PvM posted Entry 1267 on July 30, 2005 06:48 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1265
Robert Crowther at the Center for
the Renewal of Science and Culture reports on a short op-ed by Bruce Chapman in the Washington Post
There really is a scientific case against Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and another for the alternative of intelligent design, but you will not find them in The Post.
Chapman is wrong. Not only is there no real scientific case against Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution beyond a discussion of the relative importance of the various mechanisms, but there is also no scientific alternative called ‘Intelligent Design’.
Darwin apologists are happy to opine on religion and politics, of course. What they will not do is address the growing evidence against Darwin’s theory.
This statement by Chapman is clearly wrong since not only are Darwin “apologists” happy to explore the relative importance of the various mechanisms of evolution, but they are also very willing and able to show that ‘the growing evidence against Darwin’s theory’ is not a scientific claim but rather a socio-political claim. One need not go further than Panda’s Thumb TalkDesign or TalkOrigins and TalkReason. In addition various papers and books have been published addressing not only the major flaws and shortcomings in the arguments of Intelligent Design, but also documenting the socio-religious underpinnings of the ID movement. Barbara Forrest And Paul Gross describe in Creationism’s Trojan Horse
in full detail the claims and operations of the “Intelligent Design” movement, the most recent manifestation of American creationism. Explaining and analyzing what “design theorists” call their “Wedge Strategy,” they document the Wedge’s aggressive political and public relations campaigning. The most notable feature of the movement’s purportedly new scientific paradigm is an abject failure to produce scientific data in support of its claims or even a coherent research program. Instead, the Wedge maintains a crowded nationwide schedule of lectures, popular publications for its mostly conservative Christian constituency, and media appearances, all sustained by generous funding from religious benefactors. The Wedge has intruded itself efficiently into educational politics at local, state, and national levels.
Source: Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design by Barbara Forrest & Paul R. Gross Oxford University Press 2004
The Discovery Instute’s Wedge Document describes the goals
To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.
Intelligent design is another matter, and it is almost always misrepresented in the media.
Of course, any time the media reports on the scientific vacuity of ID, it must be a misrepresentation.
The theory holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
There is no theory of Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design is a scientifically vacuous concept which relies on our ignorance.
And don’t just take the opinions from scientists on this matter  but also take note of such brave ID proponents as Gilder or Nelson who have come forward to express their doubts:
“Intelligent design itself does not have any content.”
Source: The evolution of George Gilder by Joseph P. Kahn, Boston Globe, July 27, 2005
“We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’- but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.”
Source: Paul Nelson, Discovery Institute Fellow, in the July/August 2004 issue of Touchstone magazine
For a better understanding of the religions nature of Intelligent Design read In their own words - (Is “intelligent design” a religious concept?). For a Glossary of Intelligent Design read An “Intelligent Design” Glossary. Both links are articles by Robert Camp.
Proponents of Intelligent Design theory seek to ground a scientific research program that appeals to teleology within the context of biological explanation. As such, Intelligent Design theory must contain principles to guide researchers. I argue for a disjunction: either Dembski’s ID theory lacks content, or it succumbs to the methodological problems associated with creation science-problems that Dembski explicitly attempts to avoid. The only concept of a designer permitted by Dembski’s Explanatory Filter is too weak to give the sorts of explanations which we are entitled to expect from those sciences, such as archeology, that use effect-to-cause reasoning. The new spin put upon ID theory-that it is best construed as a ‘metascientific hypothesis’-fails for roughly the same reason.
R. Nichols, Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design theory The American Catholic philosophical quarterly , 2003 , vol. 77 , no 4 , pp. 591 - 611
In his new book, “Random Designer,” he writes: “It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods” when they say evolutionary theory is “in crisis” and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. “Such statements are blatantly untrue,” he argues; “evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny. ”
Sharon Begley in Tough Assignment: Teaching Evolution To Fundamentalists, Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2004; Page A15
Abstract: The assumption of design of the universe is examined from a scientific perspective. The claims of William Dembski and of Michael Behe are unscientific because they are a-theoretic. The argument from order or from utility are shown to be indeterminate, circular, to rest on psychological as opposed to factual certainty, or to be insupportable as regards humans but possibly not bacteria, respectively. The argument from the special intelligibility of the universe specifically to human science does not survive comparison with the capacities of other organisms. Finally, the argument from the unlikelihood of physical constants is vitiated by modern cosmogonic theory and recrudesces the God-of-the-gaps.
Patrick Frank “On the Assumption of Design”, Theology and Science, Volume 2, Number 1 / April 2004, pp. 109 - 130.
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