What’s a Tarheel?

And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
therefore, behold, I will again
do wonderful things with this people,
with wonder upon wonder;
and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

(Isaiah 29:13-14) NKJV

In the fall of 1990 we began the graduate program in Plant Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On our first day we were shown around Coker Hall by a senior graduate student, Victor Albert.

Victor was passionately expressing the high degree of philosophical rigor that those in the program were applying to plant systematics. He talked about heuristic algorithms, parsimony and the powerful computers (circa 1990!) being used in phylogenetic analysis. He talked about how character states have to be coded in the data matrix with no A priori assumptions. He was animated, excited, this was the cutting edge. The idea was that the entire process of DNA-based systematics was free from any personal bias because there were no assumptions in it.

I asked him, playing the devil’s advocate:

  • Matty: Haven’t you assumed that plants evolved?
  • Victor: We don’t talk about that here.

He said this with such a stern glare that we kept our mouth shut about the issue. It illustrates the point which we’re making that the popular science narrative of godless existence (SciPop) is paradigm-dependent. At the end of the day it doesn’t make any difference how rigorous your philosophy is, you made a choice of paradigm and that’s the only context in which the philosophy is valid.

The big problem is that no one has ever proven the paradigm.

Things didn’t work out for us as expected at UNC-CH because life took one of its turns. It must be said, though, that we got an excellent education and we were trained in the philosophical construction of the scientific method so well that it’s possible for us to demonstrate that it’s a farce.

Archaeopteris and Devolution – Navigation

SectionTitleScripture
1Archaeopteris and DevolutionJeremiah 21:8
2Evolution Theory vs. Process1 Corinthians 1:19
Induction vs. DeductionTitus 3:9
3Cladistics and Circular Reasoning2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Coding a Character State MatrixLeviticus 19:36
A Phylogenetic Tree of LifeProverbs 4:5-7
What’s a Tarheel?Isaiah 29:14
Archaeopteris1 Timothy 6:20
Archaeopteris (1991) Term Paper(Further reading)
4Spherogenetic SystematicsEzekiel 38:20
Carl LinnaeusLuke 12:27
SalvationRomans 10:9-10
– Navigate your way around Archaeopteris and Devolution.

August 9th – Archaeopteris and Devolution

If we were created fully formed, then this should be coded as the ancestral or primitive state in a character state matrix for phylogenetic analysis.


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