Joshua Feuerstein - the lying, strawman, ignorant rapper

I've taken the liberty of writing a WOT about this video.

You may have shared this because you believed in this. Or because you found it amusing.
It doesn't matter. This video has been shared a great many times, and apparently people
think that's a good thing. So enjoy.
------

Let's listen for a bit.

So he has some anecdote with an arrogant atheist. I disagree,
it doesn't take much faith to believe in a magical unicorn that
created everything.

(I) Let's start with his first straw man ; it's the claim
that the theory of evolution (henceforth, TOE) doesn't fit the "parameters
of parentheses of science" because it "has not been observed".

The scientific method wants a hypothesis that is then evaluated with a number
of secondary hypotheses; if the experiment is positive, then it is likely the
hypothesis, and possibly the underlying explanation, is true. If not, then the
intersection of the hypothesis and the secondary hypotheses is falsified; that
means that either the hypothesis or any of the secondary hypotheses is false.

Evolution fits that perfectly. Many hypotheses have been generated and confirmed;
think of the fossil record, or antibiotic resistant bacteria. Consider the tiktaalic,
as Bill Nye posited at the debate.

And Evolution hasn't been observed? Consider the emergence of Oenothera gias. Of
primula kewensis. Tragopogon, raphanobrassica, geleopsis tetrahit, madia citrigacalis,
brassica, adiantum pedatum, woodsia abbeae. And that's just plants. The list goes on
[http://goo.gl/8cGWqJ].

So, let's call it a strawman and not a lie. It's a very common myth.

(II) "It is called the theory of evolution". A scientific theory is a consistent
body of explanations that is both logical and generates numerous hypotheses that,
and this is important, have been tested and confirmed.

(III) I'm not sure why he mentions 'a big bang', but that's not part of the TOE at all.
It's also a fact. Anyway, he moves on that through a huge 'accident' the first cell came
and everything derives from it. That's not even true.

Yes, it's a chance thing. That doesn't mean it's an accident. You require some particular
circumstances to get the first self-replicating molecules. From there on, evolution hops
on board, because it's that simple. The reason we assume abiogenesis of a single common root
is that all life we know is based on the same things; specific molecules that make up
deoxyribonucleic acids. It might be that it's the result of several abiogenesis events,
but it's likely to find a single root. It's just an inference from the common foundation of life
on our planet.

(IV) "You really think everything came from a single cell? How much faith does
that take." Actually, none. Because the TOE explains that perfectly, but unfortunately
this rapper doesn't actually have any education in that subject, as illuminated by
his gross misunderstanding and the spewing of common myths.

It's extremely simple. Things vary. Sometimes, that variation is positive for survival.
Sometimes it's neutral. Sometimes it is negative. In the latter case, there's a distinct
drawback. If information is transmitted to your offspring - remember genetics? - then a
drawback means you have less descendants, and so that genetic information is decreased
in frequency. A positive variation will cause more descendants to have that genetic
information, changing (increasing) the frequency of the allele.

By the way, the chance in frequency of alleles is what evolution _is_. Anyway, neutral
variations aren't selected upon. But the transmittance of genetic information isn't perfect.
An allele that is in 50% of the population might be 49%/51% in the next. That's genetic drift.
It looks like _brownian motion_ as explained by einstein in 1915 or something. And while the
average of such drift is zero, there's a distinct difference between 'the average of all positions'
and the 'average distance of all positions'. What does that mean? The average of -1 and 1 is 0;
the average distance is 1. Why? -1 has a distance (-1,0) of 1. And 1 has a distance (0,1) of 1.
Genetic drift, as this is called, might also change allele frequencies. It's the one that is
always active, even if natural selection isn't.

(V) The (second) law of thermodynamics! It never, ever, ceases to amaze me how many people
that _have not had a course in thermodynamics_ think they can use this. The second law of
thermodynamics doesn't say that "chaos produces order".

The second law of thermodynamics states that the macroscopic property of entropy either remains
the same or increases in a closed system. That's because it moves towards maximum entropy, or
thermodynamic equilibrium.

Apparently this person thinks that common things such as metals, crystals, mountains, the earth,
semiconductors, humans, my desk, and so on and so forth, cannot exist. Because, you know, he
doesn't understand what he's saying.

For one thing, a human body - or a cell - is not an isolated system. It requires sustenance,
which alone is sufficient. The circumstances within each organelle are such that the state of
maximum entropy is that which serves the 'purpose' of that organelle. The organelles themselves
mostly drift around freely.

Consider this, as falsification of the straw man second law he poses. I have a hundred
thousand paper cups with water. The temperatures are randomly distributed. That's chaotic,
right? I have a hundred thousand paper cups, all with different temperatures.

Now, I place all of those cups in contact. Maybe they have metal bottoms and I put them on
a metal plate. Somehow, at least, heat can be exchanged between the paper cups.

If I wait some time - say, a day - then thermodynamic equilibrium, the state with maximum
entropy, is achieved. Now, what is this state? This is the state where all the hundred thousand
paper cups have the _exact same temperature_. That's order, isn't it?

It is? But I thought you couldn't get order from chaos?

Let's get off the woo woo trains. I placed the cups in contact, so it isn't a closed system for
each cup in particular. In some, the entropy decreased (hot to cold) and in some, it increased (cold
to hot). Each and every heat exchange happening has generated some entropy. As a result, the state with
each cup at the same temperature has higher - maximum - entropy. Even though it seems more orderly,
that's just a false analogy.

"Everything works like a clock. It has order". No. It has equilibrium. That's the false analogy again.
The states it is working in, the equilibrium, are the states of maximum entropy. It's the distribution of
energy (micro states) and the number of micro states (macro state) with a certain distribution of energy
that make up entropy. The fact is, equilibrium, in which energy is distributed fairly, has far more micro states
in its macro state, and is far more likely. If you're interested, you can look at statistical mechanics. The
deviation of such a thing goes with reciprocal of the root of the number of atoms. So for a few grammes of
material, that's a deviation of 1E-12. That's right. You can't measure it at macroscopic scales.

(VI) A tornado moves through a junk yard and produces a shiny Lamborghini. That's a cute false
analogy. As it doesn't remotely looks like abiogenesis - which is a different matter than the TOE
- let us ignore this.

He goes on to claim that "Science believes that in this accident, somehow came this perfectly working
world, human life, people and animals and plants .... everything on earth was created perfectly."

Apparently not. War. Famine. Cancer. Erm, the fact we don't have velociraptor mounts.

"That could never happen through an accident". Again, it's  not an accident, its the result of
physical laws acting upon whatever is there. It's called emergence. Consider conway's game of life.
Or evolutionary programming techniques.

(VII) "It had  to be by intelligent design". Oh, no more God? Intelligent design is a scam. It goes
something like this.

I, personally, see a load of things I like.They seem to work, and have purpose and such. I think
things with purpose are designed. And because I don't know what words I use, I suppose that a verb
implies the noun. So there you have it, there's a designer. And because I really like what I see,
I think he's intelligent to boot.

Things with purpose aren't necessarily designed. If you disagree, please give me the criteria for design.
Plot twist, it's not "this has a purpose". If I defend myself with a stick, that stick has purpose. Even
though it's just a stick.

Likewise, cells are machines; machines are designed; designed implies a designer. That's false;
cells are like machines, but they do not necessarily belong to the class of machines that are designed.
Design doesn't imply a designer, simply because a verb doesn't equal a noun.  It's both equivocation
(to be designed=to have a designer) and circulus in probando or assuming the conclusion.

(VIII) One final thought. It's amazing that he tries to use etymology and fails. It's on wikipedia, for fucks sake.
Universe, old french univers, latin universum, poetic unus vorsum. Good strawman.

So, good attempt, but no. Also, which god? He hasn't made it likely that it's his God in particular.
What about zeus? odin?  jupiter? The great bob? The spaghetti monster?

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