, “There are winds of change in evolutionary biology . . . Many biologists feel that the foundations of the evolutionary paradigm . . . are crumbling.”

This is definitely Discoveroid material. Let’s read on:

One of those scientists is Dr. Wayne Rossiter, an assistant professor of biology at Waynesburg University. Rossiter is willing to give Darwin his due, but in the course of his own work, he has learned that there are questions that Darwinism can’t answer, and that the science at the frontiers of evolution biology might well be suggesting a view of life more akin to Paley’s, than Darwin’s.

Whoa — hold on! We remember the name Wayne Rossiter. Where was it? Oh yeah — it was in a Discoveroid blog article — from a couple of months ago — one of the last written by Casey: In Shadow of Oz, Biologist Wayne Rossiter Critiques Theistic Evolution. Casey was gushing about another of Rossiter’s books.

Just for fun, we checked the Discoveroids’ list of signers to their Dissent from Darwinism. Yup — Rossiter is on the list.

All right, we know what we’re dealing with. The press release continues:

As others are celebrating ‘Darwin Day,’ Rossiter and his brother, Brian Rossiter (whose background is in theology), are challenging its foundations, releasing a book titled Mind Over Matter: The Necessity of Metaphysics in a Material World.

This is the book at Amazon: Mind Over Matter: The Necessity of Metaphysics in a Material World. There are no reviews yet. Hey — it’s only $9.00 in paperback!

Here’s one last excerpt from the press release:

The Rossiters confront the belief that every aspect of life can be reduced to purely naturalistic causes and provide a guide for those defending the proposition that “belief in transcendent intelligence is not only rational, but is completely consistent” with the world as we encounter it.

Well, dear reader — what are you waiting for?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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59 responses to “Self-Published Genius #42: Darwin Dissenter

  1. Derek Freyberg

    The Curmudgeon says “Well, dear reader — what are you waiting for?”

    A better way to spend $9.00.
    The excellent burrito (fresh-made from the neighborhood Mexican supermarket) that I had for lunch only cost $8.00, so I’m ahead of the game.

  2. Holding The Line In Florida

    I think a 6 pack of Sam Adams would be a better way of spending my money. Heck have enough left over for a bag of pork skins! A much better deal.

  3. michaelfugate

    What do you know, Waynesburg is a Christian college – imagine that!

  4. Wow… from the Chemistry course catalog…

    “CHE 475. Advanced Faith and Learning Integration 3 credits

    In the spirit of the mission of Waynesburg University, this course intends to provide junior and senior level students with an unparalleled opportunity to integrate the Bible materials and its history of interpretation to the academic disciplines. Students who wish to engage in this level of theological reflection on vocation should consult with both their academic advisors and with the Chair of the Biblical and Ministry Studies Major Program. See page 116 of the academic catalog for further information. This course will not substitute for senior capstone/research courses required in the majors. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; three credits in BMS courses; 3.0 minimum grade point average. (Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit.)”

    In other words, how to make science Bibley.

  5. OgreMKV says:

    In other words, how to make science Bibley.

    Or how to make the Bible scienc-ey.

  6. michaelfugate

    Or how to confuse the hell out of your students.

  7. I’m totally getting a subscription to Nature so I can be one of the first to read the results of Dr. Rossiter’s groundbreaking research!

  8. The word “paradigm” is almost a dead giveaway for a DIscoveroid production. That “Miracle of Life” DVD they hawk seems to have “paradigm” all through it.

  9. I guess to them, a paradigm is like a theory that doesn’t require evidence and experimentation.

  10. @Mark Germano: I have a personal subscription to Nature and I’ll be happy to let you know when Rossiter’s research is published. I’m sure it will be featured on the cover.

  11. “Mind Over Matter: The Necessity of Metaphysics in a Material World.”
    Would have been an excellent motto for the Wedge Document.

  12. The publisher: “Athanatos Press”. The Greek word means “deathless”.

    I rather doubt that this adjective describes the author’s prose.

    And this, er, publisher is a rung down the ladder – perhaps several rungs down – from a vanity press. Vanity press is a somewhat disparaging description of a perfectly legitimate business with a model that is straightforward, honest and ethical. It will, for stipulated fees, provide the services of editing, layout, book design, cover and whatever special features such as internal illustrations, are required. They will quote for whatever quality of product is desired, and print a sample for approval. They will print a specified number of copies exactly as per the sample, and deliver them. This ends their involvement. This is all perfectly above board.

    Athanatos call themselves a ‘hybrid’ publisher. Publishers pay royalties, usually some in advance, and they distribute and promote the book. This press does not do any of that, so they’re not a hybrid of anything. Actually, they simply print 300-500 copies of a book, probably straight from scanned manucript, and expect the author to sell them. All they have to recover is the print costs, which they do by pricing the limited runs at or above the prices real publishers ask for books that they pay royalties, distribution and publicity costs for. It works, pretty well, but there’s no element of selection on quality involved. Generally, the book is produced as cheaply as possible, on coarse pulp, with photoshop cover and lettering.

    The alarm bell should ring when any operation spends any time at all telling you that it isn’t a “traditional” publisher, or that print publication is old-fashioned and some different model has to be adopted.

    It need not be actually dishonest, if the operator is candid about what they do and how. But if this place represents itself as a real publisher, ‘hybrid’ or not, it crosses the line.

  13. If anyone really wants to read this crap, er, book, wait till it comes to your local library (as it probably will if it sells enough copies) and take it out. Otherwise, well, I’d rather send my money on comic books, which take a more reasonable attitude toward science than this waste of trees.

  14. Just for the record, neither of my books (this is Wayne Rossiter) are self-published. The first has done rather well actually, perhaps you would like to engage its contents, rather than continue a long string of genetic fallacies. (one proclaiming the values of the Enlightenment would know better). Also, I know people from Discovery Institute, but I am not an employee or fellow. I’m a professor of biology, who has published in the fields of disease biology and evolution. Just so you know🙂

  15. It’s also worth noting that the quote, “There are winds of change in evolutionary biology . . . Many biologists feel that the foundations of the evolutionary paradigm . . . are crumbling,” comes from one of the numerous searing critiques of the neo-Darwinian synthesis.

    ablonka, Eva, and Marion L. Lamb. “Soft Inheritance: Challenging the Modern Synthesis.” Genetics and Molecular Biology 31, no. 2 (2008) 389–95.

  16. michaelfugate

    Wayne, so which parts of evolution do you actually disagree with?
    Age of the earth?
    Common descent?
    RM + NS?

    If you are the biologist you claim to be, why are you slumming with the likes of the DI? Do you really believe they are helping? Have you actually read their material?

  17. Oh and Wayne, while you are stopping by, do you believe as the DI does that humans were separately created by a god without shared common ancestry with apes and all other life? Do you believe in human exceptionalism and, if so, why as the biologist you claim to be?

  18. @Waynerossiter, not to pick nits, but those are some major league ellipses. Anyway, that paper states: The focus of the paper is the challenge of soft inheritance – the idea that variations that arise during development can be inherited. I’ve seen this claim made before and I’m wondering if you have any examples of this type of inheritance that becomes permanent through generations. As far as I know, and that’s not much, there are no examples of Lamarckian evolution.

  19. @waynerossiter: Wayne, would you please define “the neo-Darwinian synthesis”? Thanks.

    Oh — and if you can, please also cite references to the phrase in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

  20. I’m not digging in to have some drawn out debate with just run-of-the-mill haters. If you actually read Nature, you’d know more. Read my book, then talk to me. http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v17/n1/full/nn.3603.html

  21. “Read my book, then talk to me.”
    So we cannot talk to you about the meaning of

    “Mind Over Matter: The Necessity of Metaphysics in a Material World”

    and

    “the belief that every aspect of life can be reduced to purely naturalistic causes”
    without reading your book?
    You paid lipservice to Enlightenment above. Do you realize that you mix dualism with methodological naturalism with these two quotes – and hence very likely also in your book? Or are you just too dishonest to admit it, because you don’t want to scare off potential buyers?
    Anyhow – I live in Moengo, Suriname. I earn my money in incourant valuta and am not going to spend it to buy dollars on the black market only to purchase a book that is quite probably not worth those hard to get dollars. However if you send me your book I’ll read it – and ask our SC if he is so kind to put my review (which will be honest) on his site.
    Deal? If yes I’ll give you my full name and address.

  22. Oh right…my bad. I’m so stupid that I wrote a book against philosophical naturalism, and argued for dualism (which I don’t), without knowing it. You folks need to really be more careful when you think you’re safe slandering people you don’t know. If you haven’t read the book, then you don’t know what I have to say. I would suggest reading Shadow of Oz first. Which, actually attacks various forms of bad philosophy in Christianity. Then, the second book, which only argues for the existence of abstract objects and non-naturalistic assumption implicit in the activity of science. Mr or Mrs Curmudgeon simply blasted off a bunch of genetic fallacies, and was flatly wrong about the first point (that I’m self-published). I simply wanted to correct the mistake. I tell my students, you should know what it is you don’t believe. In like form, you should know the arguments you’re attempting to fight with. Since you all haven’t read my books, you can’t possibly even frame rebuttals or rejoinders to my arguments.

  23. So should we read Wayne’s book?
    What can we infer so far?
    It is written by two Christians, on of whom teaches at a Christian college and has signed the DI’s “Dissent from Darwinism” petition.
    The book is self-published by a Christian Press and has a blurb that is straight-up apologetics.
    Wayne shows up accusing us of the “genetic fallacy” while of course using it himself. Instead of defending his thesis or even giving us a hint of what said thesis is, he cites a paper – a paper that every anti-evolution, anti-science hater has cited since it was published. Does it refute evolution?
    Then he comes back and cites another paper, once again provided no argument and once again the paper does nothing to refute evolution.
    We also know Wayne just finished his PhD at a well-known University and that he has to know evolution is not in trouble. He is young and will no doubt mature and move from childish fantasies of Darwin’s overthrow by Christian apologetics. Let’s hope any way or one does pity his poor students.

    Oh I think I can skip the book without fear.

  24. It was not self-published. Apparently we can infer that you can’t read. Does this settle your concerns at all? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18253686

  25. Further, if you were half as smart as you think you are, you would recognize the difference between biological evolution (broadly termed) and Darwinian evolution. Biological evolution is not in dispute (so far as I can see). Darwinian evolution has been critiqued by those in the industry for 40 years or more. We wouldn’t need Pigliucci’s “extended synthesis” if the modern synthesis was sufficient. No?

  26. @waynerossiter, Congrats on your rattlesnake venom publication. However, that’s not the book in question.
    What exactly would be the difference between Biological Evolution and Darwinian Evolution? If I take a poll of evolutionary biologists, will they agree with your definition?

  27. @waynerossiter, Since you’ve lowered the bar bar implying that we aren’t smart around here, I’ll suggest you read Natural Selection and Biological Evolution for Dummies.
    Here’s a nice definition:
    When studying Biology, you’ll hear about biological evolution, which refers to the change of living things over time. Charles Darwin concluded that biological evolution occurs as a result of natural selection, which is the theory that in any given generation, some individuals are more likely to survive and reproduce than others. In order for natural selection to occur in a population, several conditions must be met:
    It goes on to describe the four conditions

  28. The ‘publishing house’ of Dr. Rossiter’s book, Athanatos Christian Ministries, includes a remarkable Statement of Faith on their website, which reads in part:

    On Evolution:

    We believe that the Scriptures ought to be interpreted as they were intended to be interpreted. If literal, then interpret it literally. If metaphorical, then interpret it metaphorically. Nearly all of those affiliated with ACM believe in a literal, 6 day creation not very long ago. This majority believe that Genesis 1-11 was intended to be interpreted as real events. Consequently, a majority of us are believers in a 6 day creation not too long ago (ie, Young Earth Creationism). While we appreciate Christians that have other viewpoints, we see no threat of rival interpretations demonstrating supremacy over a ‘YEC’ position any time soon. We certainly do not feel obliged to conform our views to the changing whims of secular society. Also, most of us feel no need, usually, to actually defend our ‘YEC’ position because the primary alternative- macroevolution- is absurd on its own merits and can be attacked until the cows come home without ever referencing any belief in creation at all.

    Though we believe there are consequences to whatever one believes on the origin issue (ie, it is not unimportant), ACM prefers to emphasize the fact of the resurrection. The latent philosophical naturalism that undergirds evolutionary objections to a young earth position also undergirds objections to the resurrection, so why not just talk about the resurrection and philosophical naturalism?

    In other words, there are fewer direct steps between the resurrection and the critical matter of one’s salvation than there are between a young earth creation point of view and salvation.

    So, we are not ashamed of the young earth position, but we do try to keep things in proportion.

    That said, the ACM staff do not feel that a belief in YEC is necessary for salvation and find it generally much more productive to focus on a matter that definitely is: that is, the acceptance that Jesus Christ is God and man and died and rose from the dead.

    No comment from me really necessary here, is there?

  29. michaelfugate

    Wayne, so the fact that evolution is more complicated than Darwin thought – something we have known for 100+ years – has led you to hook up with the anti-science Discovery Institute? We all know that natural selection is not the only means to change – so what’s your beef?

  30. michaelfugate

    And Wayne has Massimo Pigliucci or any real biologist not posing as a Christian apologist signed the DI’s petition? Why would that be, if the concern were with “darwinian” evolution only and not evolution in general? If you truly accept all the evidence for common ancestry including humans, then I think you’ve been had. Reminds me of this story…..

  31. Smart people don’t claim to know people at the Disco Tute without adding a disclaimer.

  32. Again, for those who can’t read…and can’t stop committing the genetic fallacy, “Submissions do not necessarily need to be explicitly Christian. They should, however, cover topics of interest to Christians or represent values that the Christian community might resonate with. Nothing explicitly or implicitly anti-Christian is accepted. NonChristian submissions which treat Christianity with objectivity and accuracy may be considered.” You don’t even have to be Christian to work with this publisher. And once more, just because other support or promote my work, it in no way logically follows that I hold all of their views. Why is that so difficult to grasp?

  33. People who can’t read don’t post here.

  34. @Mary L: Well, I could be asking my Mommy to read the posts to me before I tell her what I want to say myself.

    But I don’t.

    Back to our friend, Dr. Wayne Rossiter. I’m sure he’s highly qualified in his field, but does anyone else here get the impression that he’s a tad bit defensive? Calling us stupid, illiterate haters simply because most of us commenting here don’t insist that divine intervention is necessary to account for the diversity of species on Earth just doesn’t seem very, well, Christian.

  35. … and I don’t understand what he means by “committing genetic fallacy”. Is that akin to “committing genial fellatio”? I haven’t committed that, either.

  36. It is always a bit amusing to see a newby ID/creationist coming out against evolution. At least in the last fifty years or so that I have been watching them, not one of them appears to be aware of just how wrong ID/creationists get the basic concepts in science; wrong at even the high school level.

    I am quite certain that most, if not all, of these anti-evolution “warriors” have grown up cutting their teeth on the misconceptions and misrepresentations of science that originated with Henry Morris and Duane Gish and continue to this very day with the teachings of Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and the Discovery Institute.

    All of these organizations share the same core of scientific misconceptions; and all their arguments are based on them. Yet none of them seems to be aware of that fact. At least they don’t seem to express any embarrassment at their portrayals of scientific concepts; in fact, they seem dead certain of their knowledge of science. Yet they are all dead wrong; even their PhDs.

    Although it remains a bit amusing, the socio/political activites of these organizations are not so funny.

  37. michaelfugate

    The genetic fallacy is an origins fallacy – one dismisses an argument because of its source not because of the argument itself. In this case, Wayne is claiming that we are making fun of his book because it is written by a Christian, or because it is self-published, or because it is a Christian Press, or because he is associated with the DI, etc. This of course ignores the fallacies that Wayne commits….

    If it were only one of those things, then he might have an argument. The confluence of his background, his inability to articulate his reasons for writing the book, and his inability to engage and refute arguments put forward here, and his inability to defend his book, actions, and associations are pretty strong reasons to dismiss the book without reading it. Why would anyone bother? His behavior certainly hasn’t given me any reason to do so; I am even less likely now than I was before he showed up.

    Now if he wanted to start over and take the high road….

  38. retiredsciguy – Agreed, he’s defensive and degenerates into name-calling. I don’t know why he wouldn’t expect the responses he’s received. A quick look at previous posts would have indicated that. Oh, wait, that’s actually doing research – never mind.

  39. michaelfugate

    Just that it is “Self-Published Genius #42“, is a good tip off.

  40. Please insert “have” between would and indicated. Many thanks.

    [*Voice from above*] As you wish, so it shall be.

  41. “confront the belief that every aspect of life can be reduced to purely naturalistic causes”
    Yeah – this is not arguing for dualism.
    Thanks, WayneR, for making clear why I won’t spend my hard earned money on your book.

    “the difference between biological evolution (broadly termed) and Darwinian evolution”
    Is this an invitation to the Micro-Macro Mambo? It looks like, especially given Mega’s quote. Otherwise it’s nothing but a strawman – everybody here knows that Evolution Theory in the 21st Century is much more than the theory formulated by Darwin.

  42. Rossiter says:

    If we asked a random drawing to produce a specified outcome like 1783748325, the probability of getting it would be one in 10^-10, or one in ten billion. If we drew a new randomly generated ten digit code once every second, it would take us (on average) about 2,740 years to get the correct target sequence of numbers.

    This is just like calculating the probability of a series of 500 coin flips coming up all heads.

    But even more unlikely is the probability of coming up with N moles of copper in a copper nugget.

    There are 118 elements. The chances of a random drawing from the set of elements coming up all copper atoms in N moles of copper would therefore be 118^( – N x 6.02×10^23 ). Therefore we know that intelligence is required in the formation of N moles of copper.

    That’s the extent of Dembski’s math. Taking logarithms to base 2 and calling it “information” doesn’t change the calculation or make in any more significant.

  43. @Mike Elzinga: Thanks for explaining “genetic fallacy”. I have not been schooled in logic, philosophy, etc. and am not familiar with many of the terms used.

  44. Oops – my mistake. Thanks, michaelfugate, for explaining “Genetic Fallacy”. I got the wrong Michael before. In my defense, it was an easy mistake to make — you both post intelligent, thoughtful comments.

  45. Or calling something “specified” just because it exists and has a discernible function. Its drawing the target after shooting the arrow. Its determining the winning lottery numbers after looking at your ticket. Ayala is not the one making a mistake.

  46. Mr Rossiter wants to “confront the belief that every aspect of life can be reduced to purely naturalistic causes”.

    He is right to say that idea cannot be rigorously made out. Hands up those who didn’t know that.

    The old argument applies: if you haven’t looked everywhere, absolutely everywhere, and if you don’t know everything, you cannot say that naturalistic cause applies in every single case whatsoever in the Universe. Agreed. There may be some events for which there is a non-naturalistic cause. Call the non-naturalistic cause divine will, if you like, although that is another step.

    But that’s as far as that argument can take you. There may be non-naturalistic causation, there might be divine will operating. May be, might be. Does it follow that it does operate?

    No, it does not follow. The old argument applies: if you assert the existence of something, it is not sufficient to say it could be possible. You have to bring forward evidence that it actually does exist. Until you do that, you are not observing reality; you are speculating on a philosophical abstraction.

    The purpose of science and the endeavor of scientists is to observe reality, not to speculate on a philosophical abstraction.

  47. @Dave Luckett
    it is not sufficient to say it could be possible
    I’d say that the difficulty is even worse. For they are saying that the Intelligent Designer(s) exist, and that the ID(s) provide an explanation.
    One can accept the idea that Stonehenge is the product of intelligent designers, yet that idea does not provide a total explanation for how and why and when for Stonehenge.
    Perhaps someone has come up with a plausible argument that no naturalistic explanation can provide a total explanation for all of the universe. That does not mean that some creators, deities or super-natural agency do provide any explanation for anything. That is just providing a name for our ignorance.
    It reminds me of the help desk which tells one that there was a computer error.

  48. In addition to TomS: it’s even a bit more worse – there is no method to research that eventual explanation. Nothing in WayneR’s comments indicates he’s going to present one; his denial that he argues for dualism makes me suspect he’s dishonest as well.

  49. If he has something to say which answers that elementary need, then I will read that.
    In 1994 I bought and read the book “The Creation Hypothesis” expecting to find something about the creation hypothesis. I decided not to spend my time and money unless I have a reasonable expectation of reading about an alternative.

  50. It was like when I read Alister McGrath’s “A Scientific Theology” – I expected to learn how theology works….

  51. I mean this honestly. You all would actually benefit from reading either of my books. From the confusion on Dembski’s universal probability bound, to your conflation of evolution with the Darwinian mechanism, and the attempts to tar-baby me with people who promote my work (let along the blatantly false claim that I’m self-published), the thinking I’ve seen on here is really sloppy. I could’ve written either of my books as an atheist/agnostic. That’s what is unique about my efforts. Seriously, rent these books at your library (I’m not out to make a buck), and see for yourself. I have actually answered most of your queries therein.

  52. “You all would actually benefit from reading either of my books.”
    I already promised you to read and review it when you send them to me. See, I’d like to be shown wrong – that you have developed a method indeed. Indeed you’re far from the first believer I ask to provide one.
    But for reasons I already pointed out to you I’m not able to pay for it. Unless you accept Surinamese Dollars – according to current exchange rates it will cost me about 50 SRD, which I can afford indeed – I’m not able to buy it.

    “rent these books at your library”
    I’d love to. Unfortunately my libraries (yup – both my town, Moengo Suriname, and my school have one) don’t have it either. The reason is the same – US Dollars are scarce where I live.
    You may not out to make a buck, you don’t come across very helpful to me either. Hey – let me expand my promise. Send me your books and I will let other interested people read it as well. I’m probably the only atheist in town, so it won’t be hard for me to find several.
    What do you say?

  53. If you don’t have an alternative explanation for something, I’m not interested.
    What happens, when, where, why and how, so that such-and-such acts the way that it does, rather than any of the countless possibilities.
    For example, the human body is most similar to the bodies of chimps and other apes. Or whatever.
    I am not interested in hearing “natural explanations cannot possible account for this”.

  54. michaelfugate

    Wayne, you are the only one confused here. Who is “specifying” protein structure and how do you know that? If it is not specified a priori then Dembski’s probabilities are rubbish. Let’s face it -intelligent design is a joke as a description of the natural world – it is pure Christian apologetics and nothing more. You brought up “Evolution – The Extended Synthesis”, but have you read the other books by the same author “Making Sense of Evolution” or “Nonsense on Stilts”? Natural selection is still a perfectly valid evolutionary mechanism no matter how many other mechanisms are uncovered. I am sure I have forgotten more about evolution than you are likely to ever know.

  55. waynerossiter believes:

    From the confusion on Dembski’s universal probability bound, to your conflation of evolution with the Darwinian mechanism, and the attempts to tar-baby me with people who promote my work (let along the blatantly false claim that I’m self-published), the thinking I’ve seen on here is really sloppy.

    Most of the folks here are a bit more sophisticated in their understanding of the “works” of the ID/creationists than you apparently are aware. Some of us have been following the ID/creationist movement since the 1970s and have read all of their major works from the perspective of someone who knows the math and the science far better than any of the ID/creationists do.

    All ID/creationists think that living organisms violate the second law of thermodynamics.

    Dembski’s “math” in a nutshell is the assertion that Np is less than 1, where N is the number of trials to produce an event that occurs with probability p per trial.

    Dembski’s “upper probability bound” of 10^150, or approximately 2^500, comes from a number that Dembski lifted, without comprehension, from the abstract of a paper by Seth Lloyd in Physical Review Letters. Dembski thinks this number represents the maximum number of trials possible for a specified event to occur in the history of the universe. Then he tells us that calculating p is simply a matter of computing the probability of a specified sequence of ASCII characters or numbers, or that it has something to do with the probability of assembling a 747 by sending a tornado through a junkyard.

    Dembski then takes the negative logarithm to base 2 of p and calls it “information.” He then challenges the science community to explain how all that “information” came about through natural causes. The direct answer is that Dembski simply made up the number and buried the sleight-of-hand under hundreds of pages of wordy, “philosophical” obfuscation.

    So that is Dembski’s life work in a nutshell; pure, unsupported assertions gussied up with irrelevant math calculations and hundreds of pages of obfuscation.

    It should be pointed out that Dembski was not even considered for the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Mr. Rossiter doesn’t have a clue why or what any of that means about calculating the probabilities of complex molecular assemblies; and, I suspect, he will not lift a finger to find out.

    On the other hand, most of us here already know what is in his “book.” His stream of shibboleths are a spoiler alert.

  56. michaelfugate

    In case anyone had doubts, Wayne really is a full-blown creationist. Plus you can hear him doing an interview with Casey….

    Just look at his “evidence”, how can you not believe?

    Mainstream scientists who now challenge the efficacy of Darwinian theory as evidence mounts against it.

    Why homology cannot be used as an argument for common ancestry, and how DNA evidence fails to generate a grand “tree of life.” This leads to the following apt riposte from Rossiter: “When Karl Giberson claims that, Biologists today consider the common ancestry of all life a fact on par with the sphericity of the earth or its motion around the sun, he seems to be massively overstating the degree of scientific consensus.”

    The lack of fossil evidence for common ancestry.

    The difficulty with demonstrating the veracity of many adaptive explanations for the origin of complex features.

    Comedy, pure comedy.

  57. Wayne, we understand the Discovery Institute may be looking for a new writer. Heck, they’d probably even let you keep your day job! Your Ph.D. would certainly burnish their creds.

  58. I have dug into the free Amazon sample.
    1) I love it when Creationists defend their position using William Lane Craig’s name. It is almost as if they aren’t aware that he strongly supports evolution.
    2) “Debating 101 Many shutter at the idea of debate.” – Chapter one.
    Do they shutter their doors?

    3) The chapter 2 and 3 arguments, “Replace God with science” and “We have the fossils”, summarize the evolution position so briefly – I have given the entirety of the argument Rossiter defeats – that they are useless. If “Replace God with Science” included examples such as lightning, it would make more sense. Rossiter’s response “How exactly does science create or cause anything?” is a strange twisting of the argument. Science explains, it doesn’t create. Done.
    For “We have the fossils”, the response is “We all have the fossils. Our theories are supposed to explain them.” Yes, and evolution does that, while creationism doesn’t come close. Rather than circular logic, this is a pithy summary. Rather than discuss circular logic, Rossiter should discuss transitional fossils – and look at the debating fallacy of making strawman arguments.

  59. How does God – or design – create anything?
    What contribution does the hypothesis of creation make in understanding any feature of the natural world? Why this, rather than one of the countless possibilities that creation could create?