PvM posted Entry 1486 on September 17, 2005 03:57 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1482

Scott Rothschild reports that Nobel Laureates urge rejection of intelligent design

Thursday, September 15, 2005

TOPEKA — A group of 38 Nobel Laureates headed by Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel have asked the Kansas State Board of Education to reject science standards that criticize evolution.

In a letter to the board released today, the group from several countries said Darwinian evolution is the foundation of biology.

“ … its indispensable role has been further strengthened by the capacity to study DNA,” the group wrote. (See entire letter.)

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Comment #48653

Posted by Bob Davis on September 17, 2005 5:02 PM (e)

What a ridiculously reasonable sounding letter they’ve written. The easier for the board to dismiss it as the rantings of crazies.

a modest experiment

Comment #48656

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 17, 2005 5:13 PM (e)

Well! 38 Nobel winners, but not a Steve on the list.

Comment #48662

Posted by RBH on September 17, 2005 5:45 PM (e)

BB wrote

Well! 38 Nobel winners, but not a Steve on the list.

Yeah, but the two eligble Nobel winners have signed on to Project Steve (Weinberg & Chu).

RBH

Comment #48676

Posted by Michael Hopkins on September 17, 2005 7:04 PM (e)

Was this letter a rush job? 38 Nobel prize winners seems like a rather small amount all things considered especially considering that a few of them are peace prize winners. After all the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard resulted in 72 Nobel prize winner rejected creationism where all of them where winners of one of the three science prizes with a more detailed statement. Some more recent petitions of Nobel winners have gotten signers as well. I am sure they can get a few dozen more signers by October if they tried.

Comment #48678

Posted by joel on September 17, 2005 7:16 PM (e)

They reject the idea of Darwinian evolution as dogma, yet reject the proposed state science standards outright, probably without actually reading the standards. Isn’t that what defines dogma?

Comment #48681

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 17, 2005 7:41 PM (e)

They reject the idea of Darwinian evolution as dogma, yet reject the proposed state science standards outright, probably without actually reading the standards.

Well, let’s see how many of the ID witnesses in Kansas actually read the standards:

Q. Have you read the Majority Opinion, draft two of the standards?

A. The Majority, no, sir.

Q. You have been brought to Kansas to challenge the Majority Opinion and you have not taken the time to read it?

A. I read the part of the Minority Report that –

Q. I didn’t ask you about the Minority. Listen carefully to my question. Have you read the Majority Opinion and the answer was no?

A. Yes.

Q. And the follow-up question is, you have been brought to Kansas to tell us how educate– how we should educate our Kansas children and you have not bothered to take the time to read the Majority Opinion. Correct?

A. Again, yes– no, I have not read the Majority Opinion.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: No further questions. (Leonard testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

*************************************************

Q. Have you read in total the Majority Report?

A. No, I have not. (DeHart testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

*************************************************

Q. Have you read the majority report?

A. No, sir.

Q. Have you read the minority report in toto?

A. No, sir. I’ve read a summary of the proposed revisions. (Bryson testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

*************************************************

Q. Did you take the opportunity to read the majority report in toto?

A. No, I’ve only read the summary of proposed revisions. (Barham testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

Comment #48684

Posted by Ken Willis on September 17, 2005 8:17 PM (e)

Lots of ID supporters hold Elie Wiezel is the highest esteem. His leadership is getting this letter signed will drive them up the wall.

Comment #48688

Posted by Carl Hilton Jones on September 17, 2005 9:26 PM (e)

joel wrote:

They reject the idea of Darwinian evolution as dogma, yet reject the proposed state science standards outright, probably without actually reading the standards. Isn’t that what defines dogma?

So, joel, on what basis do you conclude that the signers “probably” did not read the standards, or did you just make that part up?

Comment #48689

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on September 17, 2005 9:32 PM (e)

Joel’s comment is remarkably ambiguous. It could be read as an indictment of the Kansas Board of Education and would, in that instance, be perfectly accurate, as a couple of the board members admitted not bothering to read the majority report. If Joel was referring to the Nobel laureates as “they”, it becomes harder to try to assign a useful meaning to the comment.

Comment #48694

Posted by Stephen Erickson on September 18, 2005 1:17 AM (e)

Wasn’t WD crowing on his blog about having a Very Important Private Meeting with a laureate (unnamed) about two months ago?

How they were convinced that “Darwinism” was going to topple like a house of cards?

Comment #48700

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 18, 2005 9:41 AM (e)

How they were convinced that “Darwinism” was going to topple like a house of cards?

“Waterloo !!! Waterloo !!! Waterloo !!!”

We’ll see who topples in Dover, right? ;>

Comment #48702

Posted by Gary Hurd on September 18, 2005 11:15 AM (e)

Steve Hawking is a Project Steve Steve, so that’s three, neh?

Comment #48703

Posted by Skip on September 18, 2005 11:19 AM (e)

Hawking is indeed number 300 on the Steve list, but he has never won a Nobel prize.

Comment #48704

Posted by steve on September 18, 2005 12:30 PM (e)

Does Tradesports have a contract on the Dover case?

Comment #48707

Posted by DrJohn on September 18, 2005 1:59 PM (e)

The letter will not mean a thing.

First, god trumps Nobel prizes. Second, science is devoid of bible, therefore needs bible added to it, and as soon as possible.

So much for intelligent life in Kansas.

Comment #48708

Posted by Dave Cerutti on September 18, 2005 2:21 PM (e)

Well, I was just having a conversation with a certain ID supporter I know. He was quick to remind me that the Kansas Science Education standards do NOT include the teaching of intelligent design. If anyone can address this statement directly, please let me know, but I’m afraid in this provincial point he’s correct, and the laureates’ letter is wrong in its last statement. The standards include a lot of clauses about teaching scientific evidence against evolution, which is code-word for ID or other creationist notions. But, can anyone point me to where these standards explicitly suggest the teaching of intelligent design?

Comment #48709

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 18, 2005 2:44 PM (e)

He was quick to remind me that the Kansas Science Education standards do NOT include the teaching of intelligent design.

Neither did the Cobb County stickers.

That didn’t prevent the courts from laughing at them and tossing them out, anyway.

Comment #48710

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 18, 2005 2:46 PM (e)

First, god trumps Nobel prizes. Second, science is devoid of bible, therefore needs bible added to it, and as soon as possible.

I see. So ID is all about “getting Bible added to science”, and when IDers tell us otherwise, they are just lying to us.

That’s what I thought, but thanks for clearing that up.

Are you willing to testify to that under oath in Dover next week?

Comment #48717

Posted by CJ O'Brien on September 18, 2005 5:12 PM (e)

can anyone point me to where these standards explicitly suggest the teaching of intelligent design?

They do not use the term, it’s true. But, given that ID is, admittedly, “devoid of content”, what would it even mean to “teach ID”?

The simple fact is that ID is nothing more than a rubric encompassing warmed over YEC apologetics and new-fangled sounding terminology like “specification” and “irreducibility.” Enough of this sort of verbiage found its way into the proposed revisions for me to conclude they’re as close as it’s possible to get to advocating “teaching ID.”

I’ll agree with the point, though, that using “ID” as shorthand in this instance (the letter under discussion) is a little sloppy.

Comment #48722

Posted by DrJohn on September 18, 2005 6:04 PM (e)

I see. So ID is all about “getting Bible added to science”, and when IDers tell us otherwise, they are just lying to us.

Testify as to this being my assessment? Sure. However I did not mention ID, nor does Kansas if memory serves. They DO mention supernatural (nonempirical) crapola to be added to a definition of science, and in Kansas, that means just what?

Come on, you can say it. What does that modification of science in the Kansas standards actually mean in effect and in the Great State of Kansas?

Comment #48724

Posted by Dave on September 18, 2005 6:42 PM (e)

Hee hee - this is really funny! Of all the living Nobel prize winners, only 38 chose to sign the declaration. Does that mean that only a minoriy of Noble prize winners support this statement, and that a majority do not?

Also, I find it odd that none of the signers are biologists!

I respect their insight, and this is significant, but quite frankly, these folks are not authorities on the topic at hand.

Comment #48732

Posted by ag on September 18, 2005 8:23 PM (e)

The notion that majority of Nobel laureates support teaching ID or generally disagree with the declaration of 39 Nobel laureates (as suggested in comment 48724 by dave) is laughable. Perhaps these 39 laureates are members of some circle of people close to Wiesel. Generally, I agree that collecting signatures is not the best way to prove anything (remember the habit of Discovery Institute crowd of collecting signatures against “Darwinism”). However, there is no doubt whatsoever that the overwhelming majority of Nobel laureates, including those working in biology and related fields, share the attitude of these 39 to the attempts to subvert proper education of Kansas kids.

Comment #48739

Posted by Moses on September 18, 2005 9:34 PM (e)

Comment #48724

Posted by Dave on September 18, 2005 06:42 PM (e) (s)

Hee hee - this is really funny! Of all the living Nobel prize winners, only 38 chose to sign the declaration. Does that mean that only a minoriy of Noble prize winners support this statement, and that a majority do not?

Hmmm… Maybe they’re just part of a circle of prize winners with a close-enough connection that the primary motivator of the letter felt comfortable in asking.

Also, I find it odd that none of the signers are biologists!

Are you ignorant? There is no prize in biology. The closest is medicine, which tends to reward medical breakthroughs so it is typically dominated by doctors making medical break-throughs. Linda Bush has a PhD in immunology, Axel is an MD, Blobel is an oncologist, and I can’t tell what Neher is… There are others, I was too lazy to look up.

I respect their insight, and this is significant, but quite frankly, these folks are not authorities on the topic at hand.

Actually, they are. You see, they’re scientists operating in medicine and physics. So they are well-informed to what SCIENCE is, and they’re saying this isn’t science. And remember, ID claims to be science. And if you must be a BIOLOGIST to comment on the worthiness of the science aspect of ID, then Dembski and the pretty much the rest of you need to shut up.

Comment #48740

Posted by Moses on September 18, 2005 9:36 PM (e)

Correction: I meant to say (vis the Nobel prize winners) “Most of them…” But Moss caught a 65 yard bomb and lost track of what I was doing…

Comment #48746

Posted by Dave on September 18, 2005 10:09 PM (e)

Well, Dave here again, fresh from his beating at the hands of the fundamentalists!

Look I never said that there was a Nobel prize in Biology, I just said that none of the signatories were biologists. But, yes, I think its fine for these folks to comment on science, its just not a very scientific survey, IMHO.

Its like accepting positive evidence for evolutionary theory, while ignoring evidence to the contrary.

And yes, its still significant, like I said that 38 Nobelists made this statement, but over on Telic thoughts, there are some very good observations that suggest these Nobelists don’t appreciate what they are saying.

Comment #48751

Posted by Moses on September 18, 2005 10:26 PM (e)

Comment #48746

Posted by Dave on September 18, 2005 10:09 PM (e) (s)

Well, Dave here again, fresh from his beating at the hands of the fundamentalists!

Look I never said that there was a Nobel prize in Biology, I just said that none of the signatories were biologists. But, yes, I think its fine for these folks to comment on science, its just not a very scientific survey, IMHO.

Yes, because there is no prize in biology the population of available Nobel prize winners would, natuarally, not be rich in biologists. As for being a survey, it’s NOT A SURVEY. Duh. It’s a bunch of concerned scientists and other luminaries speaking out against an intellectually bankrupt fraud being perpetuated by some religious extremists.

Its like accepting positive evidence for evolutionary theory, while ignoring evidence to the contrary.

Random non-sequitorial creationist bash at evolution? This brings nothing useful to the discussion.

And yes, its still significant, like I said that 38 Nobelists made this statement, but over on Telic thoughts, there are some very good observations that suggest these Nobelists don’t appreciate what they are saying.

Did you ask them if they understood what they were signing? If not, do you think all these highly educated monster brains are stupid to be decieved by this letter? Or is it just someone on your side grasping at straws because you have nothing?

Comment #48755

Posted by Dave on September 18, 2005 10:52 PM (e)

Relax! Why are you so agitated?

Anyway, you ask a good question, so here is Nobel laureate Charles Townes on the topic of intelligent design and evolution.

http://wittingshire.blogspot.com/2005/06/nobel-laureateintelligent-design-as.html

I’m not sharing this to blow anyone away, or to embarrass someone, or to refute the 38 signers. I’m just trying to point out that there are some pretty knowledgeable folks on both sides of the discussion, and quite frankly, its pretty remarkable that anyone comes out in defense of ID (not that ID is inherently anti-evolution) given the atmosphere that folks like you create.

I’m still beside myself trying to figure out why the NCSE (E. Scott) would slander and intimidate a high-school senior who tried to invite Michael Behe to speak at Emmaus High in PA. Heck, even Princeton lets Behe speak.

What are you folks so worried about, because it sure isn’t science.

Comment #48758

Posted by bill on September 18, 2005 11:04 PM (e)

Hello Dave the Troll! I’m not worried about anything. It’s cool.

And, you’re absolutely right about “intelligent design”, it sure isn’t science.

You said it, Bud, and I’m with you on that one.

Comment #48762

Posted by hal on September 19, 2005 12:24 AM (e)

Dave wrote:
“Look I never said that there was a Nobel prize in Biology, I just said that none of the signatories were biologists.”

Let’s see:
Richard Axel and Linda Buck discovered odorant receptor genes and are studying mechanism of smelling.
Guenter Blobel studied how proteins, once synthesized, are transported to the right locations in the cells.
Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose studied ubiquitin system, which is involved in destruction of proteins.
Leland Hartwell and Paul Nurse are geneticists who discovered genes that regulate cell divisions.
H. Robert Horvitz is a geneticist who studied development of C. elegans and discovered among other things genes involved in programed cell death.
Erwin Neher is a neurobiologist who studied ion channels.
Ferid Murad studied nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in our body.
Harold Varmus discovered a gene that cause cancer.
John Walker determined a structure of an enzyme that synthesize ATP, which is a source of energy in our cells.

Are you saying that all these people are not biologists?

Dave wrote:
“Anyway, you ask a good question, so here is Nobel laureate Charles Townes on the topic of intelligent design and evolution.”

Reading what Charles Townes actually said, I don’t get an impression that Charles Townes opposes evolution. And he is certainly against creationists and anti-evolution movement. What he is believing, it seems, is that the God created universe and the laws of nature in such a way that made life and evolution possible. What he is talking is about cosmological fine-tuning. He did use the words Intelligent Design, but I doubt he meant the way IDists mean and don’t think he is on the ID side. He is just religious and that’s fine with me. He is a physicist and is very old. As great as he is, I have a suspicion that he is not up to date with what ID movement is all about.

Comment #48766

Posted by ts on September 19, 2005 1:12 AM (e)

“the laureates’ letter is wrong in its last statement”

Well, it’s certainly not grammatical. Which, while trivial, is more substantial than any of the criticisms offered by the creationist trolls.

Comment #48772

Posted by jj on September 19, 2005 2:21 AM (e)

I’m not quite sure why the IDers would be referencing that interview as he goes on to say

“People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading.”

He talks about design in terms of the physical constants and laws that govern the universe that have led to the existance of life and that as a christian he sees a role for god in the design of those laws and constants

Comment #48785

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 19, 2005 7:17 AM (e)

I’m just trying to point out that there are some pretty knowledgeable folks on both sides of the discussion

Why can’t any of them give us a scientific theory of ID and tell us how to test it using the scientific method?

Comment #48792

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 19, 2005 8:43 AM (e)

Anyway, you ask a good question, so here is Nobel laureate Charles Townes on the topic of intelligent design and evolution.

Is that the same Charles Townes who was talking up the healing power of prayer the last time he came to my town? Before the Columbia prayer study fraud blew wide open? But he really really wanted to believe, so **** the evidence.

Comment #48796

Posted by DrFrank on September 19, 2005 9:14 AM (e)

Sorry for the off-topic, and I’m sure it has been done before, but I would like to offer a quick and simple critique of Bob Davis’ “A Modest Experiment”, which he linked to comment #48653 (the first comment in this article).

Firstly, life already existed in the PreCambrian, whereas the experiment you refer to in the statement, “I’ve created a soup [1] of pre-cambrian chemicals, and pre-cambrian gases and pre-cambrian electrical storms” sounds a lot to me like the Miller-Urey abiogenesis experiment. So, instead I’m assuming that you’re actually trying to simulate the emergence of life in 60 million years.

Even I’ve misunderstood the first point, and you intend to add appropriate basic organisms to the beakers (although how this would be accomplished in itself I am unsure) the following criticism is still valid: testing 60 million (small) beakers for one year is completely different from testing 1 (enormous) beaker for 60 million years. It’s the equivalent of emptying the primordial soup of all amino acids (or more complex lifeforms) every year for 60 million years. At best you could calculate an upper bound on what could happen in one year for the given volume of chemicals using this experiment.

Therefore, when no complex life forms after a year (which it obviously won’t), you certainly cannot use that to provide any evidence against the possibility that life could not arise spontaneously and/or that natural selection cannot account for the Cambrian explosion.

I hope this helps.

Comment #48799

Posted by DrFrank on September 19, 2005 9:23 AM (e)

Aha, after reading more about the Bob Davis Institute, I think I see the joke lol.

Perhaps it just that I’m used to seeing Creationists propose sillier and more illogical things on a daily basis that I tend to take ridiculous claims seriously ;)

Comment #48801

Posted by RBH on September 19, 2005 9:28 AM (e)

John Wilkins has some apposite remarks on the part of the Nobelists’ letter most likely to exercise anti-evolutionists, the assertion that

… evolution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection.

RBH

Comment #48805

Posted by Jim Wynne on September 19, 2005 10:05 AM (e)

Regarding John Wilkins’ observations, I initially had the same misgivings about the wording, but then realized that “random” and “unguided” must necessarily go hand-in-hand. So the letter says nothing about the possibility that some form of “guidance” might have started the ball rolling, but then allowed random mutations and natural selection to have their way.

Comment #48809

Posted by Bob Davis on September 19, 2005 10:26 AM (e)

Perhaps it just that I’m used to seeing Creationists propose sillier and more illogical things on a daily basis that I tend to take ridiculous claims seriously ;)

It is true that I can’t compete with ID’ers for “logic”, but I try. I’ve posted some comments over on their sites - the mind boggles. It’s not so hard to write in their style, however, just a lot of strong sounding words strung together. On the other hand, the only corrections I’ve received for the experiment have come from the evolution side. hmmm….

Comment #48810

Posted by Bob Davis on September 19, 2005 10:27 AM (e)

Perhaps it just that I’m used to seeing Creationists propose sillier and more illogical things on a daily basis that I tend to take ridiculous claims seriously ;)

It is true that I can’t compete with ID’ers for “logic”, but I try. I’ve posted some comments over on their sites - and the mind boggles. It’s not so hard to write in their style, however, just a lot of strong sounding words strung together. On the other hand, the only corrections I’ve received for the experiment have come from the evolution side. hmmm….

Comment #48859

Posted by shenda on September 19, 2005 5:14 PM (e)

DrJohn states:

“Come on, you can say it. What does that modification of science in the Kansas standards actually mean in effect and in the Great State of Kansas?”

While the revised Kansas Standards Minority Report does not specifically mention ID, they do something far more insidious: They specifically allow the supernatural to be taught as a part of science. It amazes me how many people are missing this.

In Kansas it will soon be possible to teach that tornadoes are caused by the Wizard of Oz, and still be in compliance with the standards.

Comment #48892

Posted by Dave on September 19, 2005 8:40 PM (e)

I guess stimulating an open discussion and debate are not in the charter of this website!

More like - “Kill the heretics!”

Anyway, ID and evolution aren’t mutually exclusive. At best, ID is a hypothesis, and there are some credible scenarios where ID could develop into a science. If ID is about detecting intelligent causes, then the challenge for science is to develop a series of tests that indicate with a reasonable level of confidence and determine if some material aspect of the universe arose due to an intelligent cause, rather than a naturalistic cause.

I don’t know if its possible in the life sciences, but I’m open to the idea. The SETI folks seem to think its possible. Forensics experts do this as well in their respective domains.

I think that its absurd to close our eyes to this possibility and limit science to searching for naturalistic causes. (e.g., spontaneous generation) I think its OK to look for these causes, but lets be honest and ackowledge that this search could be a dead-end, to the possibliity that life is the product of the actions of some intelligent agent. (whatever or whoever that is)

Comment #48896

Posted by James Taylor on September 19, 2005 9:21 PM (e)

Dave wrote:

I think that its absurd to close our eyes to this possibility and limit science to searching for naturalistic causes. (e.g., spontaneous generation)I think its OK to look for these causes, but lets be honest and ackowledge that this search could be a dead-end, to the possibliity that life is the product of the actions of some intelligent agent. (whatever or whoever that is)

So you want to abandon the search for naturalistic causes to life and all of the benefits that we gain from this endevour and devote all of our science to detecting “some intelligent agent” which “lets be honest and ackowledge that this search could be a dead-end”. Naturalistic science has taught us a lot over the millions of years of practice. Science is the act of tool building. And it is often enslaved by those that fear change and worship authority. Why is it the superstitious search trumps the need for research into what we have to actually live with, e.g. nature? Why do we have to put our evolutionary progress on hold AGAIN for YOUR superstition? We did this before, it didn’t work. You had eighteen hundred years to find him but you kept fighting over who was right, dispatching your enemies and going on crusades instead of understanding the main theme of all religions, “You are flawed. Deal with it”.

Comment #48898

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 19, 2005 10:01 PM (e)

I think that its absurd to close our eyes to this possibility and limit science to searching for naturalistic causes.

Please feel free to show us HOW to use science and the scientific method to search for NON-naturalistic causes.

(Insert my standard statement that I give whenever someone gives me this “science unfairly rules out the supernatural” bullcrap):

The scientific method is very simple, and consists of five basic steps. They are:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe

2. Form a hypothesis that potentially explains what you have observed

3. Make testible predictions from that hypothesis

4. Make observations or experiments that can test those predictions

5. Modify your hypothesis until it is in accord with all observations and predictions

NOTHING in any of those five steps excludes on principle, a priori, any “supernatural cause”. Using this method, one is entirely free to invoke as many non-material pixies, ghosts, goddesses, demons, devils, djinis, and/or the Great Pumpkin, as many times as you like, in any or all of your hypotheses. And science won’t (and doesn’t) object to that in the slightest. Indeed, scientific experiments have been proposed (and carried out and published) on such “supernatural causes” as the effects of prayer on healing, as well as such “non-materialistic” or “non-natural” causes as ESP, telekinesis, precognition and “remote viewing”. So ID’s claim that science unfairly rejects supernatural or non-material causes out of hand on principle, is demonstrably quite wrong.

However, what science DOES require is that any supernatural or non-material hypothesis, whatever it might be, then be subjected to steps 3, 4 and 5. And HERE is where ID fails miserably.

To demonstate this, let’s pick a particular example of an ID hypothesis and see how the scientific method can be applied to it: One claim made by many ID creationists explains the genetic similarity between humans and chimps by asserting that God — uh, I mean, An Unknown Intelligent Designer — created both but used common features in a common design.

Let’s take this hypothesis and put it through the scientific method:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.

OK, so we observe that humans and chimps share unique genetic markers, including a broken vitamin C gene and, in humans, a fused chromosome that is identical to two of the chimp chromosomes (with all the appropriate doubled centromeres and telomeres).

2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.

OK, the proposed ID hypothesis is “an intelligent designer used a common design to produce both chimps and humans, and that common design included placing the signs of a fused chromosome and a broken vitamin C gene in both products.”

3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.

Well, here is ID supernaturalistic methodology’s chance to shine. What predictions can we make from ID’s hypothesis? If an Intelligent Designer used a common design to produce both chimps and humans, then we would also expect to see … ?

IDers, please fill in the blank.

And, to better help us test ID’s hypothesis, it is most useful to point out some negative predictions — things which, if found, would FALSIFY the hypothesis and demonstrate conclusively that the hypothesis is wrong. So, then — if we find (fill in the blank here), then the “common design” hypothesis would have to be rejected.

4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

Well, the IDers seem to be sort of stuck on step 3. Despite all their voluminous writings and arguments, IDers have never yet given ANY testible predictions from their ID hypothesis that can be verified through experiment.

Take note here — contrary to the IDers whining about the “unfair exclusion of supernatural causes”, there are in fact NO limits imposed by the scientific method on the nature of their predictions, other than the simple ones indicated by steps 3, 4 and 5 (whatever predictions they make must be testible by experiments or further observations.) They are entirely free to invoke whatever supernatural causes they like, in whatever number they like, so long as they follow along to steps 3,4 and 5 and tell us how we can test these deities or causes using experiment or further observation. Want to tell us that the Good Witch Glenda used her magic non-naturalistic staff to POP these genetic sequences into both chimps and humans? Fine —- just tell us what experiment or observation we can perform to test that. Want to tell us that God — er, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Designer — didn’t like humans very much and therefore decided to design us with broken vitamin C genes? Hey, works for me — just as soon as you tell us what experiment or observation we can perform to test it. Feel entirely and totally free to use all the supernaturalistic causes that you like. Just tell us what experiment or observation we can perform to test your predictions.

Let’s assume for a moment that the IDers are right and that science is unfairly biased against supernaturalist explanations. Let’s therefore hypothetically throw methodological materialism right out the window. Gone. Bye-bye. Everything’s fair game now. Ghosts, spirits, demons, devils, cosmic enlightenment, elves, pixies, magic star goats, whatever god-thing you like. Feel free to include and invoke ALL of them. As many as you need. All the IDers have to do now is simply show us all how to apply the scientific method to whatever non-naturalistic science they choose to invoke in order to subject the hypothesis “genetic similarities between chimps and humans are the product of a common design”, or indeed ANY other non-material or super-natural ID hypothesis, to the scientific method.

And that is where ID “theory” falls flat on its face. It is NOT any presupposition of “philosophical naturalism” on the part of science that stops ID dead in its tracks —- it is the simple inability of ID “theory” to make any testible predictions. Even if we let them invoke all the non-naturalistic designers they want, intelligent design “theory” STILL can’t follow the scientific method.

Deep down inside, what the IDers are really moaning and complaining about is NOT that science unfairly rejects their supernaturalistic explanations, but that science demands ID’s proposed “supernaturalistic explanations” be tested according to the scientific method, just like every OTHER hypothesis has to be. Not only can ID not test any of its “explanations”, but it wants to modify science so it doesn’t HAVE to. In effect, the IDers want their supernaturalistic “hypothesis” to have a privileged position —- they want their hypothesis to be accepted by science WITHOUT being tested; they want to follow steps one and two of the scientific method, but prefer that we just skip steps 3,4 and 5, and just simply take their religious word for it, on the authority of their own say-so, that their “science” is correct. And that is what their entire argument over “materialism” (or “naturalism” or “atheism” or “sciencism” or “darwinism” or whatever the heck else they want to call it) boils down to.

There is no legitimate reason for the ID hypothesis to be privileged and have the special right to be exempted from testing, that other hypotheses do not. I see no reason why their hypotheses, whatever they are, should not be subjected to the very same testing process that everyone ELSE’s hypotheses, whatever they are, have to go through. If they cannot put their “hypothesis” through the same scientific method that everyone ELSE has to, then they have no claim to be “science”. Period.

Comment #48899

Posted by Ed Darrell on September 19, 2005 10:04 PM (e)

Dave,

Why do you think Jonathan Witt didn’t publish the full thought that Dr. Townes gave the interviewer?

Here is what Witt left out, inter alia:

[Townes said]Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.

[Interviewer]They don’t have to negate each other, you’re saying. God could have created the universe, set the parameters for the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, and set the evolutionary process in motion, But that’s not what the Christian fundamentalists are arguing should be taught in Kansas.

[Dr. Townes:] People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one.[emphasis added here] Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading.

[Interviewer] That seems to come up when religion seeks to control or limit the scope of science. We’re seeing that with the regulation of research into stem cells and cloning. Should there be areas of scientific inquiry that are off-limits due to a culture’s prevailing religious principles?

[Dr. Townes:] My answer to that is, we should explore as much as we can. We should think about everything, try to explore everything, and question things. That’s part of our human characteristic in nature that has made us so great and able to achieve so much. Of course there are problems if we do scientific experiments on people that involve killing them — that’s a scientific experiment sure, but ethically it has problems. There are ethical issues with certain kinds of scientific experimentation. But outside of the ethical issues, I think we should try very hard to understand everything we can and to question things.

In my opinion, Witt’s quoting of Dr. Townes is misleading – “strip quoting” we used to call it in intercollegiate debate; quote mining.

Townes’ interview isn’t very flattering about ID advocates.

Go see for yourself:
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/06/17_townes.shtml

Comment #48902

Posted by Arden Chatfield on September 19, 2005 10:10 PM (e)

I guess stimulating an open discussion and debate are not in the charter of this website!

More like - “Kill the heretics!”

Don’t flatter yourself. You’re not a martyr. No one’s impressed. And it won’t win you any arguments.

I suggest you look up ‘open discussion and debate’. Nobody is censoring you or kicking you out here, unlike certain ID sites we could name. If your definition of an ‘open discussion and debate’ means ‘no one disagrees with me or points out the flaws in my argument’, you have problems.

If ID is about detecting intelligent causes, then the challenge for science is to develop a series of tests that indicate with a reasonable level of confidence and determine if some material aspect of the universe arose due to an intelligent cause, rather than a naturalistic cause.

WHY on earth should it be the job of science looking for mystical or magical causes for natural phenomena? Can you name ANY scientific problems that were solved by seeking ‘intelligent causes’ rather than ‘naturalistic causes’? Seems to me if you want to wreck science, that’s your problem – don’t go around telling scientists that it’s THEIR job to help you.

Comment #48982

Posted by Dave on September 20, 2005 2:25 PM (e)

Yes - I’ve read the original source for the Townes interview and now remember, so thanks for catching that. I agree with Townses, and don’t think that ID and Evolution are mutually exclusive things.

As far as the scientific method is concerned, and applications to ID, I do think it is possible for interested scientists to develop tests that can discriminate between products of naturalistic mechanisms as well as intelligent causes, while never having to contend with identifying just who the designer is.

This is similar to what the SETI folks are trying to accomplish.

I think interested scientists may be able to show naturulistic orgins, but lets face it, its looking less and less likely every day, so if we are honest, we have to say that given the evidence we have, design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

So, let scientists that are interested in exploring these avenues do so, without recrimination or censorship.

And I’m still beside myself regarding the tactics of E. Scott. She’s essentially the head of a modern day scientific priesthood.

Comment #48987

Posted by Arden Chatfield on September 20, 2005 2:41 PM (e)

As far as the scientific method is concerned, and applications to ID, I do think it is possible for interested scientists to develop tests that can discriminate between products of naturalistic mechanisms as well as intelligent causes, while never having to contend with identifying just who the designer is.

There are people calling themselves scientists who are Intelligent Design advocates. One would think they would be the logical ones who would do this. And yet, ID advocates don’t do research. They don’t have labs. They don’t ‘develop tests’. Instead, they spend all their time writing essays, fundraising, bashing their opponents on religious or political bases, and playing around with rhetoric, trying to poke holes in the current consensus theory of evolution.

E-mail Dembski. He has a list of scientists who he says don’t believe in evolution. Tell them to get right on this.

And I’m still beside myself regarding the tactics of E. Scott. She’s essentially the head of a modern day scientific priesthood.

‘Beside yourself’? Hey, as you once said, “Relax! Why are you so agitated?”

Science is not a religion. The sooner you figure this out, the sooner you’ll quit saying foolish things.

Comment #48988

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on September 20, 2005 2:42 PM (e)

So, let scientists that are interested in exploring these avenues do so, without recrimination or censorship.

When they bother doing it the way everyone else does, by posting in peer reviewed journals by publishing actual experiments, with actual data, produced from actual lab benches, they can.

Unfortunately, they want to piss their money away of PR campaigns and stacking school boards. That doesn’t sound like ‘science’ to me.

Comment #48989

Posted by Steviepinhead on September 20, 2005 2:58 PM (e)

Yeah, Dave, whatever…

Name an actual ID, uh, “scientist” (one who is doing any actual lab or field work in biology) who has been the object of recrimination or censorship. Lay out the details; document what “recrimination” or “censorship” you are talking about.

Or, let’s go back a step: please first just name any IDist who you think is actually doing something that the rest of the scientific world would recognize as science (lab or field work) “to develop tests” or to “explor[e] these avenues” that ID supposedly has to offer. And, again, of course, please link us to the scientific publications, summaries of the research programs, etc., that would document this supposed work.

Of course, that really requires us to go back one further step, and to identify exactly what specific, detailed testable hypothesis any ID advocate has come up with, at which any such hypothetical ID “scientist” woould be directing any such hypothetical program of “scientific research.” Again, document your response.

Oh, and–for reasons that I hope would be obvious–P.R., books published by religious presses aimed at the lay public, blithering, bleating, and hand-waving just don’t count, .

I await your detailed and documented responses, though not with bated breath…

Comment #48990

Posted by CJ O'Brien on September 20, 2005 3:09 PM (e)

given the evidence we have, design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

Why do they not get it? WHYYYYYY?
Something that can be called upon to explain anything, actually explains nothing.

Comment #48999

Posted by Flint on September 20, 2005 4:18 PM (e)

Time once again for this link

Comment #49000

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 20, 2005 4:24 PM (e)

Dave wrote:

I think interested scientists may be able to show naturulistic orgins, but lets face it, its looking less and less likely every day, so if we are honest, we have to say that given the evidence we have, design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

Less and less likely every day? You haven’t offered anything at all to support that, and I don’t think you can.

Why just today I found this article: Life’s Origins Were Easier Than Was Thought

Rhetoric is not evidence. Maybe you could offer some of the latter to back up your generous portion of the former.

Or maybe you can’t.

Comment #49003

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 20, 2005 4:34 PM (e)

Here’s a couple more articles from the last couple of months. Now Dave, how do you justify your “less and less likely every day” comment?

The RNA World on Ice: A New Scenario for the Emergence of RNA Information
Alexander V. Vlassov, Sergei A. Kazakov, Brian H. Johnston and Laura F. Landweber
Journal of Molecular Evolution
Volume 61, Number 2
Date: August 2005
Pages: 264 - 273

Evolution of the Genetic Triplet Code via Two Types of Doublet Codons
Huan-Lin Wu, Stefan Bagby, Jean M.H. and den van Elsen
Journal of Molecular Evolution
Volume 61, Number 1
Date: July 2005
Pages: 54 - 64

Comment #49008

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on September 20, 2005 4:53 PM (e)

You know, the one thing about these “X whatever people sign statement saying that black is really white after all” don’t really mean anything. Who cares how many people you have on your side so long as your arguments are technically correct. All this hoohah over X people think this is really just missing the entire point that there just isn’t any scientific validity to the arguments that the ID ‘theorists’ have put forward. Science isn’t won by popularity contests, who has how many nobel laureates behind them or any such nonsense. Scientific debates are won by providing better science than your opposition. At the moment it’s fairly obvious that the DI and their associated cronies have already lost that battle (given their desperate attacks through public means), so really, it’s not about who has X nobel laureates it’s just about the fact the other side hasn’t produced any science!

Dave wrote:

And yes, its still significant, like I said that 38 Nobelists made this statement, but over on Telic thoughts, there are some very good observations that suggest these Nobelists don’t appreciate what they are saying.

No, not really. As a Christian and theistic evolutionist, I read what Mike and company babbled about with more than a bit of amusement. However much they made a mountain out of a molehill over there, I could care less what 38 Nobel Laureates write, particularly when they state that “evolution is purposeless and mutations are random”. As far as the science goes both statements are perfectly correct. Evolution is purposeless in the sense that viruses don’t evolve to kill us through the will of Satan/God or any such nonsense, it’s because there are selective pressures which favour mutations that allow said viruses to replicate in human beings. Likely, saying mutations are random is correct, because mutations are random and it’s certainly not Gods magic DNA pixies altering bases.

Quite frankly, there isn’t a single good observation among them, although I’ll grant you the high amounts of sheer ‘paranoid delusions’ and ‘fantasy’. This of course coming from a blog that whines consistently about apparent ‘wedgecentrism’ among other buzzwords they like throwing out to sound impressive. Why I should feel my religious faith is threatened by using technically correct terminology is rather beyond me, you’d have to think my faith was pretty pathetic to begin with. Would you care to explain that to me however, I’d very much like to hear why I should in any event. I’m more than capable of seperating my beliefs out from what is ultimately, sound science. Right now, science can’t establish the interference of divine beings, aliens or spaghetti monsters and such an extraordinary claim requires actual quantifiable evidence to establish it. Now I’m not sure if you’re aware of things like the ames test, but mutations tend to follow certain statistical patterns that are completely expected with a random distribution (IE probability of a revertant occuring in said test). Definitely doesn’t appear to be any particular direction here.

But again as you said “38 nobelists said” and here I cut you off and say “so what?”. Science isn’t won by a popular vote as many of the IDists, creationists and others happen to think. Nobody cares about numbers. It’s all about have you got the science. As I said right above, if ID had the science behind it then it wouldn’t matter what 38 nobelists say or don’t say, but ID doesn’t bother doing science. They don’t bother publishing and all they do is make miserable rehashings of creationists arguments to attack evolution through things like school boards. That is why many in the scientific community are utterly denouncing them in the media and with little PR stunts like having Nobelists writing a letter declaring ID worthless is simply good in the publics eye.

This doesn’t make evolution as a science stronger, what makes evolution science and ID vacuous nonsense is evolution has thousands of papers a year published on the subject, each strengthening our knoweldge of evolution. ID however fails to even bother trying simple experiments to determine their mysterious “designers” methodology, let alone publish anything sensical that stands up to scruitiny on detecting design. All this “X declares Y” nonsense does is depress me that this ‘scientific’ (snicker!) debate has sunk to the level of a pathetic popularity contest. One that ID can never win because the overwhelming scientific consensus is that evolution is pretty much a fact, but a popularity contest none-the less.

Comment #49024

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 20, 2005 7:02 PM (e)

As far as the scientific method is concerned, and applications to ID, I do think it is possible for interested scientists to develop tests that can discriminate between products of naturalistic mechanisms as well as intelligent causes, while never having to contend with identifying just who the designer is.

How.

Here’s your chance to show us.

Put up or shut up.

Comment #49025

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 20, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

Which ones.

And how does ID explain it.

What does ID think the designer did, specifically.

What mechanisms does ID think the designer used to do whatever the heck they think it did.

Where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do . . well . . anything.

Or is “POOF!! God – er, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer – dunnit !!!!!” the extent of ID’s, uh, explanation. And are IDers (like you) just lying to us when they claim otherwise?

Comment #49048

Posted by Dave on September 21, 2005 1:39 AM (e)

Scientists that are friendly to ID abound - they are the 400 or so folks that signed the Discovery Institute statement regarding the limitations of RMNS.

Scientists that are doing lab work is AFAIK a very small list. Michael Behe at Lehigh University comes to mind, and I’m pretty sure he would say that he has few counterparts. Another that I can think of would be Dean Kenyon.

ID is a different type of science than say most fields of biology - and they are not mutually exclusive. ID is probably most closely related to the fields of bioinformatics and mathematics.

The best example of recrimination that I am aware of would be that of Richard Sternberg, who is not an ID scientist, but was the head of a journal that published a paper by an ID scientist. I would say it is the best example because there is so much public information available about it.

I also mentioned Eugenie Scott and her treatment of a high-school senior at Emmaus High a few years back. That seems particularly blatant based on what I have been able to find online. Scott is a very skilled rhetorician and she does not hesitate to use authoritarian/totalitarian methods. When practiced against a teenager, that is outrageous.

As far as religious motives go on the part of the ID community, and the political/rhetoric dimension, I would say that the ID folks are catching up with the evolutionists in many regards. Many evolutionists are atheists, so perhaps we should question their motives. I’m not sure a religious test is a good path to take, unless you can define which religious views are allowed and which are not. Keep in mind that the NCSE is essentially a lobbying organization for Darwinistic fundamentalism - but they hide behind a name that suggests they are more than that.

Dembski has published mathematical tests for detecting intelligent causes - essentially a litmus test you apply to a dataset. I’m sure the SETI folks use similar methods for analysing the signals they are collecting. So, if Dr. SETI stands up one day and proclaims that he has detected a signal that suggests an intelligent, extra-terrestrial cause, would that be a scientific, credible statement? I think so. If you agree, then how is that different than concluding that some aspects of life were designed based upon the apparent specified complexity of molecular systmes and structures?

Design is a possibility, certainly no less possible than spontaneous generation. I can’t really comment on the two papers that were cited, but I am aware of many papers in those areas, and in general, they are highly speculative and preliminary. I don’t think anyone would suggest that we have anything close to a theory regarding how information first originated. It seems that when it comes to papers like those, the scientific standards are not quite so high.

Some writers criticize ID for the lack of papers that have been published in comparison to other scientific fields. But, won’t that be the case for any new field? And didn’t Darwin’s rhetoric inspire people to do the science to flush out his hypothesis?

Comment #49049

Posted by Jim Harrison on September 21, 2005 1:57 AM (e)

As anybody who has actually read one of Darwin’s major books knows, Darwin always accumulated an immense amount of evidence before he published. He was a cautious man and very well aware of the opposition his ideas were likely to arouse. And Darwin was very careful to pay his dues by publishing a significant volume of empirical research before he ventured into theory.

Comment #49051

Posted by RBH on September 21, 2005 2:22 AM (e)

Well, let’s look at this. Dave wrote

Scientists that are friendly to ID abound - they are the 400 or so folks that signed the Discovery Institute statement regarding the limitations of RMNS.

A statement which, if it weren’t used for ID propaganda purposes, any evolutionary biologist could sign since all know it ain’t just RM&NS, the latter being an over-simplified caricature of a complex theory. And note that only about 1/3 of those “scientists” are in fields more-or-less related to evolutionary biology; there are no evolutionary biologists.

Then Dave wrote

Scientists that are doing lab work is AFAIK a very small list. Michael Behe at Lehigh University comes to mind, and I’m pretty sure he would say that he has few counterparts. Another that I can think of would be Dean Kenyon.

None are doing “lab work” on ID. None, zero, nada. Kenyon hasn’t published any real science in years, and in the last half dozen years since DBB Behe has only the model paper in Protein Science that was dissected here on PT.

Then Dave wrote

ID is a different type of science than say most fields of biology - and they are not mutually exclusive. ID is probably most closely related to the fields of bioinformatics and mathematics.

Uh huh, kind of like how astrology is most closely related to astronomy and astrophysics.

Then Dave wrote

The best example of recrimination that I am aware of would be that of Richard Sternberg, who is not an ID scientist, but was the head of a journal that published a paper by an ID scientist. I would say it is the best example because there is so much public information available about it.

Actually, it was a paper by a historian/philosopher, not an “ID scientist”, and according to the board of the Society that published it, it was inappropriate for that journal. See the dissection here.

Then Dave wrote

I also mentioned Eugenie Scott and her treatment of a high-school senior at Emmaus High a few years back. That seems particularly blatant based on what I have been able to find online. Scott is a very skilled rhetorician and she does not hesitate to use authoritarian/totalitarian methods. When practiced against a teenager, that is outrageous.

As I remarked when Dave made this same claim earlier, Agape Press’s report of that incident doesn’t mention Scott or the NCSE, and Dave has provided exactly zero corroboration for his charge. That is outrageous.

Then Dave wrote

As far as religious motives go on the part of the ID community, and the political/rhetoric dimension, I would say that the ID folks are catching up with the evolutionists in many regards. Many evolutionists are atheists, so perhaps we should question their motives.

And many evolutionists are Christians, including Evangelical Christians, and many are Buddhists and Confucianists. On the other hand, as Dembski remarked in a talk at his new employer, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the leadership of the ID movement is essentially all conservative Christian.

Then Dave wrote

Dembski has published mathematical tests for detecting intelligent causes - essentially a litmus test you apply to a dataset. I’m sure the SETI folks use similar methods for analysing the signals they are collecting

But neither Dembski nor any other IDist has never actually systematically applied any of thoes “mathematical tests” to any biological phenomena, they have never been calibrated or validated, and no results from them have been published. Sort of a scientific dry hole. And SETI’s methodology does not resemble that of Dembski: Dembski’s blathering about SETI comes from a movie, a work of fiction.

Dave wrote

Some writers criticize ID for the lack of papers that have been published in comparison to other scientific fields. But, won’t that be the case for any new field? And didn’t Darwin’s rhetoric inspire people to do the science to flush out his hypothesis?

Actually, Darwin himself did decades of research to “flesh out” his theory. Read his books: Darwin wasn’t a rhetorician; he was a careful and painstaking scientist who gathered more data himself than all the ID fellows of the Discovery Institute put together.

And Darwin didn’t then start going to state boards of education arguing that evolution should be taught in public schools, as the Discovery Institute pilgrims did in Ohio in 2002 before backing off to their euphemistic “teach the controversy” tactic.

ID has no content, as George Gilder of the Discovery Institute remarked, and has no theory, as Paul Nelson of the Discovery Institute has remarked at least twice. There is no there there. It’s a scientifically sterile enterprise engaged in a socio-political movement, not a scientific research program.

RBH

Comment #49052

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on September 21, 2005 2:28 AM (e)

Dave wrote:

I’m sure the SETI folks use similar methods for analysing the signals they are collecting.

But you are wrong. Go read the SETI FAQs before spouting more nonsense, please.

Comment #49053

Posted by darwinfinch on September 21, 2005 3:11 AM (e)

Y’know, unlike WD and outright creeps like Sal, I don’t mind so much that people like the “Dave” above invest a great deal of effort in lying to themselves, or in swapping their “pledge o’ faith” trading cards or whatever they do in theit secret tree-house headquarters.
However, I myself have finally had my patience frayed to ribbons by their insistance in lying, and repeating the same ad nauseum the same lies, not only to those unaware of their intentions but to people who KNOW they are lying, and have repeatedly proven in public that they are lying, and who really have better things to do than continue attempting to cushion the blow that must come when struggling to excuse the fact that people like the “Dave” above are insincere, fingers-in-the-ears, evil-minded liars.

Dave, your sort of “faith” is writ on water, built upon sand. Putting a “Jesus Loves You” smiley face sticker upon your lies and fears doesn’t transmute these base metals of your character into the gold of knowledge, much less wisdom.
Time to put aside these childish things, perhaps: there certainly is room for Christian ideas in this big world.

Comment #49059

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 21, 2005 6:58 AM (e)

Scientists that are friendly to ID abound - they are the 400 or so folks that signed the Discovery Institute statement regarding the limitations of RMNS.

Minus the ones that have asked to be removed from the list because they no longer support DI’s political agenda.

How many of those 400 can give us a scientific theory of ID that can be tested using the scientific method?

Why not?

Comment #49060

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 21, 2005 7:04 AM (e)

Scientists that are doing lab work is AFAIK a very small list. Michael Behe at Lehigh University comes to mind, and I’m pretty sure he would say that he has few counterparts. Another that I can think of would be Dean Kenyon.

Um, junior, neither of these guys does ANY lab work supporting ID. Not a shred.

Many evolutionists are atheists,

Um, junior, I’m not an atheist.

Dembski has published mathematical tests for detecting intelligent causes - essentially a litmus test you apply to a dataset. I’m sure the SETI folks use similar methods for analysing the signals they are collecting.

Umm, junior, SETI doesn’t do ANY analysis of the contents of the signals they are collecting. It’s not what SETI is based on.

Design is a possibility, certainly no less possible than spontaneous generation. I can’t really comment on the two papers that were cited, but I am aware of many papers in those areas, and in general, they are highly speculative and preliminary.

How the hell would YOU know, junior? What are you, some sort of expert or something?

Some writers criticize ID for the lack of papers that have been published in comparison to other scientific fields. But, won’t that be the case for any new field?

Um, junior, ID isn’t “new” — it’s been around for a lot longer than evolutionary biology has been.

Now, if you’re done wavijg your arms and whining again, would you mind answering my questions? What is the scientific theory of ID? What, according to this scientific theory of ID, did the designer do, specifically? What mechanisms did the designer use to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do, well, anything?

Comment #49061

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 21, 2005 7:07 AM (e)

Dave, here’s another question for you (which you also won’t answer):

If you know anything at all about the ID “controversy”, then you must KNOW that your heroes are in court right now trying to argue that creationism/ID is SCIENCE and has NO RELIGIOUS PURPOSE OR AIM. You KNOW that if the courts rule that creationism/ID is NOT science and IS nothing but religious doctrine, then your crap will never see the inside of a science classroom. So you must KNOW that every time you blither to us that creationism/ID is all about God and faith and the Bible and all that, you are UNDERMINING YOUR OWN HEROES by demonstrating, right here in public, that your heroes are lying under oath when they claim that creationism/ID has NO religious purpose or aims.

So why the heck do you do it ANYWAY? Why the heck are you in here yammering about religion when your own leaders are trying so desperately to argue that ID/creationism is NOT about religion? Are you and the other creationists in here really THAT stupid? Really and truly?

Any IDer or creationist in here, how about answering that question for me. Why are you in here arguing that ID/creationism is all about God and the Bible, while Discovery Institute and other creationists are currently in Kansas and Dover arguing that ID/creationism is NOT all about God and the Bible?

Why are you **undercutting your own side**????????

I really truly want to know.

Comment #49071

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 21, 2005 9:22 AM (e)

Dave wrote:

I think interested scientists may be able to show naturulistic orgins, but lets face it, its looking less and less likely every day, so if we are honest, we have to say that given the evidence we have, design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

Hello? Dave? It seems you came and went and did not address my question. On what grounds do you claim that “its looking less and less likely every day”?

I find it very bizarre that you accuse people here of censorship when I am actually trying to get you to say something. You made a statement. Back it up.

Meanwhile, I’ll be re-reading articles like these:

Revolutionary New Theory For Origins Of Life On Earth

Date: 2002-12-04
A totally new and highly controversial theory on the origin of life on earth, is set to cause a storm in the science world and has implications for the existence of life on other planets. Research* by Professor William Martin of the University of Dusseldorf and Dr Michael Russell of the Scottish Environmental Research Centre in Glasgow, claims that living systems originated from inorganic incubators - small compartments in iron sulphide rocks. The new theory radically departs from existing perceptions of how life developed and it will be published in Philosophical Transactions B, a learned journal produced by the Royal Society….

NYU Chemist Supports New Theory For Origin Of Life

Date: 1999-05-13
New York University chemistry professor Robert Shapiro has published a new book and paper that challenge existing assumptions about life on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. In Planetary Dreams, Shapiro raises the issue of whether that laws of nature might favor the generation of life throughout the Universe. Furthermore, Shapiro suggests that the hypothesis that life is unique to Earth could prove to be just as implausible as theories of Divine Creation.

hese arguments are presented in Shapiro’s article, “Prebiotic cytosine synthesis: A critical analysis and implications for the origin of life,”which appeared in the April 13th Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Vol. 96, Issue 8, 4396-4401). Shapiro also lays out his argument in a new book entitled PLANETARY DREAMS, which was published by John Wiley & Sons in April….

New Form Of Pure Carbon Found In Mexican Meteorite – Possible Player In Origin Of Life

Date: 1999-07-15
A University of Hawai’i researcher and her colleagues from the NASA Space Science Division have confirmed that a new form of carbon previously made in the laboratory also exists in nature. The finding indicates that the pure carbon molecules known as fullerenes could have been a factor in the early history of Earth and might even have played a role in the origin of life.

University of Hawai’i at Manoa organic geochemist Luann Becker and NASA colleagues Theodore E. Bunch and Louis J. Allamandola discovered the presence of fullerene carbon molecules in the 4.6-billion-year-old Allende meteorite, which has been of interest to scientists since it landed in Mexico three decades ago….

Comment #49117

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 21, 2005 2:03 PM (e)

It is looking less and less likely every day that Dave will back up his statements.

Comment #49119

Posted by Steviepinhead on September 21, 2005 2:21 PM (e)

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant:

It is looking less and less likely every day that Dave will back up his statements.

And, for PT’s audience of lurkers, fence-sitters, and genuinely-confused or curious lay folk, that’s precisely the point: the creationists, ID apologists, and sundry other trolls just can’t put their money where their mouth is, no matter how many times Lenny and others here offer them the opportunity.

[Cue Dragnet theme]: Dun-dun-DUN-dun. [Cue Jack Webb voice-over]: “Just the facts, Ma’am.” Lesson over; case closed.

Comment #49165

Posted by JS on September 22, 2005 7:17 AM (e)

“Scientists that are friendly to ID abound - they are the 400 or so folks that signed the Discovery Institute statement regarding the limitations of RMNS.”

But how many of them are called Steve?

“The best example of recrimination that I am aware of would be that of Richard Sternberg, who is not an ID _scientist_, [my emphasis]”

You can say that again.

“As far as religious motives go on the part of the ID community, […] I would say that the ID folks are catching up with the evolutionists in many regards.”

???

I understand all the words, and the syntax looks like English. But I just can’t decipher the meaning of that sentence. Are you making a point, or just making unsubstantiated and unfriendly insinuations?

[Notice, BTW that I quote _properly_, something certain - ah - unnamed creationists have repeatedly failed to do]

“Many evolutionists are atheists,”

???

You just go _right_ on believing that. And when you can actually present a poll that backs that statement, I _might_ begin to take it seriously.

“Keep in mind that the NCSE is essentially a lobbying organization for Darwinistic fundamentalism”

Oh, _please_, not the old ‘eveel atheist conspiracy’ crap. It’s worse than ludicrous for so many reasons…

Comment #49167

Posted by Flint on September 22, 2005 7:48 AM (e)

… a lobbying organization for Darwinistic fundamentalism

When do they get their tax exemption?

Comment #49180

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 22, 2005 10:16 AM (e)

Still no response from Dave. He must be busy in his laboratory doing research on Intelligent Design ‘science’.

Comment #49426

Posted by Dave on September 24, 2005 10:52 AM (e)

The specific case where the details are public in which Eugenie Scott targeted a high-school student was that of Danny Phillips of Colorodo.

There are cases where the NCSE does perform a useful service. This was not one of them. The PBS shows on evolution are, as Danny Phililps noted, little more than propaganda tools.

Comment #49437

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on September 24, 2005 11:28 AM (e)

This is what poor little Danny said:

“Now scientists don’t like my request because it challenges the dogma that is fundamental to their philosophical viewpoints about nature, and I don’t like evolution because it challenges my own philosophical views.”

and this is what mean ol’ Darwinist Eugenie Scott said about him:

“If Danny Phillips doesn’t want to learn evolution, well, he’s going to be less educated than if he does. He should learn evolution. If he doesn’t want to accept it, that’s his own business. But his views should not prevail for 80,000 students who need to learn evolution to be educated.”

Dave, Dave, Dave… you should apologize to Dr. Scott. If this is what people like you consider “authoritarian/totalitarian”, you’d better buy a new vocabulary.

Comment #49443

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 24, 2005 11:53 AM (e)

Hi Dave, welcome back.

Now answer my questions.

What is the scientific theory of ID? What, according to this scientific theory of ID, did the designer do, specifically? What mechanisms did the designer use to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do, well, anything?

Comment #49061

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on September 21, 2005 07:07 AM (e) (s)

Dave, here’s another question for you (which you also won’t answer):

If you know anything at all about the ID “controversy”, then you must KNOW that your heroes are in court right now trying to argue that creationism/ID is SCIENCE and has NO RELIGIOUS PURPOSE OR AIM. You KNOW that if the courts rule that creationism/ID is NOT science and IS nothing but religious doctrine, then your crap will never see the inside of a science classroom. So you must KNOW that every time you blither to us that creationism/ID is all about God and faith and the Bible and all that, you are UNDERMINING YOUR OWN HEROES by demonstrating, right here in public, that your heroes are lying under oath when they claim that creationism/ID has NO religious purpose or aims.

So why the heck do you do it ANYWAY? Why the heck are you in here yammering about religion when your own leaders are trying so desperately to argue that ID/creationism is NOT about religion? Are you and the other creationists in here really THAT stupid? Really and truly?

Any IDer or creationist in here, how about answering that question for me. Why are you in here arguing that ID/creationism is all about God and the Bible, while Discovery Institute and other creationists are currently in Kansas and Dover arguing that ID/creationism is NOT all about God and the Bible?

Why are you **undercutting your own side**????????

I really truly want to know.

Comment #49446

Posted by Arden Chatfield on September 24, 2005 12:12 PM (e)

This is what poor little Danny said:

“Now scientists don’t like my request because it challenges the dogma that is fundamental to their philosophical viewpoints about nature, and I don’t like evolution because it challenges my own philosophical views.”

How old is this person? He certainly SOUNDS like a teenager who’s very full of himself. Heaven forfend that his ‘views’ should be challenged

Funny: what Danny believes are ‘philosophical views’. However, evolutionary theory is ‘dogma’.

Someone sure brainwashed this kid good. Ah, home schooling….

Comment #49448

Posted by steve on September 24, 2005 12:49 PM (e)

Dave said:

Dembski has published mathematical tests for detecting intelligent causes - essentially a litmus test you apply to a dataset. I’m sure the SETI folks use similar methods for analysing the signals they are collecting.

The fact that they don’t might help you understand Dembski is full of crap.

Comment #49449

Posted by steve on September 24, 2005 12:54 PM (e)

We’ve heard several creationists say things to the effect that SETI must do something like Dembski, so ID is science. Of course, they don’t do anything like Dembski, and what they do is illuminating about why ID can’t work without some info about the Designer. Has anybody at Panda’s Thumb written an article about this?

Comment #49453

Posted by SEF on September 24, 2005 1:38 PM (e)

Certain Americans seem to be a pox on the whole world at the moment. They are now trying to interfere with Astronomy as a fudge to deal with their unintelligent design of GPS. They want to redefine reality to be something simpler for them because of their personal inability to deal with the real world. Seem familiar at all ..?

Comment #49541

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 25, 2005 11:57 AM (e)

Dave wrote:

I think interested scientists may be able to show naturulistic orgins, but lets face it, its looking less and less likely every day, so if we are honest, we have to say that given the evidence we have, design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

I see ‘Dave’ was here and gone again, and still has no clarification or backing evidence for his statements.

Dave, you are a bad person.

Comment #49563

Posted by Dave on September 25, 2005 3:25 PM (e)

I’m suggesting that design is a possibility, and that any scientist that chooses to float that hypothesis is entitled to without recrimination or threat.

We as scientists should not define science in such a way to exclude that possibility.

I think that the cases of Samuel Chen and Danny Phillips are illuminating. They show that organizations such as NCSE and ABAT have political and philosophical motivations, no different than the Discovery Institute.

I stand by my comments regarding Eugenie Scott - she uses authoritarian and totalitarian methods.

Comment #49568

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on September 25, 2005 4:00 PM (e)

Dave hilariously ad-libbed:

“We as scientists […]”

Are you a Christian Scientist, Dave? ‘cause no other definition of “scientist” seems to fit your public persona…

Also, when poor little Danny said something that is only barely exscusable in an indoctrinated 16-year-old who’s been spoon-fed ID talking points, Dr. Scott basically replied, “If you want to remain ignorant, that’s your privilege; but it is wrong to keep everybody else ignorant just because you don’t like what science tells us.”

This has nothing authoritarian, nothing totalitarian about it; it’s the plain fact of the matter. Dr. Scott is right, and Danny Phillips is wrong. Twist the thing as you want, this won’t change.

Now, since you are an incorregible troll, I’ll stop pointing out your misrepresentations. The truth is out there: it took me one minute to find out what Danny Phillips had said and what Genie Scott had responded. “Scientist”, ideed!

Comment #49575

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 25, 2005 5:22 PM (e)

I’m suggesting that design is a possibility

A fleet of invisible pink unicorns flying in orbit around Jupiter is also “a possibility”. (shrug)

SHOW us this “possibility”, and what it possibly is.

What, possibly, did the designer possibly do, specifically.

What possible mechanisms did it possibly use to do whatever the heck you think it did, possibly.

Where can we possibly see the deisgner using these possible mechanisms to do … well . . anything.

What seems to be the problem with your answering those simple questions, Dave?

Or, possibly, is “POOF!! God – er, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer – dunnit!!!!” the extent of your, uh, possible scientific theory? And are IDers (like you) jsut lying to us when they claim otherwise?

Comment #49576

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 25, 2005 5:25 PM (e)

We as scientists should not define science in such a way to exclude that possibility.

I’ve already asked you to show us how to use the scientific method to test your “possibility”.

What seems to be the problem?

Comment #49577

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 25, 2005 5:27 PM (e)

We as scientists

“We”?

“WE” ????????

Dude, I’ve met scientists. I’ve worked with scientists.

You are no scientist.

Comment #49580

Posted by KiwiInOz on September 25, 2005 6:42 PM (e)

Dave, as an actual scientist who does actual research (albeit not in evolutionary biology) I am offended that you classify yourself as a scientist. Please desist.

Wingardium leviosa.

Comment #49622

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 26, 2005 8:44 AM (e)

I’m suggesting that design is a possibility, and that any scientist that chooses to float that hypothesis is entitled to without recrimination or threat.

Is that what you’re doing today? Because the other day you were stating that:

I think interested scientists may be able to show naturulistic orgins, but lets face it, its looking less and less likely every day, so if we are honest, we have to say that given the evidence we have, design is a plausible explanation for certain aspects of nature.

You still have not been able to clarify or back up that statement; given that, you should be retracting it. You have consistently failed to do so despite repeated stops in this thread. “If you were honest”, you would retract your statement, since you cannot back it up. Therefore I conclude that you are not honest.

We as scientists

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
NO, Dave, I don’t believe that. Real scientists provide evidence for their statements.

Comment #49981

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 28, 2005 12:18 PM (e)

It appears Dave is gone for good now, without explaining this cryptic comment:

but lets face it, its looking less and less likely every day