Nick Matzke posted Entry 1303 on August 6, 2005 04:54 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1301

Well, this “news” article is hilarious in an uncountable number of ways:

Creation Scientist Challenges Intelligent Design

Saturday, Aug. 6, 2005 Posted: 9:12:30AM EST

One of the world’s leading experts in origin of life research issued a statement on Friday saying that intelligent design should not be taught in schools because it is not science.

(more below the fold)

Dr. Fazale Rana, vice president for science apologetics of the organization Reasons to Believe, said in his statement, “As currently formulated, Intelligent Design is not science. It is not falsifiable and makes no predictions about future scientific discoveries.”

Dr. Rana further commented on the idea of teaching intelligent design in schools.

“As a biochemist, I am opposed to introducing any idea into the educational process that is scientifically ludicrous,” said Dr. Rana. “Proponents of Intelligent Design lose credibility, for instance, when they say that the Earth is thousands of years old when the scientific evidence and the fossil record clearly prove our Earth is at least 4.5 billion years.”

Intelligent design, the idea that the earth is so complex, there must have been a divine being behind its creation, is the most recent challenge to the theory of evolution. In the past year, several school districts have considered whether or not to incorporate the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Some state legislatures are deciding on bills that would require science teachers to teach intelligent design alongside evolution.

The debate is a familiar one, an offshoot of the creation-evolution debate, and one that has generated conversation across international circles. Probably the most publicized debate was held in May, when the Kansas State Board of Education called together witnesses from around the world to testify about intelligent design. The state board is currently deciding whether to adopt new science standards to allow the teaching of intelligent design and other alternative theories on the origin of life in schools. Scientists boycotted the hearings.

Dr. Rana’s position gives him a unique perspective on the issue. As a scientist and a Christian, Dr. Rana provides a point of view that is often overlooked in the debate. As a leader of Reasons to Believe, Dr. Rana works to bridge the gap between science and faith, especially on issues such as the origin of life.

“At Reasons to Believe, our team of scientists has developed a theory for creation that embraces the latest scientific advances. It is fully testable, falsifiable, and successfully predicts the current discoveries in origin of life research,” said Dr. Rana.

“With the creation model approach every perspective is encouraged to participate in the scientific process to see which theory best fits the emerging data,” continued Dr. Rana. “With this cutting edge program no philosophical or religious perspective is denied access.”

“It holds the possibility of bringing to resolution the creation/evolution controversy once and for all.”

Susan Wang
susan@christianpost.com

(links added for context)

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Comment #41682

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on August 6, 2005 5:10 PM (e)

Oh, and don’t miss: “Interview: Harry Potter - Making Evil Look Innocent?,” published on August 3.

Comment #41683

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 5:27 PM (e)

Why do creationists always have to inflate each other’s credentials?

One of the world’s leading experts in origin of life research issued a statement on Friday saying that intelligent design should not be taught in schools because it is not science.

Fazale Rana seems to have had an average scientific career at one point. His bio

http://www.navpress.com/AuthorInformation/A1106.html

is respectable. But there is nothing to indicate he is one of the “world’s leading experts” in OOL research. Compare his bio to that of, say, Andrew Knoll, who is such an expert.

Comment #41684

Posted by Jim Lippard on August 6, 2005 5:38 PM (e)

Note that Reasons to Believe is Hugh Ross’s organization–old earth creationists.

Comment #41685

Posted by Gary Hurd on August 6, 2005 5:40 PM (e)

Rana and Ross have a recent book out on the origin of life. It is pathetic. I have started several times to write a review, but it will take twice as many pages to correct their errors than they used in the first place.

Comment #41686

Posted by John on August 6, 2005 5:40 PM (e)

Does anyone know about the claims of Dr. Rana?

“At Reasons to Believe, our team of scientists has developed a theory for creation that embraces the latest scientific advances. It is fully testable, falsifiable, and successfully predicts the current discoveries in origin of life research,” said Dr. Rana.

RtB is an old earth creationist organization so I would expect the same misleading approach to science used by the ID folks. It is interesting that YEC rejects ID and OEC. OEC now rejects YEC and ID. But ID seems to include everyone.

Comment #41692

Posted by Joe Blough on August 6, 2005 6:26 PM (e)

Is there a tear developing in the big tent?

Comment #41695

Posted by snaxalotl on August 6, 2005 6:41 PM (e)

I guess this is the advantage of creationism “becoming more mainstream” - it will split into factions which fight with each other as much as they fight with real science. You can have a definite set of “facts” or you can coexist with other pseudoscientists, but not both.

Comment #41696

Posted by Frank J on August 6, 2005 6:44 PM (e)

Jim Lippard wrote:

Note that Reasons to Believe is Hugh Ross’s organization—old earth creationists.

Joe Bough wrote:

Is there a tear developing in the big tent?

I just posted this on Talk Origins:

Interesting. “Reasons to Believe” endorses classic OEC - not YEC nor the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID. As such it is a little heard voice in the (unscientific) debate these days. So we have AIG, and IIRC, also ICR, both YEC outfits, criticizing the ID approach. And AIG criticizing the comical “Dr. Dino” YEC as well. And RTB criticizing them all. IDers desperately want to keep the “big tent” intact, but these objections from YECs and OECs are straining it. This is no “healthy debate” as with “evolutionists” with mechanistic details, but irreconcilable differences such on such crucial things as the age of the earth and basic strategies to misrepresent evolution (e.g. should one try to defend one of several mutually contradictory alternative “what happened and whens,” or just fabricate weaknesses of evolution, misrepresent scientists who differ on mechanism as “dissenting from ‘Darwinism’,” and let the audience fill in the blanks with their favorite origins myth?).

Maybe if we take a breather from complaining about “sneaking in God,” and lumping all misunderstanders and misrepresenters of evolution, professional and otherwise, under the “creationitst” term (and helping prop up the “big tent” in the process), and better advertise the irreconcilable differences, most people can begin to see what a charade anti-evolution is.

Comment #41698

Posted by Dave Thomas on August 6, 2005 6:59 PM (e)

This is puzzling, because Fazale Rana gave a major speech at last year’s “Darwin, Design and Democracy V conference” in Albuquerque (see “I was a Token Darwinist” for the sordid details), titled

Why convergence is not consistent with natural selection (Chemist Fazale Rana, PhD)

There’s more here.

Looks like a flip-flopper to me! Somebody get the SwiftBoat guys.

Comment #41706

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on August 6, 2005 7:50 PM (e)

This article is obviously a retelling of some press release that Reasons to Believe put out. Keep in mind the disaster that occurred back in January when the Christian Post overinterpreted a blustering press release from the Thomas More Law Center. They seem to be the last link on chain of religious-right organizations that repeat each other’s press releases in a weird kind of game of telephone.

It looks like Reasons to Believe doesn’t buy the ID movement’s craven ambiguity on the age-of-the-earth issue, either:

“Proponents of Intelligent Design lose credibility, for instance, when they say that the Earth is thousands of years old when the scientific evidence and the fossil record clearly prove our Earth is at least 4.5 billion years.”

Here is another version on the Christian Communication Network.

Comment #41721

Posted by T. Russ on August 6, 2005 10:22 PM (e)

When Dr. Fazale Rana says, “Proponents of Intelligent Design lose credibility, for instance, when they say that the Earth is thousands of years old when the scientific evidence and the fossil record clearly prove our Earth is at least 4.5 billion years.” He illustrates his ignorance of the fact that most ID proponents are far more similar to old earth creationists than they are to the young earthers. For instance on August 4th in Dembski’s commentary on President Bush’s recent remarks about the teaching of intelligent design, he goes to some length in explaining that the majority of ID proponents do not hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and accept the 4.5 byo age of the earth. Rana’s comment would make some sense if “Young Earth Creationist” or “Creation Scientists” were inserted in the place of “Proponents of Intelligent Design.”

I understand it when anti-ID propogandists try to equate the two terms in order to spread misinformation or confuse readers in order to keep an upperhand. But I cannot understand why the “Reasons to Believe” OEC people can’t seem to get this right.

Oh well, maybe (and it seems to me that this is not all that improbable) the reporter who wrote out the story switched the terms himself before the article went to press. I don’t know. I am sure there will be more to follow between the creationists and IDists about this.

Comment #41722

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 10:37 PM (e)

T Russ, haven’t seen you in some time. I believe Mr. Lenny Flank has some questions for you.

Comment #41726

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 6, 2005 11:04 PM (e)

I believe Mr. Lenny Flank has some questions for you.

Just one, for starters:

*ahem*

What is the scientific theory of ID, and how can we test it using the scientific method?

Or are ID, uh, ‘theorists’ simply lying to us when they claim to have one?

Comment #41728

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 6, 2005 11:08 PM (e)

the majority of ID proponents do not hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1

Glad to hear it. Of course, the YEC’s also tried to argue, in Arkansas and Louisiana, that their crap was NOT religion but was SCIENCE that *just happened* to support their religious opinions.

Sound at all familiar to you?

and accept the 4.5 byo age of the earth.

Gee, maybe someone should have explained that to the ID witnesses who testified during the Kansas, uh, Waterloo ……

(snicker) (giggle)

By the way, would you mind pointing to any argument being made for ID that isn’t just a plagiarized version of something that the ICR-ites were already shoveling on people decades ago?

Comment #41729

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 6, 2005 11:13 PM (e)

For instance on August 4th in Dembski’s commentary on President Bush’s recent remarks about the teaching of intelligent design, he goes to some length in explaining that the majority of ID proponents do not hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and accept the 4.5 byo age of the earth.

Why didn’t Dembski go to some length in explaining that, despite Bush’s mistaken assumption, there is no such thing as any scientific theory of ID, which is, I suppose, why the IDers declare that they do not want to have it taught.

If there is no scientific theory of intelligent design, I’m a little curious why you think Bush’s declaration that it be taught makes him anything other than an uninformed pig-ignorant buffoon?

Why didn’t Bush get smacked upside the head by the Wedge-ites just like Buttars did?

Comment #41736

Posted by T. Russ on August 7, 2005 12:03 AM (e)

Well, I think the best place to begin to get a hold of a scientific theory of ID is over ISCID.org. The definition they give in their encyclopedia for ID can get the ball rolling.

“Intelligent design: the theory that the directed organization of living things cannot be accounted for by purely blind natural forces but also requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation. Intelligent design needs to be distinguished from apparent design and optimal design. Apparent design looks designed but actually isn’t. Optimal design is perfect design. The adjective “intelligent” in front of “design” stresses that the design in question is actual, but makes no assumption about the optimality of design.”

So then, the “theory” behind Intelligent Design is very simply put that an intelligent agency is what best accounts for or properly explains the specified complexity found in biological organisms. ID theory is thus set up in contradistinction with theories which hold that blind natural forces can account for specified complexity. So in a short answer to the first part of your question Rev, thats the theory of ID.

As for testing the theory set forth by ID, that has been one of the main underlying projects of theories such as Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, Self-Organization, and so forth over the past 160 years.

But I guess the best way to go about testing the theory today is to first agree on a definition and understanding of what exactly complex specified information is, then show how it can be produced without recourse to intelligent agency. If that can be shown convincingly, the current theory of ID would then be falsified. A project like this would of course have to be carried out by many scientists and philosophers of science, with reproducible and agreed upon findings, and not simply come to an end with the writing of a few disputed papers claiming to “destroy the idiotic claims of Dembski” or however it would go.

As for testing ID by “the scientific method”. I’m not too sure what you mean there. I have had too many years of study in the history and philosophy departments at my university to believe any longer in any so-called scientific method. But if you will tell me what it is that you mean by “scientific method”, I will attempt a more fleshed out response to your question.

And if you really want to look into an answer to your query. Read in No Free Lunch pages 1-380. But for a quicker read, check out the essay, “The Logical Underpinnings of Intelligent Design” in Debating Design (the Ruse and Dembski volume)Particularly the section on Eliminative Induction on pages 328-29.

Comment #41738

Posted by ts on August 7, 2005 1:14 AM (e)

T. Russ wrote:

The definition they give in their encyclopedia for ID can get the ball rolling. “Intelligent design: the theory that …

Do you really, after all this time, not know what a scientific theory is? That it isn’t simply a raw claim, especially not one expressed as a negative claim against a scientific theory, or a claim of necessity?

requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation

Kindly provide such an explanation, or even indicate what form it might take. Or do you simply not understand what an explanation is, and think that “requires intelligent agency” or “is a product of intelligent agency” is one?

As for testing ID by “the scientific method”. I’m not too sure what you mean there. I have had too many years of study in the history and philosophy departments at my university

But none in any science department, apparently. And this speaks very poorly of those philosophy departments, or of your study habits.

But if you will tell me what it is that you mean by “scientific method”, I will attempt a more fleshed out response to your question.

I’m sure Lenny will fill you in – he keeps this stuff ready to go, and posted a statement of the scientific method a few days ago. But for starters, please offer a testable prediction that can be inferred from the “theory” of intelligent design and that cannot be inferred without it.

Comment #41753

Posted by mark duigon on August 7, 2005 7:41 AM (e)

Exactly–every description of the “theory” of Intelligent Design says pretty much the same thing: “Intelligent design: the…organization of living things…requires intelligent agency”–but this sounds to me like merely a claim, not a theory. There have been some arguments made in support of this claim (particularly by Behe and Dembski), but they have been countered by specific contrary evidence. Furthermore, the important questions necessary to make it a real theory are never addressed–if a designer, who? and if designed, how?

Comment #41759

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 7, 2005 8:19 AM (e)

Well, I think the best place to begin to get a hold of a scientific theory of ID is over ISCID.org. The definition they give in their encyclopedia for ID can get the ball rolling.

I don’t want a “definition”. I want a testible scientific theory that can be tested using the scientififc method.

Do you have one, or don’t you.

What did the designer do, specifically. What mechanisms did it use to do whatever you think it did. Where can we see these mechanisms in operation today. And how can we test any of these using the scientific method.

As for testing ID by “the scientific method”. I’m not too sure what you mean there. I have had too many years of study in the history and philosophy departments at my university

Then why on earth are you yammering ignorantly about “science” if you don’t know anything about it? Or are IDers like you just lying to us when you claim ID is “science” and not just religious apologetics?

By the way, would you mind pointing to any argument being made for ID that isn’t just a plagiarized version of something that the ICR-ites were already shoveling on people decades ago?

Well …. ?

Comment #41779

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on August 7, 2005 11:08 AM (e)

The original press release for Dr. Fuz’s announcement (which I posted in the Statements on ID Education thread here), avers that he is “one of the world’s top three leading experts in origin of life research”.

It does not say who the other two might be, nor does it disclose just when and where he won his bronze medal. However, it does include contact info for his PR agent.

Rana and “renowned astro-physicist Dr. Hugh Ross” are co-authors of Who Was Adam?, in which they “propose a new model for human origins—a model that is fully testable, falsifiable, and predictive—the very argument that the natural evolutionists use to discredit those who espouse Intelligent Design by saying they cannot scientifically prove their case for a creator.”

Hurray - Lenny’s long search is over! (Isn’t it?)

Comment #41780

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 7, 2005 11:14 AM (e)

Rana and “renowned astro-physicist Dr. Hugh Ross” are co-authors of Who Was Adam?, in which they “propose a new model for human origins�”a model that is fully testable, falsifiable, and predictive�”the very argument that the natural evolutionists use to discredit those who espouse Intelligent Design by saying they cannot scientifically prove their case for a creator.”

Hurray - Lenny’s long search is over! (Isn’t it?)

Given the crap that comes from Ross concerning his, uh, “scientific theory of creation”, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting …. .

But if Ross has a theory of human origins, I’m curious if he will tell us how the flying saucers (ya know, the ones that coem from Satan) fit in ….

Ross is just as nutty as any ICR-ite.

Comment #41781

Posted by Frank J on August 7, 2005 11:18 AM (e)

T. Russ wrote:

I understand it when anti-ID propogandists try to equate the two terms in order to spread misinformation or confuse readers in order to keep an upperhand.

You may have noticed that this anti-ID “propogandist” takes every opportunity to remind everyone that most IDers are not YECs, and that some even admit common descent. But for the most part the ID strategy is “don’t ask, don’t tell” about the age of the earth and common descent. That baits many of their critics, including classic OECs, into suggesting that they are closet YECs, and I can just see the high fives when that happens.

My speculation is the opposite. While I make clear that I do not pretend to know the private thoughts of any particular individual, the possibility that many (most? all?) major IDers are closet evolutionists cannot be overlooked. What’s important though, is not want they believe, but what they let the audience infer. ID’s noncommittal approach makes it easier for many people to infer YEC because it neither criticizes it directly nor defends it, which risks exposing its flaws. Because YEC is firmly ingrained in most minds, whether they take it literally or not, ID can promote YEC even better than a direct sell.

If there were something to YEC or OEC claims, however, IDers would be all over it. They would not need the legally risky and scientifically irrelevant “argument from design.” Nor would they need to misrepresent evolution, quote scientists out of context, etc. and risk all credibility with mainstream science and mainstream religion. Even if most IDers are not “closet evolutionists,” most sure seem to know that YEC and OEC are nonsense. But for whatever reason, they need to sell it anyway.

Comment #41799

Posted by GT(N)T on August 7, 2005 2:57 PM (e)

“But I guess the best way to go about testing the theory today is to first agree on a definition and understanding of what exactly complex specified information is, then show how it can be produced without recourse to intelligent agency. If that can be shown convincingly, the current theory of ID would then be falsified.”

This doesn’t falsify ID. Just because something could be produced without recourse to intelligent agency doesn’t mean it COULDN’T be produced without recourse to intelligent agency. I can drive a nail using a rock, that doesn’t mean I can’t drive a nail using a hammer.

The ‘theory’ of intelligent design is not falsifiable.

Comment #41801

Posted by T. Russ on August 7, 2005 3:30 PM (e)

Before I start to answer some of your questions, or charges/insults, I am going to attempt a little clarification of what I meant by my education leading me to doubt that there is any one particularly setdown, tried and true, “scientific method”. I have just completed my undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Oklahoma and throughout my study I had become convinced by some of the arguments of historians and philosophers of science like Thomas Kuhn who see scientific theories as devoloping by way of much more than the five to eight step ordered process of “making observations, consulting prior knowledge, formulating a hypothesis, designing a controlled experiment, collecting data, interpreting data, consulting prior knowledge again, then drawing conclusions.” This is a fine little model of the means of discovery but has not always been the way in which certain scientific revolutions have come about. Darwin himself didn’t exactly follow this model did he? But still Darwins theory of natural selection to explain the diversification and new creation of species is a scientific theory proposed in 1859 to explain a great many observations in the natural world which he made throughout his travels and research. I think that Darwins special theory of natural selction is a good theory (possesss great explanatory power)and still has much to offer in explantaion of natural observations today. Myself, along with many other ID proponents think that his theory, and subsequent derivations and improvements on it, simply fails to explain many discoveries made since his time. (Genetic information, bodyplan programs, molecular machines, the complex interactions between proteins, enzymes, and hormones in the cell, etc etc.) The Complex Specified Information necessary at many levels for the mechanism of Natural Selection to even occur and produce new species is not explained by Darwin’s theory. A better explanation of CSI is a theory which posits a mechanism of intelligent agency (which for those of you who don’t understand, “Intelligent Agency itself is a mechanism. One which I am now employing to design/specify english letters into complex arrangments in order to convey information/meaning to you)to explain CSI. To falsify this claim, show that nature by whatever and all natural mechanisms (the opposite of Intelligent Agency), can produce CSI.

But right now, I just woke up, (late night last night) would like to drink a latte and take a shower. I will be back later to respond to posts prior to this one, and then maybe look at those attacking what I have just written above.

Cheers,

T. Russ

Comment #41805

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on August 7, 2005 3:52 PM (e)

T. Russ,

Please tell us whether or not “the system is massively improbable” is part of the definition of CSI, or not.

If it is, then saying “CSI systems are too improbable to arise by evolution” is just a meaningless tautology.

If it isn’t, then you need to tell us what the real criteria for determining CSI are, and then show that evolution can’t produce systems meeting these criteria.

See Definitional Complexity for a summary of your/Dembski’s problem.

Comment #41825

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 7, 2005 9:14 PM (e)

Before I start to answer some of your questions, or charges/insults, I am going to attempt a little clarification of what I meant by my education

I don’t give a flying fig about your education. I just want answers to my simple questions.

Forget them already? No problem:

*ahem*

I want a testible scientific theory of ID that can be tested using the scientififc method.

Do you have one, or don’t you.

What did the designer do, specifically. What mechanisms did it use to do whatever you think it did. Where can we see these mechanisms in operation today. And how can we test any of these using the scientific method.

Wave your arms all you want. Just answer my questions.

Comment #41875

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 8, 2005 7:07 AM (e)

I don’t give a flying fig about your education. I just want answers to my simple questions.

Forget them already? No problem:

*ahem*

I want a testible scientific theory of ID that can be tested using the scientififc method.

Do you have one, or don’t you.

What did the designer do, specifically. What mechanisms did it use to do whatever you think it did. Where can we see these mechanisms in operation today. And how can we test any of these using the scientific method.

Wave your arms all you want. Just answer my questions.

Well?

Comment #41903

Posted by Hyperion on August 8, 2005 12:07 PM (e)

“making observations, consulting prior knowledge, formulating a hypothesis, designing a controlled experiment, collecting data, interpreting data, consulting prior knowledge again, then drawing conclusions.” This is a fine little model of the means of discovery but has not always been the way in which certain scientific revolutions have come about. Darwin himself didn’t exactly follow this model did he?

Ummm, yes he did. He made observations (finch beaks), consulted prior knowledge (his theological training, Lamarkian inheritance) and found them both incapable of explaining his observations, he collected more data on the differences in the finches and their habitats, and how the latter impacted the former, and drew conclusions that the finches has shared a common ancestor who had migrated to the Galapagos from the mainlands, settled down, and diversified on the various islands based on available food supplies. His conclusion was that animals would adapt and evolve to meet selective pressures such as changing food supply, and that one common group of ancestors could give rise to a diverse group of modified descendents over time.

He followed the scientific process to the T. Even non-scientists like myself ought to be capable of seeing that. He observed changes, proposed both a cause and a mechanism that explained all observed evidence. The truly remarkable thing was that Mendel’s work on genetics, which was being done separately around the same time, wound up strengthening Darwin’s theory by confirming both hereditary characteristics and how mutations could change hereditary characteristics.

Comment #41992

Posted by T. Russ on August 10, 2005 1:37 PM (e)

Sorry for a late reply here. I couldn’t get to a computer and then when I did, the server was down here at PT. But, should we continue this discussion here or somewhere else. If you look back up at the original comment I made, it was in reference to the oddity in Dr. Rana’s quote about ID theorists and whether he might should have said or actually had said YECers.

Of course, my not jumping up and down about disparate activity among various creationist types, and my noted lack of degrading cutdowns about ID theorists, revealed that I supported ID and therefore my own views and ID theory was immediately the new topic at hand. That is perfectly fine with me, (ID is interesting and worth talking about. Although I am still curious about the Quote from Rana…) but should we continue this here.

Quick replies:

Rev: Re-read some of my prior posts, I have not dodged your questions as you seem to indicate. And I asked you for your version of the scientific method so I could then make a fitting response.

Hyperion: If Darwin can be shown to have followed the scientific manner in the way that you showed then lets see…

Dembski and Behe etc made observations (complex specified information, Irreducible complexity), consulted prior knowledge (their scientific, mathematical, and theological training, Neo-darwinism and self-organization) and found them both incapable of explaining their observations, they collected more data on complex specified information, Irreducible complexity, noted the cambrian explosion in genetic information, enlisted other scientists like Scott Minnich. Continued to test whether neo-darwinism or any other available theories could explain their data. Found that chance and necessity could not purchase CSI and that darwinain gradualism could not explain irreducible complexity. Their conclusion was then that certain features in the natural world required a mechanism or explanation able to produce complex specified information, molecular machines etc. Developed the theory of Intelligent Design. And are trying to take it before the scientific mainstream and get a hearing.

By the way, go read Darwin’s Origin of Species and see If he even mentions the finches that you seem to think were so important to him during the development of his theory. Geuss what you’ll find? Seriously, more people should read Darwin. Especially those defending his ideas.

Comment #41995

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on August 10, 2005 1:58 PM (e)

T. Russ, much of your description of the ‘method’ followed by Dembski and Behe (et. al.) is inaccurate. May I explain?

Dembski and Behe etc made observations (complex specified information, Irreducible complexity),

Factually incorrect. Dembski etc. have made assertions that IC and CSI exist - they have never demonstrated this. Ever.

consulted prior knowledge (their scientific, mathematical, and theological training, Neo-darwinism and self-organization) and found them both incapable of explaining their observations,

Once again, inaccurate. They have asserted that these casual mechanisms are inadequate, but they have been refuted (they simply ignore the results they don’t like) by such things as AVIDA, and the existence of more primitive versions of supposedly IC structures (blood clotting cascade).

they collected more data on complex specified information, Irreducible complexity,

False. They have not managed to demonstrate that CSI or IC exists in anything. Perhaps you can point us to the catalog of ‘specified stuff’ that Dembski once claimed needed to be built? The poster child of ID is the flagellum, and no one has demonstrated that it is IC or contains CSI. If you believe otherwise, please cite the literature and calculations.

noted the cambrian explosion in genetic information,

Not at all. They’ve done nothing with this observation except misinterpret the significance of it.

Continued to test whether neo-darwinism or any other available theories could explain their data.

Where? Cite the actual tests and research. Hint: there aren’t any.

Found that chance and necessity could not purchase CSI and that darwinain gradualism could not explain irreducible complexity.

Many problems here: as indicated, CSI and IC have never been demonstrated to exist; AVIDA contradicts the argument that they cannot develop through ‘algorithmic’ processes.

Their conclusion was then that certain features in the natural world required a mechanism or explanation able to produce complex specified information, molecular machines etc.

No. They have asserted that these things exist. Cite, please the actual mathematcs that demonstrate Dembski’s CSI. On ANYTHING. It doesn’t exist.

Developed the theory of Intelligent Design.

A theory that you have been unable to describe. Who is the designer? What was designed? What are the mechanisms? How do we test for them?

And are trying to take it before the scientific mainstream and get a hearing.

They have done NOTHING to take it to the scientific mainstream. They have written popular books and tried to influence school curriculums. The scientific mainstream realizes that they have nothing: no theory, no research, no experiments, no credibility.

Apparently, you don’t realize that.

By the way, go read Darwin’s Origin of Species and see If he even mentions the finches that you seem to think were so important to him during the development of his theory. Geuss what you’ll find? Seriously, more people should read Darwin. Especially those defending his ideas.

Comment #41998

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 10, 2005 2:23 PM (e)

T. Russ

Dembski and Behe etc … noted the cambrian explosion in genetic information…

Comment #41999

Posted by GCT on August 10, 2005 2:29 PM (e)

T. Russ, could you please tell me what a “molecular machine” is? Are we all cyborgs? That would be cool.

Comment #42000

Posted by Russell on August 10, 2005 2:41 PM (e)

T. Rex was here many months ago, and promised he was going to study Elsberry & Wilkins demolitions of Dembski’s arguments, and not come back till he could tell us why they’re wrong. How’s that coming along?

Comment #42001

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 10, 2005 2:48 PM (e)

T. Russ

Dembski and Behe etc … noted the cambrian explosion in genetic information…

Actually, the creationists and IDists typically focus on the fossil record from the Cambrian, rather than the “genetic information,” and usually in an outdated and incomplete way, ignoring a good deal of earlier evidence (including the Vendian and Ediacaran biomes, tracks and traces of earlier soft-bodied organisms, and the recent discoveries of pre-Cambrian fossils from China–see, for example, the posts and comments right on this very blog linking to the most recent issues of Sci Am).

Contrary to the implication in T. Russ’s statement, the “genetic information” has strongly suggested for the last decade or more that the shared “tool kit” of the bilaterian and metazoan clades predates the Cambrian appearance of diverse large hard-bodied animals by many millions of years.

The only major “disagreement” surrounding the interpretation of this information seems to be whether it supports an origin of animals, say, “just” 50-100 million years below the Cambrian, or whether the genes that enabled the rise of animals instead came together several hundred million years earlier.

You ID types really need to keep up with your reading, instead of just cutting and pasting from each others’ dubious screeds. But, then, lacking any actual research or publication by “Dembski and Behe etc,” your motivation for reading is probably also lacking.

Comment #42005

Posted by Flint on August 10, 2005 3:44 PM (e)

RGD:

1) In the religious world, everything becomes true by assertion. Even *evidence* comes true by assertion.

2) Thus, science itself necessarily becomes a process of making assertions. How so? Because religious people SAY so, and that’s how things become true.

T. Russ does, as you point out, make one factually incorrect statement after another after another. But by SAYING so, his statements become true. And by denying them, you reveal yourself as a follower of a false faith. He SAYS so.

And so we have the normal spectacle, of scientific types waving around endless actual evidences in the hopes of convincing those for whom evidence is irrelevant.

Comment #42016

Posted by SEF on August 10, 2005 5:16 PM (e)

the possibility that many (most? all?) major IDers are closet evolutionists

I agree that it often looks that way. While the sheeple may merely be incompetent through stupidity and (wilful) ignorance, the extent of the machinations and weasel words of those given power by the sheeple show that they know they are being dishonest and that evolution is “true”.

Of course there’s also the possibility that a few of them are so mentally incompetent in the direction of being clinically insane that they can’t really be judged to be aware of their own dishonesty. The only difference that should normally make though is when deciding in which institution to lock up a particular criminal. It certainly isn’t grounds for letting them loose or letting them run anything important.

Comment #42039

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 10, 2005 6:39 PM (e)

Hey Mr Russ, you seem not to have answered my simple questions. Hmmm. I can onyl think of three possible reasons why you won;t just answer my simple questions and tell me what the scientific theory of ID is. Those three possible reasons are:

(1) there IS NO scientific theory of ID, and IDers (like you) are just lying to us when they claim there is.

(2) there IS a scientific theory of ID, but you are too dumb and uninformed to know what it is.

or

(3) there IS a scientific theory of ID and you DO know what it is, but for some unfathomable reason, you want to keep it a big secret from everyone else.

If you won’t tell me what the scientific theory of ID is, Mr Russ, would you please at least tell em WHY you won’t tell me? Is it reaosn number one, number two, or number three?

My money, of course, is on reason number one.

You, of course, can prove me wrong, right here in front of the whole world, simply by telling us what is the scientific theory of ID. What did the designer do, specifically. What mechanisms did it use to do whatever you think it did. Where can we see these mechanisms in operation today. And how can we test any of these using the scientific method.

But of course you won’t. You can’t. There isn’t any. (shrug)

Comment #42040

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 10, 2005 6:42 PM (e)

Rev: Re-read some of my prior posts, I have not dodged your questions as you seem to indicate. And I asked you for your version of the scientific method so I could then make a fitting response.

Don’t bullshit me, Mr Russ.

Comment #42047

Posted by steve on August 10, 2005 7:34 PM (e)

[quote]Comment #42000

Posted by Russell on August 10, 2005 02:41 PM (e) (s)

T. Rex was here many months ago, and promised he was going to study Elsberry & Wilkins demolitions of Dembski’s arguments, and not come back till he could tell us why they’re wrong. How’s that coming along?
[/quote]I haven’t read Elsberry & Wilkins, but if it’s anything like Elsberry and Shallit, there’s just no way to defend Dembski after reading that. IDK why T-Russ continues with the IC and CSI stuff considering that Behe has utterly backtracked on IC, Dembski backtracked on NFL, and admitted that natural processes can generate CSI–but he calls that “apparent CSI”. T. Russ is behind the times.

Hey T-Russ, were you around here a few months ago when an Information Theory grad student requested the source of the quote “William Dembski is the Isaac Newton of Information Theory” so he could pass it around his department, and they could all have a big laugh?

Comment #42049

Posted by steve on August 10, 2005 7:37 PM (e)

Let’s try that with the new formatting codes

Comment #42000

Posted by Russell on August 10, 2005 02:41 PM (e) (s)

T. Rex was here many months ago, and promised he was going to study Elsberry & Wilkins demolitions of Dembski’s arguments, and not come back till he could tell us why they’re wrong. How’s that coming along?

I haven’t read Elsberry & Wilkins, but if it’s anything like Elsberry and Shallit, there’s just no way to defend Dembski after reading that. IDK why T-Russ continues with the IC and CSI stuff considering that Behe has utterly backtracked on IC, Dembski backtracked on NFL, and admitted that natural processes can generate CSI–but he calls that “apparent CSI”. T. Russ is behind the times.

Hey T-Russ, were you around here a few months ago when an Information Theory grad student requested the source of the quote “William Dembski is the Isaac Newton of Information Theory” so he could pass it around his department, and they could all have a big laugh?

Comment #42053

Posted by steve on August 10, 2005 7:48 PM (e)

BTW, T Russ, the proper response to Lenny’s question “What is the theory of ID?” was given by Discovery Institute associate Paul Nelson:

“Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. 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.”

Comment #42054

Posted by steve on August 10, 2005 7:51 PM (e)

Paul Nelson has to admit there’s no theory, to explain why there are no ID experiments. He has more integrity than some of his peers.

Comment #42055

Posted by ts on August 10, 2005 8:08 PM (e)

Before I start to answer some of your questions, or charges/insults

All well earned.

I am going to attempt a little clarification of what I meant by my education leading me to doubt that there is any one particularly setdown, tried and true, “scientific method”.

But that wasn’t your claim, this was:

I have had too many years of study in the history and philosophy departments at my university to believe any longer in any so-called scientific method.

You don’t believe in any “so-called” scientific method, based on … what? Your convenient over-dependence on and misapplication of Kuhn, to the exclusion of Popper, Lakatos, and the entire body of science as actually practiced, and your misrepresentations of the methods of Darwin, Dembski, and Behe. And when called on your blather about Darwin not applying the scientific method, you turn around and invent blather about Dembski and Behe doing the same thing. Do try to get your story straight.

which for those of you who don’t understand, “Intelligent Agency itself is a mechanism.

It is you who willfully do not understand. If “intelligent agency” is a mechanism, then please show us the schematic. The request was for an explanation. Simply waving your hands and committing a category mistake doesn’t cut it. Intelligence is an effect of a mechanism, it isn’t a mechanism itself; many different mechanisms can produce intelligence. And “agency” is status accorded to certain entities; it isn’t a “mechanism” in any way. These are fundamental errors, and should get a failing grade in any competent course in philosophy, but sadly academic philosophy has no objective standards of quality and tends to accumulate fools and incompetents who can’t make it in more demanding fields.

Comment #42059

Posted by ts on August 10, 2005 8:23 PM (e)

I have had too many years of study in the history and philosophy departments at my university to believe any longer in any so-called scientific method.

I have just completed my undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and History of Science

Wow. That many years, huh?

Comment #42105

Posted by T. Russ on August 11, 2005 3:26 AM (e)

Wow, you guys are nice. Thanks for all the “statements” and “assertions” given in rebuttal to my post. I guess I should take a look at them.

Granddaughter of Rilke:

Thanks for telling me that my description of the ‘method’ followed by Dembski and Behe is inaccurate. You explained this to me by way of many great assertions. You made the assertion that Dembski and Behe’s observations are just “assertions” and then asserted that IC and CSI have never been demonstrated to exist. Thanks. I’ll look that up. Wow! That assertion is everywhere on PT. Awesome! Then you told me that IC and CSI can be accounted for by “such things as AVIDA and the existence of more primitive versions of supposedly IC structures.” Wow! I’ve never heard that assertion before! Okay, actually that assertion isn’t all that new. I have a copy of a lecture by Scott Minnich (who may or may not be an actual “scientist” depending on whether you agree with him about things that are deeply important to you) in which these assertions are dealt with at length. But then again you did help me out with another assertion explaining that ID theorists “have not managed to demonstrate that CSI or IC exists in anything.” You forgot to point me to the catalogue of evidence supporting this assertion but then again as is common with anti-ID folks you switched on over to a question. You wanted me to provide you with a “catalog of ‘specified stuff’ that Dembski once claimed needed to be built?” Well, check out any catalogue you like, I am sure you will find plenty of specified stuff in it. But if you don’t have any catalogues sitting around, just google the human genome or look up the specific sequence of amino acids which form the GroeS and GroeL or some other proteins. I am told that I am behind in my reading (well, okay I am studying the history of science most of the time)but it still seems to me that Dembski argues the Bacterial Flagella is a fine case of a structure full of specified complexity in need of being built. You mentioned that, “The poster child of ID is the flagellum,” and then you asserted that “no one has demonstrated that it is IC or contains CSI.” Sorry about that, I guess I have read some really bad stuff. Thanks for telling me that ID theorists have done nothing but misinterpret the significance of the Cambrian explosion. I realize that Dr. Meyers paper is wrong and stupid because you guys say it is, and even though it appeared to me that the fellas over at the DI made critics of Meyers paper look like silly little bluff artists bent on silencing his publication, I am told that that really isn’t the case. You also told me other things were not true like, ID theorists have “done NOTHING to take it (ID) to the scientific mainstream.” I know, I know, ID theorists never have tried to talk to any other scientists out there in the world, they have never tried to publish any papers anywhere in the scientific literature and so on and on and on. The papers listed at the DI’s site under the heading “Bibliography of Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design” are completely made up and therefore constitute NOTHING. Anyways, as you asserted the “scientific mainstream” asserts that ID has no theory, no research, no experiments, no credibility. Then you told me that I didn’t realize that. Thanks. Your post was excellent and chalk full of science and reason.

GCT:

“The term “molecular machine” first entered the vocabulary of science in the late 1980’s. Today a search on Google™ for the term, or its derivatives (protein machines and molecular motors) yields over 60,000 hits. In the biosciences, the term refers to a complex biomacromolecule (or a localized assembly of biomacromolecules) that consumes energy in order to perform a specific action. According to the Foresight Institute, a non-profit devoted to educating society about nanotechnology; a molecular machine is, “A mechanical device that performs a useful function using components of nanometer scale and defined structure including both artificial nanomachines and naturally occurring devices found in biological systems” (iscid.org encyclopedia)

To read more about them go to iscid.org and continue reading their entry. Or for more info, try one of those 60,000 google hits. But for an non ID related source and some examples, go to http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ccmm/latex/node3.html

And uhh, no we are not cyborgs, we are organisms. Just send me an email if you want a definition of organism. Okay? Good Boy.

Russell: Yeah, I read Elberry’s stuff. Should we talk about that here too? Man oh man, don’t post at PT unless you want to devote your life to answering everybody’s questions and comment, both those on topic and off, occuring in the past, present, and future. And remember that no matter what, people will remember you and everything you ever said if you come around here and attempt to discuss ID without being completely set against it. Sheesh…

But in all seriousness. I would like to discuss Elsbery and Wilkins and Elsberry and Shallits papers sometime. Where does that need to go down?

Steviepinhead:

You wrote that “…IDists typically focus on the fossil record from the Cambrian, rather than the “genetic information,”

Have you read the article “The Cambrian Information Explosion: Evidence for Intelligent Design.” in Debating Design? If you want to get up on your reading, check it out. Also, If you haven’t read Meyers paper from the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington email him and he’ll send you a hard copy. Oh but wait, according Rilke’s Granddaughter that would never happen because ID types do not want to take their ideas to the scientific mainstream.

Whatever the case, your comments are false. For it is readily apparent that ID theorist Stephen Meyer is arguing about the explosion of information. But then again… Stephen Meyer probably goes to Church occasionally and is therefore wrong and Cambridge probably only published that article because they were forced to by fundamentalist zealots with big money.

RGD:

Thank you for your assertions about the religious world. I feel very informed now. I don’t study religion in the way that you must, so thank you for enlightening me and thanks for “saying so.”

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank:

I’ll go with option number four.

(4) No matter what I tell you the theory of ID is, you will assert that it is not a theory for such and such a reason. But, I still hold to the definition over at iscid. “Intelligent design is the theory that the directed organization of living things cannot be accounted for by purely blind natural forces but also requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation.”

As for some of your questions that I might attempt some answers to…

What did the designer do specifically? … Well, I would say… Designed the natural world from the big bang on through the crystallization and formation of the four fundamental interactions (electromagnetic, gravitational, strong, and weak interactions), the minting of the laws of nuclear physics, the distribution of elements in the cosmos, to the origin of biomacromolecules and the genetic codes for proteins, enzymes, organismal forms, on up through the origin of human beings and everything else in between. What ID theorist are trying to understand is whether or not any features of the designers “design” are yet detectable and quantifiable by modern scientific methods.

What mechanisms did it use to do whatever you think it did?
This is actually a very interesting question and deserves serious thought and attention. But I think the answer will be something along similar lines to the answer of the following question? By what mechanisms do the intelligent agents on pandasthumb use to write their responses specifying English letters into meaningful complex sequences?

Where can we see these mechanisms in operation today?
All over the place. Everywhere and anywhere that intelligent agents specify matter into complex arrangements which we recognize as design.

BTW: I am not bullshitting you Mr.’Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank

Steve: See above for what I have to say about discussing Elsberry. Here, Now?

Your assertions that Behe has “utterly” backtracked on IC and Dembski has backtracked on NFL, and admitted that natural processes can generate CSI are over exaggerations. Behe and Dembski are doing science and modifying and extending their theories to account for growing knowledge in the field.

And no, I wasn’t around when some grad student wanted to know where the “Newton of information” quote came from so he could pass it around and laugh at it. Man, how cool is that. Very Scientific!

How old is that Paul Nelson quote (I don’t think it is very recent) and does he stick by it today, and did he go on to clarify his position? Is it possible that he meant that a theory is in need of developing and continued attention among those in the scientific and philosophical academies. I ask these questions seriously if anyone here knows. On some blogs, people answer each others questions and help them find things like this out. Anyone have any info on Dr. Nelsons current opinions?

ts: Your a real sweetheart. Thank you for all the cutdowns. But for one, I don’t think I misunderstand Kuhn. And since you mentioned them, do you really think Popper, and Lakatos, and the entire history of science, reveal that there is some objective form of a particular “scientific method.”

I’m not too sure you are at all right in your statements on intelligence. You focused your comments on defining the word intelligence for me. Thanks. But I am not talking about Intelligence and Agency, but Intelligent Agency. I’m looking more into this at the moment and won’t comment anymore about intelligent agency as a mechanism until I sort out what I think about it. You could be right about it. Somewhere above, I posed the question “By what mechanisms do the intelligent agents on pandasthumb use to write their responses specifying English letters into meaningful complex sequences?” What do you think the answer to that question is?

Also, I didn’t mean to brag or argue that I have had many many years of education or anything like that but was only saying that over the course of my humble undergraduate years, I had been taught that the development of scientific theories doesn’t always follow some set down tried and true method.

And Uhh, I guess I’m okay with you cutting down the philosophical education system.

Everybody have a good day.

Comment #42106

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 3:42 AM (e)

I’m looking more into this at the moment and won’t comment anymore about intelligent agency as a mechanism until I sort out what I think about it.

Good idea, but then the whole idea of ID as a scientific theory, rather than a raw assertion, goes out the window.

“By what mechanisms do the intelligent agents on pandasthumb use to write their responses specifying English letters into meaningful complex sequences?” What do you think the answer to that question is?

There’s a very large collection of scientific literature in neurophysiology, cognitive science, and cognitive psychology that addresses this issue. None of which applies to an unspecified designer ghost purportedly behind biological design. OTOH, there is also a vast scientific literature supporting and explaining the theory of evolution, showing that the mechanisms involved in human cognition aren’t necessary to explain biology.

You can complain all you want about people not being nice, but it doesn’t change the fact, as Nightline reported, that the heads of the top biology departments all say there’s no scientific basis to intelligent design, and that ID is a revival of old creationist arguments. And it won’t change the fact that you are ignorant, conceptually confused, and yet so incredibly arrogant as to think that you know more than thousands and thousands of trained biologists because you now have a B.S. in philosophy of science.

Comment #42112

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 4:18 AM (e)

But, I still hold to the definition over at iscid. “Intelligent design is the theory that the directed organization of living things cannot be accounted for by purely blind natural forces but also requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation.”

Which demonstrates your bad faith, since it has been noted again and again that THIS IS NOT A THEORY. It is a raw claim with no explanatory or predictive qualities. It also is deeply conceptually confused; all of the intelligent agents with which we are familiar are themselves manifestations of “purely blind natural forces”, unless you think that your neurons, or the molecules that make up your neurons, have little eyeballs to see with. This “definition” is self-refuting because it leads immediately to an infinite regress. But even if it didn’t, the THEORY part of it, the “proper explanation”, is explicitly missing. Your so-called definition/theory is like “Architectural design is the theory that the construction of buildings cannot be accounted for by blind natural forces but also requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation.” – with the difference that at least this claim is based on direct observation of known-to-exist agents designing and constructing buildings via actually observed behavior, and we have no alternative evidence-based explanation for the existence of buildings. But no one with any sense or integrity would mistake this statement as actually being a theory of architectural design.

How old is that Paul Nelson quote (I don’t think it is very recent) and does he stick by it today, and did he go on to clarify his position? Is it possible that he meant that a theory is in need of developing and continued attention among those in the scientific and philosophical academies.

How is this different from saying that there’s no theory? It isn’t. We already have a theory, an immensely successful theory with a very active research program, that addresses the observed evidence (“I don’t think evolution could have produced this” is not evidence); it’s called the theory of evolution. You should spend some time reading the rich scientific literature about it, and stop regurgitating the output of two or three people working at one or two “think tanks” heavily funded by people like Howard Ahmanson who are pushing a specific political agenda.

Comment #42131

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 11, 2005 7:28 AM (e)

What did the designer do specifically? … Well, I would say… Designed the natural world from the big bang on through the crystallization and formation of the four fundamental interactions (electromagnetic, gravitational, strong, and weak interactions), the minting of the laws of nuclear physics, the distribution of elements in the cosmos, to the origin of biomacromolecules and the genetic codes for proteins, enzymes, organismal forms, on up through the origin of human beings and everything else in between. What ID theorist are trying to understand is whether or not any features of the designers “design” are yet detectable and quantifiable by modern scientific methods.

That’s nice. You didn’t answer my question. I’ll ask again.

What did the designer do, specifically.

Let’s talk about a specific example. IDers claim the bacterial flagellum is intelligently designed. What, specifically, do IDers assert the designer did to produce a batcerial flagellum. Did it superglue a flagellum onto a poor unsuspecting bacterium? Did the designer use its Super Duper Industrial-Strength DNA Re_Sequencer to ZAP flagellum genes into the bacterium? What, specifically, did the designer do to produce a flagellum.

What mechanisms did it use to do whatever you think it did?
This is actually a very interesting question and deserves serious thought and attention.

Which it won’t get, right?

But I think the answer will be something along similar lines to the answer of the following question? By what mechanisms do the intelligent agents on pandasthumb use to write their responses specifying English letters into meaningful complex sequences?

They use a computer. Did the intelligent designer use a computer?

Please answer my questions and quit bullshitting me. Whaqt did the designer do, specifically. How, specifically, did it produce a batcerial flagellum? What mechanisms did it use to produce this flagellum and introduce it to bacteria?

Where can we see these mechanisms in operation today?
All over the place. Everywhere and anywhere that intelligent agents specify matter into complex arrangements which we recognize as design.

Um, can you be a little more specific than “everywhere and anywhere”?

What, specifically, did the desigenr do to produce batcerial flagella. What mechanism, specifically, did it use to do whatever, specifically, it did. Where, specifically, can we see this mechanism in action today.

BTW: I am not bullshitting you Mr.’Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank

BTW, you are indeed bullshitting me, Mr Russ. I suspect that’s because the only answers you really have to my above questions are “Goddidit”, and, like other IDers, you are too dishonest to say so.

Comment #42132

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 11, 2005 7:33 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quot'

Comment #42133

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 11, 2005 7:38 AM (e)

(4) No matter what I tell you the theory of ID is, you will assert that it is not a theory for such and such a reason.

I guess we’ll never know what I will or won’t assert, since you’ll never tell me what your scientific theory of ID is.

Instead, all I get from you is a “Ralph Kramden” response: “You think I won’t tell you? You think I won’t TELL you?? Just for that, I’m not gonna TELL you.”

But, I still hold to the definition over at iscid. “Intelligent design is the theory that the directed organization of living things cannot be accounted for by purely blind natural forces but also requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation.”

I’m not interested in anyone’s “definition”. I want a scientific theory of ID.

Or are you, like other IDers, just lying to us when you claim to have one.

Comment #42135

Posted by Flint on August 11, 2005 7:50 AM (e)

[quote]Which demonstrates your bad faith, since it has been noted again and again that THIS IS NOT A THEORY. It is a raw claim with no explanatory or predictive qualities[/quote]And around and around we go. It becomes a theory because T. Russ SAYS it’s a theory. Isn’t that how things becme true? Yes it is, he SAYS so. Actual evidence? Mere assertions, to be waved away as required.

He has a degree in philosophy, so he understands this simple concept. Actual scientists, lacking his educational qualifications, do not.

Comment #42179

Posted by T. Russ on August 11, 2005 1:27 PM (e)

I have never said anything about my little philosophy degree “qualifying” me or making me better educated than anybody here. I only first brought it up to explain where and when I became convinced that scientific explanations do not come about by any one particular set of steps often refered to as the “scientific method.”

Comment #42187

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 1:45 PM (e)

So I guess that means we aren’t going to learn from you what the scientific theory of intelligent design is, or what the intelligent designer did to bring about its designs. It was quite amusing that you answered Lenny’s question “What did the designer do, specifically” with “Designed the natural world …”. I’m not sure whether that’s bad faith or rank stupidity, but it really doesn’t matter either way, the result is the same.

Comment #42227

Posted by T. Russ on August 11, 2005 3:58 PM (e)

What did evolution do? Design the natural world. Well, that’s one theory… However, I would not call it rank stupidity or bad faith. Evolution is a good, and interesting theory worth serious thought and consideration. Can it account for all design found in Nature? At this juncture I have not been convinced that it can. Sorry to disappoint you. Another explanation for design in the natural world just might be that it was designed in much the same way that a computer scientist designs a programm, or an engineer designs a machine.

Call me crazy for thinking this possible in the first place, and call me wicked for willfully thinking about it, call me stupid for finding the theory worthwhile, but don’t go to bed at night thinking that you said anything whatsoever helpful to resolving your case against ID.

Comment #42231

Posted by GCT on August 11, 2005 4:03 PM (e)

T Russ wrote:

“The term “molecular machine” first entered the vocabulary of science in the late 1980’s. Today a search on Google™ for the term, or its derivatives (protein machines and molecular motors) yields over 60,000 hits. In the biosciences, the term refers to a complex biomacromolecule (or a localized assembly of biomacromolecules) that consumes energy in order to perform a specific action. According to the Foresight Institute, a non-profit devoted to educating society about nanotechnology; a molecular machine is, “A mechanical device that performs a useful function using components of nanometer scale and defined structure including both artificial nanomachines and naturally occurring devices found in biological systems” (iscid.org encyclopedia)

To read more about them go to iscid.org and continue reading their entry. Or for more info, try one of those 60,000 google hits. But for an non ID related source and some examples, go to http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ccmm/latex/node3.html

And uhh, no we are not cyborgs, we are organisms. Just send me an email if you want a definition of organism. Okay? Good Boy.

First of all, who you calling, “Boy?”

So, you claim molecular machines are evidence of ID? Is your evidence the fact that people call them machines? Is your ID argument predicated on a semantic argument? People say the word, “machines” so they must mean design? What’s funny though is that your own definition says that they are “naturally occurring” in biological systems. Before you try to condescend to someone, you might want to think about the stuff coming out of your piehole.

Comment #42237

Posted by GCT on August 11, 2005 4:17 PM (e)

T Russ wrote:

Call me crazy for thinking this possible in the first place, and call me wicked for willfully thinking about it, call me stupid for finding the theory worthwhile, but don’t go to bed at night thinking that you said anything whatsoever helpful to resolving your case against ID.

We don’t have to make a case against ID until ID makes a case for itself. Do you have any evidence beyond assumptions and assertions? Is your whole argument that evolution “can [not] account for all design found in Nature?” Even if evolution can’t, it still lends NO POSITIVE EVIDENCE FOR ID.

Comment #42247

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on August 11, 2005 4:44 PM (e)

Mr. Russ, apparently I touched a nerve when I pointed out all the errors in your collection of assertions.

Good.

Misinformation shouldn’t be propogated - you have the opportunity to educate yourself on this subject, but apparently no desire to do so. I will give you a simple test: cite or show the actual demonstration by Dembski that the flagellum (or ANYTHING) contains CSI. The actual mathematics would be preferred. But let me give you a hint: you won’t be able to do so - since Dembski has never done so. This is why his claim of CSI in nature is an assertion without support. Mere opinion.

However, you continue to misstate facts.

What did evolution do? Design the natural world. Well, that’s one theory…

Perhaps. But it’s not the theory of evolution, which has to do with the origin of biodiversity. Excellent resources exist on the web to learn about evolution. Please take advantage of them.

However, I would not call it rank stupidity or bad faith. Evolution is a good, and interesting theory worth serious thought and consideration. Can it account for all design found in Nature? At this juncture I have not been convinced that it can. Sorry to disappoint you.

We’re not at all disappointed. Argument from incredulity is a fallacy Whether you PERSONALLY understand how evolution produces complexity and ‘design’ or not has no bearing on whether or not it does.

Another explanation for design in the natural world just might be that it was designed in much the same way that a computer scientist designs a programm, or an engineer designs a machine.

Excellent. So what is this explanation? How would one test it? What are the detailed mechanisms? What specific entities were designed and how could we identify them?

Call me crazy for thinking this possible in the first place, and call me wicked for willfully thinking about it, call me stupid for finding the theory worthwhile, but don’t go to bed at night thinking that you said anything whatsoever helpful to resolving your case against ID.

Since there is no case FOR ID, and since ID is merely an amusing concept, and not a scientific theory, there is no argument AGAINST ID - except lack of evidence.

Comment #42309

Posted by the pro from dover on August 11, 2005 9:57 PM (e)

mr. russ i have such high hopes for you! since ts and lenny wont help me perhaps you can. i stand to lose $50 if i cant come up with a scientific theory of intelligent design by labor day and i’ll pay you the $50 just to save face!!!!! i think its important (as i have previously predicted) that i.d. isnt just a “scientific alternative to evolution” it really has to be a total “scientific alternative to science!” Starting with quantum gravity at 10-43sec and moving all the way through everything replacing all physics, chemistry biology geology and cosmology. Just think of the savings of education in public schools when all these subjects can be covered in a sentence! just please dont make the the
proposed mechanism of action metaphysical and remember you cant disprove i.d. by “proving evolution.” i cant wait to see the egg on ts and lennys faces when it is fully articulated in all its intelligent glory. my concern is if the designer has been moving all the quarks and leptons in the observable universe for all of these years what happens to free will?

Comment #42317

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 10:18 PM (e)

Well, that’s one theory…

Once again, it’s not a theory.

However, I would not call it rank stupidity or bad faith

Of course you wouldn’t.

Evolution is a good, and interesting theory worth serious thought and consideration.

Unlike ID, the theory of evolution is not a raw claim with no predictive power.

Can it account for all design found in Nature? At this juncture I have not been convinced that it can. Sorry to disappoint you.

What you are or are not convinced of is irrelevant.

What is the theory of ID? What testable predictions can be inferred from it? It’s not “disappointing” that you won’t and can’t answer, it’s utterly predictable.

Comment #42318

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 11, 2005 10:23 PM (e)

Call me crazy for thinking this possible in the first place, and call me wicked for willfully thinking about it, call me stupid for finding the theory worthwhile, but don’t go to bed at night thinking that you said anything whatsoever helpful to resolving your case against ID.

How dreadful.

What year did you plan on telling me what the scientific theory of ID is.

When did you plan on telling me what the designer did specifically. Or what mechanisms it used to do whatever the heck you think it did. Or where we can see these mechanisms in action today.

Or is “POOF!! God dunnit!!!!” the extent of your, uh, “scientific theory of ID”, and, like other IDers, are you just too dishonest and evasive to say so.

Is your unwillingness to tell us what the scientific theory of ID is, the result of there not being any, or a result of your being too dumb to know what it is, or the result of some mysterious reason you have to keep it all a big secret.

I think it’s the result of there not being any.

Prove me wrong, right here in front of the whole world. Show us this scientific theory of ID.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought …. .

Comment #42320

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 10:28 PM (e)

Call me crazy for thinking this possible in the first place, and call me wicked for willfully thinking about it, call me stupid for finding the theory worthwhile, but don’t go to bed at night thinking that you said anything whatsoever helpful to resolving your case against ID.

You think that what you think has any bearing on “resolving the case against ID”? Someone who has repeatedly proven his bad faith, ignorance, and lack of comprehension? How incredibly arrogant. Why are you here? The purpose of this site is to “discuss evolutionary theory, critique the claims of the antievolution movement, defend the integrity of both science and science education, and share good conversation”. What are you contributing to those ends?

Comment #42323

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 10:37 PM (e)

what happens to free will?

See Susan Blackmore’s answer: http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_8.html#blackmore

Comment #42363

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 12, 2005 7:18 AM (e)

Why oh why why why don’t IDers ever answer any of my questions …. ?

Comment #42542

Posted by the pro from dover on August 12, 2005 9:31 PM (e)

once again lenny and ts have failed to see the silver lining in the cloud. We now have a clear method to eliminate all those costly texts and teachers and labs that we are wasting our childrens time with in public school and instead we can teach them to say “do you want fries with that?” in 30 different languages!