PZ Myers posted Entry 1892 on January 8, 2006 01:50 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1887

You might recall that the IDEA clubs required that their leaders be Christian (linked to Google cache).

1) Having an interest in intelligent design and creation - evolution issues, and a willingness to learn more.

2) Agreeing with and being willing to uphold the IDEA Center's mission statement.

3) Having a desire and commitment to using these issues to educate and outreach to your fellow students, campus, or community.

4) We also require that club leaders be Christians as the IDEA Center Leadership believes, for religious reasons unrelated to intelligent design theory, that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible. It is definitely not necessary to "be an expert" to start and run a successful a club. It is helpful to be familiar with the basics of intelligent design theory, but if you're not, that's where the IDEA Center hopes to step in and help educate you so you can in turn educate others. Where ever you feel like you might need help--whether its science, leadership skills, or practical tips for running the club--that's where the IDEA Center wants to step in an help you. We try to help give any club founder all the tools they might need to start and run a succesful club and help promote a better understanding of the creation - evolution issue at their schools.

No more! The rules have been changed.

1) Having an interest in intelligent design and creation - evolution issues, and a willingness to learn more.

2) Agreeing with and being willing to uphold the IDEA Center's mission statement.

3) Having a desire and commitment to using these issues to educate and outreach to your fellow students, campus, or community.

4) IDEA Club leaders must advocate the scientific theory of intelligent design in the fields of biology and physics/cosmology.

5) There are no requirements regarding the religious beliefs of IDEA Club leaders or founders.

So now, instead of requiring Christianity, they require a) that one be an advocate of the "scientific theory of intelligent design" and b) that one agree with the IDEA center's mission statement. That's interesting; there is no scientific theory of intelligent design. There is no science behind it, and it doesn't qualify as a theory—even calling it a hypothesis is over-generous, since we typically expect even hypotheses to have some foundation in evidence and observation. That's strike one. What about that mission statement?

We believe that in the investigation of intelligent design the identity of the designer is completely separate from the scientific theory of intelligent design, since a scientific theory cannot specify the identity of the designer based upon the empirical data or the scientific method alone, and is not dependent upon religious premises; nonetheless, we consider it reasonable to conclude that the designer may be identified as the God of the Bible, while recognizing that others may identify the designer in a different way.

How cunning! They cut out the blatant religious requirement and buried it more subtly in the mission statement—if you don't think it reasonable to identify the designer as the God of the Bible, you aren't the kind of person they want running their clubs. I guess the Raelians are going to be disappointed.

Intelligent Design creationists do seem fond of sneaking their beliefs in through the back door, don't they?

It's also interesting how much they emphasize that absolutely no expertise is required to be a leader in the IDEA clubs. That's their clientele: people who know absolutely nothing about science, but are willing and eager to repudiate it.

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Comment #68755

Posted by Moses on January 8, 2006 2:07 PM (e)

They are so clumsy. I would be embarassed to be an ID proponent, if only just because of the cluminess and incompetence of the leadership.

Comment #68757

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 8, 2006 2:07 PM (e)

Fourth Bruce: No. Right, I just want to remind you of the faculty rules: Rule One!

Everybruce: No Poofters!

Fourth Bruce: Rule Two, no member of the faculty is to maltreat the Abos in any way at all – if there’s anybody watching. Rule Three?

Everybruce: No Poofters!!

Fourth Bruce: Rule Four, now this term, I don’t want to catch anybody not drinking. Rule Five,

Everybruce: No Poofters!

Fourth Bruce: Rule Six, there is NO … Rule Six. Rule Seven,

Everybruce: No Poofters!!

Fourth Bruce: Right, that concludes the readin’ of the rules, Bruce.

First Bruce: This here’s the wattle, the emblem of our land. You can stick it in a bottle, you can hold it in your hand.

Everybruce: Amen!

Comment #68760

Posted by ivy privy on January 8, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

It’s also interesting how much they emphasize that absolutely no expertise is required to be a leader in the IDEA clubs. That’s their clientele: people who know absolutely nothing about science, but are willing and eager to repudiate it.

Yup. Check out the comments to this Cornell Daily Sun article, in particular comment 24 by Lee Penick on 10/26/2005. Penick self-identifies as “president of the IDEA Club, Tri-Cities WA”, and his/her evidence for Intelligent Design is that he/she has never heard of the RNA World Theory, or even of reverse transcriptase:

Perhaps you could ask him for me, as a Darwinist, how does he explain the origin of information in DNA?

1) without DNA there is no self replication
2) without self replication there is no natural selection
3) so one can’t use natural selection to explain the origin of DNA without assuming the existence of the very thing (DNA) we are trying to explain

Without the information in DNA to turn amino acids into proteins in the proper manner, provide assembly instructions, and build micro-machines for the cell, we wouldn’t have self replication.

The information came first. The real question is where did the information come from for the first DNA, or what is the origin of the information found in DNA? Darwinian Theory and natural selection can’t explain it, Intelligent Design theory can….

Be sure to read all of his/her comments to realize the level of expertise he/she brings to the table.

Comment #68761

Posted by toto on January 8, 2006 2:28 PM (e)

Wink, wink.

Nudge, nudge.

Say no more, say no more.

People who buy into this stuff are so easily deceived, I sometimes wonder why I’m wasting my time and energy arguing the other side.

Chicks, money, cars could all be mine! I swear I could clean up!

Comment #68766

Posted by Bob O'H on January 8, 2006 3:28 PM (e)

…we consider it reasonable to conclude that the designer may be identified as the God of the Bible, while recognizing that others may identify the designer in a different way.

Either this is saying “we think the designer is the God of the Bible, but others can disagree”, or it’s saying “we recognise that some people think the designer is the God of the Bible”. If the first is true, then it clashes with Rule 5, and hence it is impossible to be a member without breaking the rules. If the second is true, then the qualification is unnecessary and confusing.

As an athiest, and an evil neo-Darwinist, I agree with that, under the second interpretation. Actually, I suspect that with a bit of care it would be possible to argue that someone on the anti-ID side could join an IDEA club. As there is no scientific ID theory (‘coz Judge Jones sez so), rule 4 is moot. Most of the mission statement say “this is what an IDEA club is”, and anyone can agree and can uphold it by saying “this is what my IDEA club does. I think it’s nuts, but I’m not going to stop anyone else doing it”.

Oh, and the last point in the mission statement could have done with a bit of proof-reading.

Bob

Comment #68767

Posted by g on January 8, 2006 3:30 PM (e)

I was going to suggest that a link to the Internet Archive (“Wayback Machine”) might be better than the Google one because the next time Google crawls the site, its cache will be updated. But it turns out that the site’s robots.txt file specifically bars the Internet Archive’s robot. Now, I wonder why that might be.

Comment #68768

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 8, 2006 3:31 PM (e)

It’s also interesting how much they emphasize that absolutely no expertise is required to be a leader in the IDEA clubs. That’s their clientele: people who know absolutely nothing about science, but are willing and eager to repudiate it.

Larry, you out there? I think we’ve found your home!

Comment #68770

Posted by a maine yankee on January 8, 2006 3:37 PM (e)

All they need is affiliation with the NRA, just to be ready, eh?

Comment #68773

Posted by George Mason on January 8, 2006 3:49 PM (e)

Salvador Cordova of the GMU IDEA club wrote that non-Christians cannot serve as officers in IDEA clubs without that club being a “renegade”:

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

if non Christians are elected to become [IDEA club] officers, the club can continue under it’s constitution, but it can no longer be a recognized as sanctioned chapter by the IDEA center in San Diego, but rather would have to delcare itself a renegade ID chapter.

What scientific movement or organization demands in its charter that it be managed only by members from a particular religious sect?

George Mason University has an anti-discrimination policy that reads

The University’s non-discrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, sex, or age.

For more information, see:

www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/sexb.html
www.gmu.edu/equity/discrimination_prohibiting.shtml
www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/aA/discrimination.html

Comment #68776

Posted by Albion on January 8, 2006 4:20 PM (e)

Did they change the Mission Statement in order to sneak the “God of the Bible” stuff in there, or did it always read that way?

Comment #68777

Posted by Corkscrew on January 8, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

1) without DNA there is no self replication
2) without self replication there is no natural selection
3) so one can’t use natural selection to explain the origin of DNA without assuming the existence of the very thing (DNA) we are trying to explain

Hey, he/she got one out of three right. Why are you being so hard on him/her? Must be your Darwinist, or even NeoDarwinist bigotry showing through.

And you call yourself a scientist? Hah! I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

[/sarcasm]

Comment #68779

Posted by steve s on January 8, 2006 5:00 PM (e)

I can’t think of any reason a club which is primarily scientific, and not religious, in nature would have such a requirement, and I’m sure a judge will feel the same way. So the rule is just more foot-shooting by the incompetents.

Comment #68780

Posted by ts on January 8, 2006 5:04 PM (e)

not on topic

To: Rev Dr Lenny Flank

I used your question on the Evangelical Atheist board. I hope you don’t mind. It does clear the air properly.

Comment #68781

Posted by SteveF on January 8, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

I suspect Salvador may turn up sooner rather than later. I predict he will mention one or all of the following:

1) Caroline Crocker
2) Elsberry and Shallit’s ‘misrepresentation’ of Dembski
3) How many undergraduates are interested in ID.
4) How many postgraduates are interested in ID.
5) IDEA clubs are burgeoning.
6) How he simply presents both sides of the argument to his IDEA club members and encourages them to think critically and make up their own minds.
7) How many cosmologists support fine tuning.
8) How agrees with Eugenie Scott over the teaching of ID.

Have I missed anything.

Comment #68782

Posted by Glen Davidson on January 8, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

IDEA Club leaders must advocate the scientific theory of intelligent design in the fields of biology and physics/cosmology.

The oxymoron (scientific theory of intelligent design) is obvious, but I thought I’d also point to the “advocate” word used, instead of something like “apply” or “use”. Gee, I wonder why they don’t require (as long as they’re blatantly partisan and theological) that the leaders must show their competence to use ID to explain phenomena, instead of merely “advocating” ID? Do they never wonder why we lack advocacy groups (unless one counts those defending science from attacks) for evolution?

One more thing:

since a scientific theory cannot specify the identity of the designer based upon the empirical data or the scientific method alone

They know this? Has any scientific theory been known to be unable to specify “the designer” of anything beforehand? I have seen statements like the quote above, however. These statements were metaphysical claims about God, such as in Plotinus and in Maimonides.

While I do not doubt that some designs could be known as such without knowing anything but the physics and some of the conditions governing the designer of them, it is precisely the physics of designers which allow for us to both understand design and designers (these terms beg scientific questions, and I use them only as shorthand). IDists already know that the “designer” cannot be known through scientific means alone, thus the physics governing “design” has also vanished into thin air as a guide to recognizing “design”.

I sometimes think that too much stress is placed upon the fact that IDists believe in the God of the Bible. Indeed they (almost always) do, as their follow-up statement demonstrates. However this God of the Bible is seen through the prism of metaphysics. To some degree this is the philosopher’s God, who they invoke in order to circumvent the claims of science, all the while they are claiming to be doing science. The humanoid God of Genesis is arguably within the realm of investigation, and thus the God of Genesis is developed (evolved?) into one who is beyond the realm of science.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #68786

Posted by A Rat on January 8, 2006 5:25 PM (e)

It’s a very sneaky way of changing the words without the effect. But I think something’s going overlooked. Rule #5 contradicts the mission statement. Despite feigning religious plurality, the mission statement requires its leaders to consider the “God of the Bible” as being “reasonable”. The fifth rule specifies that there are no religious requirements. A person of the religious belief that the Christian God is an unreasonable designer could be barred from being a leader, simply on the basis of that religious belief.

Comment #68789

Posted by JohnK on January 8, 2006 5:38 PM (e)

This does seem to broaden IDEACenters’ criteria from only believers in a Trinitarian “God of the Bible” to now permit Jews and Muslims as leaders. Dembski’s recent powwow with the Lubavitchers somehow comes to mind.
Da Big Tent, suffering some shrinkage after being bentDover, is in need of a bit of stretching.

Comment #68792

Posted by steve s on January 8, 2006 5:45 PM (e)

SteveF: You missed “We ar wining the PR warr!”

Comment #68812

Posted by B.M.O.C. on January 8, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

SteveF: Have I missed anything(?)

You missed the number of dates he gets for being on the “correct” side of the issue.

Comment #68820

Posted by Ron Okimoto on January 8, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

Casey Luskin seems to still be the main contact. Does that mean that the Discovery Institute is controling the IDEA show, now?

They offer ideas for fund raising and they tell the rubes that it is a good idea to invite an ID expert to speak at campus even if it will cost them around $1,000 and food, lodging and travel expenses. Considering that about the only ID experts are the guys that the Discovery Institute sponsors, this seems to be pretty bogus. They ought to donate their time for educational purposes, considering what value they had for the Dover case. What are they doing with their Discovery Institute stipends? How could you ask for $1,000 bucks after a performance like Dover? A $60,000 stipends should be good for at least 20 appearances for the IDEA crowds.

Comment #68831

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 8, 2006 8:12 PM (e)

All they need is affiliation with the NRA, just to be ready, eh?

They’re better off with Gun Owners of America —— its head, Larry Pratt, is a Christian Reconstructionist like Howie Ahmanson.

Comment #68833

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 8, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

To: Rev Dr Lenny Flank

I used your question on the Evangelical Atheist board. I hope you don’t mind. It does clear the air properly.

Which question? I have lots. :)

Comment #68834

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 8, 2006 8:14 PM (e)

I suspect Salvador may turn up sooner rather than later.

I hope so. I have a list of 36 questions waiting, that he (or at least the person CLAIMING to be him) ran away from the last time he was here.

Comment #68837

Posted by ts on January 8, 2006 8:21 PM (e)

to rev dr lenny flank

The question in question is “why should your opinion be more valuable than mine or the guy who delivers my pizza”

not to scale

Comment #68852

Posted by Corkscrew on January 8, 2006 9:30 PM (e)

On an almost-entirely-offtopic-but-not-quite note, does anyone know of any good online resources regards genetic algorithms? Have just offered to script one out for Salvador, to test whether RMNS evolution can generate CSI (no response yet cos I only just asked, but I’m fairly hopeful). I’d like to do a good convincing job but sadly have zero experience with the buggers.

Comment #68879

Posted by Inoculated Mind on January 9, 2006 12:18 AM (e)

Email exchange with the president of the Cornell IDEA club:
I now learn that the IDEA center has
required that its affiliate leaders be Christian, and recently covered up that fact by altering the requirements and moving christian references to the mission statement section. My question now is, were you aware of this when you became the leader of the Cornell IDEA club?

“Formerly (before this last week) the IDEA Center had the policy you mentioned. Our club at Cornell is definitely not religious – our members come from all points of view, and our treasurer, for instance, is a Muslim. At that time we had the following stance:

“As a club we feel that it is important to have a forum for discussion where we can freely discuss ID & evolution, in a reasoned and scientific way, regardless of possible personal philosophical or religious views. We’re voluntarily affiliated with the IDEA Center, but in any case where we would feel that we were discriminating against a qualified person from leadership, we would dissociate from them, according to our philosophy.”

The Center changed their policy this past week to remove their requirement. This is not, as Pharyngula suggested, an attempt to hide the requirement; but an actual change in policy; or perhaps rather a change in the rule book to reflect an attitude already present – the people I’ve spoken to there were very clear that they did not consider ID theory ‘Christian-owned’, though they have a policy about being careful to reveal any personal biases. I think any serious ID’er would probably have been able to get an exception fairly easily.

The mission statement referred to has not been changed; the phrase on “the God of the Bible” reflects only the personal beliefs of the IDEA Center staff. They have expressly told us there is now no religious requirement for chapters.

Sincerely,

Hannah Maxson
IDEA Cornell”

Ummm, what can I say but how can someone get involved in such a club and not understand the christian origin of (and it seems, still the christian nuances within) ID?

My take on this: Tally up the attempts to further dissociate ID from religion, particularly christianity, following the KvD trial outcome. And other things that stick out, like Dembski quitting weblogging.
Karl

Comment #68905

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on January 9, 2006 3:44 AM (e)

Now that I think of it, hasn’t this change occured between Sallies bloviating on the topic before with the “non-Christians can’t lead an IDEA chapter without being it renegade” (Paraphrased) thing and in between that time the rules have changed? Quite odd that one. It’s still utterly hypocritical and demonstrates that it’s a religious movement and nothing scientific behind it. The only people who could still pheasibly lead an IDEA chapter are still Christians so the new language accomplishes little.

Comment #68928

Posted by observer of the obvious on January 9, 2006 6:26 AM (e)

Requiring one to “advocate” a specific explanation for a phenomenon is enough to demonstrate that it’s a religious movement – and certainly not scientific. Even political non-religious organizations advocate policies, not factual claims. In any case, this requirement is the opposite of “discussion where we can freely discuss ID & evolution, in a reasoned and scientific way”.

Comment #68967

Posted by Greg H on January 9, 2006 8:47 AM (e)

Well, after a very careful reading of both the new rules and mission statement, I think some of you guys (at the risk of being shunned like LaLaLarry) are *pause for effect* wrong.

The IDEA rules are pretty specific about there not being any religious requirements for office, so let’s look at that pesky rule 2 - supporting the missing statement.

The quote that PZ highlighted was this one:

Something PZ Myers quoted wrote:

We believe that in the investigation of intelligent design the identity of the designer is completely separate from the scientific theory of intelligent design, since a scientific theory cannot specify the identity of the designer based upon the empirical data or the scientific method alone, and is not dependent upon religious premises; nonetheless, we consider it reasonable to conclude that the designer may be identified as the God of the Bible[emphasis not mine], while recognizing that others may identify the designer in a different way.

I’d like to point out that the next clause in that sentence completely changes the meaning of what everyone here is trying to make it sound like they’re saying. They’re actually allowing for folks to define the designer in a way that isn’t the Christian God of the Bible, and the statement clearly indicates that it is only the writers of the mission statement (presumably the staff of the IDEA Center) that use that definition. Let’s not become guilty of one of the prinicipal crimes of the opposition - quote mining out of context.

That being said, it’s still not enough to slough off the religious overtones of the organization. They’re just allowing for wiggle-room in case Zues shows up at a meeting and says “Hey! Mine!”. It think the telling part is that the organization is using the personal beliefs of the staff to flesh out the mission statement. I mean let’s take a look at a different mission statement:

Ocean Bank of Florida wrote:

Ocean Bank aspires to be one of the most financially sound, profitable banks in the Southern Florida market. The bank will grow by meeting the broad financial needs of local businesses, families, and other select customer groups in a most personal and professional manner.

(from http://www.oceanbank.com/89423.html)

Hmm…nothing in there about the personal beliefs of the staff or leaders of the organization. Let’s try again…how about one from a blatantly religious organization.

Reconciling Ministries Network wrote:

Reconciling Ministries Network is a national grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the United Methodist Church, both in policy and practice.

(from http://www.rmnetwork.org/)

Wow - STILL nothing about what the members believe.

Just general statements about the what the organization is dedicated to.

Oh…wait. I just made the connection.

Comment #68978

Posted by Bob O'H on January 9, 2006 9:19 AM (e)

Greg H - Oh good, it’s not just me who can see that reading of the mission statement!

I’m not sure it’s quite so clear though. Who should the “we” in the mission statement refer to? Clearly it does refer to the original writers, but one could read rule 2 (Agreeing with and being willing to uphold the IDEA Center’s mission statement) as meaning that the “we” should also refer to a member too.

To be honest, I’m not sure which interpretation is correct: I think we’d need a grammarian or lawyer to sort this all out.

[sarcasm]It’s a good job IDEA members are science students, and not studying subjects like arts and humanities, where they would have to learn how to write properly.[/sarcasm]

Bob

Comment #68990

Posted by Greg H on January 9, 2006 9:47 AM (e)

Bob,

Well, honestly, I considered the other intrepretation, but it just doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, you’re going to have people joining this organization after said statement was written, so it makes no sense to lump them in with the “we” in the statement. Unless they’re also making the assumption that these new members will retroactively affirm what the folks defined as “we” in the mission statement have already stated as their beliefs. If that is indeed the case, then it’s not only confusing, but dishonest and discrimnatory as well, since in that reading, it would indeed be no different from the original rules.

Of course, confusion and dishonesty are par for the course, so I’m not willing to bet any large amounts of money or property either way.

Greg

Comment #69006

Posted by jim on January 9, 2006 10:19 AM (e)

I’m getting ready to post this in the blog area of the Indianapolis Star. I would really appreciate you comments & suggestions:

The “Intelligent” Design Hoax -

In 1987, the US Supreme Court ruled that Creationism could not be taught in science classes. *THAT SAME YEAR* a small subset of the people struggling to get creationism taught in science classes updated their most recent draft of their new book (the book that went on to be named “Of Pandas and People”) with a simple “Search and Replace”. They replaced the word “creationism” with the words “Intelligent Design”.

Since that time, these people have performed no science to support their conjectures. They have furthermore claimed that ID is not creationism (or related to religion in any way) and that it is science.

I don’t see how lying & deceiving people is supposed to lead them to the “Truth” of Christianity. Their actions are antithetical to the cause of Christians everywhere.

If you are Christian and believe in Truth, I suggest that you expose and confront these charlatans where ever you encounter them. Christianity should not let people like these be its public voice and it does not need to hide behind lies and deception to spread its word!

Comment #69009

Posted by Joe on January 9, 2006 10:27 AM (e)

Hi,
Forgive me if someone has already suggested this but I have noticed that these IDEA clubs have rules that exclude people who may be genuinely interested in ID.
It seems to me that these clubs do not have an exclusive franchise on ID. Why couldn’t others start their own club but this time specify that everyone is welcome. If you have to have a rule make it that no one is allowed to push their religion. Keep everything strictly scientific. Hmm. Now what do we talk about ?
Joe

Comment #69034

Posted by Keith Douglas on January 9, 2006 10:50 AM (e)

Just a question: if clubs at these universities are not allowed to discriminate based on religious affiliation, does this entail there are no organizations like Hillel or Newman House on campus?

Comment #69045

Posted by AC on January 9, 2006 11:05 AM (e)

Hannah Maxson, IDiot wrote:

Our club at Cornell is definitely not religious — our members come from all points of view, and our treasurer, for instance, is a Muslim.

That sentence really tickles me.

Lee Penick, IDiot wrote:

The information came first. The real question is where did the information come from for the first DNA, or what is the origin of the information found in DNA?

A more apt statement would be “the laws of physics came first”. Then we can discuss cosmological ID with Heddle, who at least has more expertise than this guy.

Of course, expertise isn’t a guarantee of correctness, but it is a requirement. One of those subtle distinctions that ID proponenets just don’t seem to get.

Comment #69050

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 9, 2006 11:18 AM (e)

we consider it reasonable to conclude that the designer may be identified as the God of the Bible, while recognizing that others may identify the designer in a different way.

I get it, IDEA clubs are like Alcoholics Anonymous groups and their meetings are simply discussions of what you’re Higher Power means to you

In AA a Higher Power (or Intelligent Designer) can be anything you want Him to be. And everyone is right because no one is wrong.

Yeah that’s exactly how science works. What a cool grass roots level college “science” organization IDEA is. I am looking forward to seeing their young scientists get poublished in peer review biology journals.

ps and off topic. Is it me or are guys like Dembski and Fuller giving philosophy a really bad name?

Comment #69055

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 9, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

Greg H wrote:

I’d like to point out that the next clause in that sentence completely changes the meaning of what everyone here is trying to make it sound like they’re saying. They’re actually allowing for folks to define the designer in a way that isn’t the Christian God of the Bible, and the statement clearly indicates that it is only the writers of the mission statement (presumably the staff of the IDEA Center) that use that definition. Let’s not become guilty of one of the prinicipal crimes of the opposition - quote mining out of context.

I cannot agree with your interpretation. Read the instructions for founders and leaders of local clubs again:

2) Agreeing with and being willing to uphold the IDEA Center’s mission statement.

Comment #69058

Posted by ivy privy on January 9, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

Inoculated Mind wrote:

Email exchange with the president of the Cornell IDEA club:
I now learn that the IDEA center has
required that its affiliate leaders be Christian, and recently covered up that fact by altering the requirements and moving christian references to the mission statement section. My question now is, were you aware of this when you became the leader of the Cornell IDEA club?

“Formerly (before this last week) the IDEA Center had the policy you mentioned. Our club at Cornell is definitely not religious — our members come from all points of view, and our treasurer, for instance, is a Muslim. At that time we had the following stance:

We play both kinds of music: country and western!

“As a club we feel that it is important to have a forum for discussion where we can freely discuss ID & evolution, in a reasoned and scientific way, regardless of possible personal philosophical or religious views. We’re voluntarily affiliated with the IDEA Center, but in any case where we would feel that we were discriminating against a qualified person from leadership, we would dissociate from them, according to our philosophy.”

The Center changed their policy this past week to remove their requirement. This is not, as Pharyngula suggested, an attempt to hide the requirement; but an actual change in policy; or perhaps rather a change in the rule book to reflect an attitude already present — the people I’ve spoken to there were very clear that they did not consider ID theory ‘Christian-owned’, though they have a policy about being careful to reveal any personal biases. I think any serious ID’er would probably have been able to get an exception fairly easily.

The mission statement referred to has not been changed; the phrase on “the God of the Bible” reflects only the personal beliefs of the IDEA Center staff. They have expressly told us there is now no religious requirement for chapters.

Sincerely,

Hannah Maxson
IDEA Cornell”

Did you notice that she never actually answered your question?

I met Maxson last week at an off-campus event, and she consistently refused to answer similar questions. She dodged, she weaved, she waffled, but she would not give direct answers. My opinion of her integrity is not high.

Comment #69073

Posted by Greg H on January 9, 2006 12:06 PM (e)

BB, FCD

Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending these guys. They’ve gone from blatant religion to sneaky subtle religion, which, of the two, is the more scary.

However, as Bob and i both point out, how you interpret that statement depends entirely on how who you consider to be the “we” in that statement. It is unecessarily vague and confusing, and possibly done with the intention of obfuscating their true meaning. In any case, the statement of their belief really has no place in a mission statement, which is supposed to be what your company or organization hopes to achieve, not what it (or the staff) believes.

Comment #69080

Posted by Corkscrew on January 9, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

Ivy privy: I agree that it doesn’t answer the question. Regardless, the evolution from ID proponents to unbigoted ID proponents is definitely worth supporting IMO.

Apart from anything else, if their tent gets big enough the roof’ll start to collapse.

Comment #69082

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 9, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

However, as Bob and i both point out, how you interpret that statement depends entirely on how who you consider to be the “we” in that statement. It is unecessarily vague and confusing, and possibly done with the intention of obfuscating their true meaning. In any case, the statement of their belief really has no place in a mission statement, which is supposed to be what your company or organization hopes to achieve, not what it (or the staff) believes.

All of which are their problems, not mine.

Comment #69100

Posted by Gorbe on January 9, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

No doubt, Ken Miller -type Christians would not be welcome because they are not the right kind of Christian. Only those that worship at the altar of Inerrancy need apply.

Comment #69113

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 9, 2006 1:57 PM (e)

ps and off topic. Is it me or are guys like Dembski and Fuller giving philosophy a really bad name?

In the same way that Behe gives biochemistry a bad name, Minnich give microbiology a bad name, and Gonzalez gives astronomy a bad name, and Johnson and Abrams give lawyers a bad name, and DaveScot and several others give mechanical engineers a bad name…

I suppose that’s why Fuller’s colleagues at SciPolicy Journal submitted an Amicus brief; they wanted everyone to know that he is not representative of the group.

Comment #69138

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Guy on January 9, 2006 2:56 PM (e)

ts wrote:

to rev dr lenny flank

The question in question is “why should your opinion be more valuable than mine or the guy who delivers my pizza”

not to scale

Sigh. So many blogs, so many pizzas to deliver, so little time.

Comment #69155

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 3:15 PM (e)

What you snidely call “cunning” is merely the maturing of an organization, realizing that it can not, and need nto be associated merely with Christianity. Christians are realizing that many religious principles can and should be argued from a non-religious perspective because they are universally true (e.g. we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal).

Even if xianity gave birth to the ID movement (arguably), it is no sin to replace religious language with more uviersal language, nor is it necessarily deceiftul - it’s merely smart, or “cunning” as you like to say.

Now, Dembski et al. may have been clumsy in making this transition, even “deceitful” in denying the xian influence on the movement and it’s genesis (pun intended), but hey, get over it and deal with the claims made NOW. And stop parroting the “ID is not science” mantra - it makes testable claims that can be addressed.

Comment #69158

Posted by Russell on January 9, 2006 3:19 PM (e)

And stop parroting the “ID is not science” mantra - it makes testable claims that can be addressed.

Those being…?

Comment #69171

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 9, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 03:15 PM (e) (s)

What you snidely call “cunning” is merely the maturing of an organization, realizing that it can not, and need nto be associated merely with Christianity. Christians are realizing that many religious principles can and should be argued from a non-religious perspective because they are universally true (e.g. we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal).

Even if xianity gave birth to the ID movement (arguably), it is no sin to replace religious language with more uviersal language, nor is it necessarily deceiftul - it’s merely smart, or “cunning” as you like to say.

Now, Dembski et al. may have been clumsy in making this transition, even “deceitful” in denying the xian influence on the movement and it’s genesis (pun intended), but hey, get over it and deal with the claims made NOW. And stop parroting the “ID is not science” mantra - it makes testable claims that can be addressed.

LOL. Have you been conned like I was? Or do you knowingly spout rubbish?

Why is ID scientific?
What testable claims does ID make?

You should seriously investigate what you are parroting. It is amazing which side resorts to lies and deceit. All in the name of improving societies morals. The irony is beyond belief.

Comment #69193

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 4:39 PM (e)

Well, because ID is not a full-orbed scientific theory (like creation science ;), I will agree that it is limited in what it can claim as testable (no, I am not backpedaling). As I say in many articles at twoorthree.net, ID is very limited in it’s scientific merit, and is more a philosophy of science (like evolution) than a science. However, it does lead to testable scientific claims.

For a quick overview (but not detailed or comprehensive list), see my post over at Is Creation Testable?

My summary doesn’t do it justice, so feel free to read the articles mentioned, and also feel free to tear it to pieces, which I am sure someone will do.

The main point is, despite the use of some unnamed intelligent agent as a pre-supposition, this does not mean that the results of such an assumption are not testable. As I say, “while the creation event is as untestable as macroevolution, the creationist model does present predictions that are testable.”

Comment #69206

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 9, 2006 4:58 PM (e)

Seeker,
Do you know what the “scientific method” is?

To try and make religion scientific, it would probably mean that you have to remove “free will” from God.

Can you not accept science and religion being two totally separate subjects?

Science is to do with following evidence.

Religion is mystical and out of science’s remit.

Comment #69208

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 9, 2006 5:00 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'url'

Comment #69212

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 9, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'bockquote'

Comment #69219

Posted by cutter through crap on January 9, 2006 5:19 PM (e)

I’d like to point out that the next clause in that sentence completely changes the meaning of what everyone here is trying to make it sound like they’re saying.

Uh, no.

They’re actually allowing for folks to define the designer in a way that isn’t the Christian God of the Bible

You left out a critical word: other.

and the statement clearly indicates that it is only the writers of the mission statement (presumably the staff of the IDEA Center) that use that definition.

Uh, no. The statement contains no words saying who “we” refers to, so your claim is pure fabrication and falsehood. The fact is that it’s a mission statement for an organization, and therefore “we” refers to the organization as a whole and to anyone who pledges to the mission statement – i.e., the officers of IDEA.

Comment #69226

Posted by oops on January 9, 2006 5:29 PM (e)

Silly me, I should have followed the link, not just read the quote above. So the mission statement as written does apply to the “IDEA Center”. But the requirement on club leaders that they “agree with and be willing to uphold” the mission statement effectively extends that statement to include the leaders – surely it isn’t merely saying that the leaders must agree that the IDEA Center mission statement accurately reflects the views of the IDEA Center staff; it demands that the leaders subscribe to the same views. Agreement only makes sense if “we” and “our” includes those who are pledged to agree.

Comment #69229

Posted by Corkscrew on January 9, 2006 5:31 PM (e)

Seeker: I’d note that, whilst the predictions you make on your site are indeed testable (although I’d note that the third one makes the same predictions as Darwinian evolution), they have (apart from the third one) all been proven to be false beyond reasonable doubt.

To whit:

Life appeared early in Earth’s history. - to the best of our knowledge (fueled by demonstrably accurate* dating techniques)

Life appeared under harsh conditions. - actually one of the major hypotheses is that life began on a glorious sunny beach with lots of froth in the water

Life miraculously persisted under harsh conditions. - as I said, Darwinian evolution makes this prediction, although now I come to think about it I can’t see why creationism would make it

Life arose quickly. - life in fact lingered, its potential unfulfilled, for a very long time before the Cambrian explosion

Life in its minimal form is complex. - life in its minimal form is a 32-unit-long peptide chain, or possibly a naturally-occurring Fox protocell

Re-usage of similar parts in different organisms - bat wings, bird wings and pterodactyl wings are all completely different in structure, despite having exactly the same function

Distinct function for biological structures - bones, for example, provide both structural support and white blood cells

Well done for presenting testable hypotheses though - it puts you in the top 95% of creationists.

* Due to their consistency. If one dating technique gives a date, it could be wrong. If several give the same date independently, it probably isn’t.

Comment #69231

Posted by KL on January 9, 2006 5:32 PM (e)

A question for Seeker, regarding his/her link:

From “Can ID be a testable scientific theory?”

“Evolution predicts slow recovery following extinctions and that those recoveries will be filled by the species surviving the extinction event. However, the fossil record indicates rapid recovery with completely different designs and species appearing within a period of tens of thousands of years or less.”

Can you direct me to the sources used for this statement? The time of recovery from an extinction event is what I would like a reference for. This is the first time I have seen anyone state time intervals this short for anything in the fossil record, and I’d like to check it out.

Comment #69232

Posted by P.S. on January 9, 2006 5:33 PM (e)

All of this parsing is really irrelevant anyway, because we know, from the wedge document and all the other facts, that the real goal of the IDEA Center and its organizers and funders is to undermine “secular materialism”.

Comment #69258

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

However, [ID] does lead to testable scientific claims.

Only in the sense that “God made lots of cool stuff” is testable because, if we were to look around and not see any cool stuff, we could conclude that it’s false.

For a theory to be falsifiable, it must entail testable claims that are not entailed without it. That is not the case for ID.

Comment #69272

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on January 9, 2006 6:11 PM (e)

Popper's ghost wrote:

For a theory to be falsifiable, it must entail testable claims that are not entailed without it. That is not the case for ID.

Oh my friend but it is……Boo!

Comment #69277

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 6:24 PM (e)

There are no such claims found through your link. If there were, you could state one here.

Comment #69283

Posted by steve s on January 9, 2006 6:35 PM (e)

Comment #69232

Posted by P.S. on January 9, 2006 05:33 PM (e) (s)

All of this parsing is really irrelevant anyway, because we know, from the wedge document and all the other facts, that the real goal of the IDEA Center and its organizers and funders is to undermine “secular materialism”.

I’m going to After the Bar Closes with a related question:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=14&t=136

Comment #69286

Posted by ben on January 9, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

As an aside, from the thread GoP refers to above:

Both links work fine for me; of course, most people don’t use their VIC-20’s anymore, having thrown them away with the Goldfish Platforms and cokespoons, the last getting heavy rotation, apparently, judging by the content of your posts…

GoP himself, from a PT thread 2 weeks ago:

I apologise for the lack of links, but this computer won’t let me hyperlink

My computer hyperlinks just fine. So much for self-righteous sarcasm, Mr Paley-er-than-thou.

Comment #69292

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

Corkscrew,

Nice try at refuting each point with one piece of data. Some of those are good points, but of course, in and of themselves, they are incomplete. Creationists have good arguments behind each, and good rebuttals to your data points, which I don’t have time to look up and reiterate. Sorry, got to work.

I just wanted to bring up that, despite ID’s consistency with creationism (and theistic evolution), it is not really a religion masquerading as science - it has theistic assumptions that translate into a model that may or may not fit the data better, and it also makes predictions which we can and should put to the test.

Comment #69303

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

Creationists have good arguments behind each, and good rebuttals to your data points, which I don’t have time to look up and reiterate.

This sort of comment amounts to what is technically known as “losing the debate”.

Comment #69304

Posted by Russell on January 9, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

Seeker: for some reason your website doesn’t work on my computer/browser (IE6). So I’m still in the dark as to testable predictions. Are they just what “Corkscrew” listed above?

Comment #69309

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 7:13 PM (e)

popper:

No, it’s called “don’t have time, but wanted to bring up a point.” If you consider that winning the debate, you can be satisfied that you are right.

Comment #69317

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 7:27 PM (e)

“but wanted to bring up a point”

What point? That you believe yourself to be right?

“If you consider that winning the debate, you can be satisfied that you are right.”

I didn’t say that you were proven wrong, I said that you lost the debate. “I can prove my points but I don’t have time” would lose in any debate setting in the land. Of course, we can go beyond that, because your responses always take that form, as far as I can see.

Comment #69319

Posted by Mike Z on January 9, 2006 7:30 PM (e)

We believe that in the investigation of intelligent design the identity of the designer is completely separate from the scientific theory of intelligent design,…

Somehow I doubt they would be satisfied if the designer turned out to be Slartibartfast.

Comment #69322

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on January 9, 2006 7:35 PM (e)

Popper's ghost wrote:

There are no such claims found through your link. If there were, you could state one here.

Fair enough. From Dembski:

The Wizard wrote:

What is the significance of the Displacement Theorem? It is this. Blind search
for small targets in large spaces is highly unlikely to succeed. For a search to
succeed, it therefore needs to be an assisted search. Such a search, however,
resides in a target of its own. And a blind search for this new target is even less likely to succeed than a blind search for the original target (the Displacement
Theorem puts precise numbers to this). Of course, this new target can be
successfully searched by replacing blind search with a new assisted search. But
this new assisted search for this new target resides in a still higher-order search
space, which is then subject to another blind search, more difficult than all those
that preceded it, and in need of being replaced by still another assisted search.
And so on. This regress, which I call the No Free Lunch Regress, is the upshot
of this paper. It shows that stochastic mechanisms cannot explain the success
of assisted searches.

From Mike Gene:

This protein, which mediates the torque generated by the motor to the filament, is found in all other bacteria with flagella, shows good sequence conservation, and genetic studies have shown it to be essential for forming a functioning flagellum [3,4]. Thus, from an IC perspective, we would predict that Thermotoga does indeed express the flgE hook protein and there is some type of sequencing error. But that would be a risky prediction given that TIGR already lists flgE as containing an “authentic frameshift.”

So I snooped around a bit and eventually found an interesting web page. [5] It turns out the Joint Center for Structural Genomics is looking at the “pseudogenes” in Thermatoga. They have already successfully expressed and crystallized three other proteins previously described as “authentic frameshifts,” including the motor switch protein, FliY. Currently, flgE has only been amplified. Thus, I will go out on a limb, with IC in hand, and predict that eventually flgE will likewise be found.

From Luskin:

(4) Intelligent agents typically create functional things (although we may sometimes think something is
functionless, not realizing its true function):
“Since non-coding regions do not produce proteins, Darwinian biologists have been dismissing them for
decades as random evolutionary noise or ‘junk DNA.’ From an ID perspective, however, it is extremely
unlikely that an organism would expend its resources on preserving and transmitting so much ‘junk.’”

Gentle Ben wrote:

My computer hyperlinks just fine. So much for self-righteous sarcasm, Mr Paley-er-than-thou.

Ahh! But I did not use the “lack of technology” excuse to evade an argument. I still supplied my sources, and Mr. Brazeau found them. Besides, I’m hyperlinking now, aren’t I?

Comment #69323

Posted by steve s on January 9, 2006 7:35 PM (e)

lovely crinkly edges

Comment #69331

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 7:52 PM (e)

OK, I took a first stab at trying to collect some REAL scientific type predictions made by evolutionary thought. I’m sure some of these predictions may have been falsified or supported already, and I’m sure the rabid evolutionists will be glad to jump on something specific. I’ll follow up w/ more when I can.

Comment #69333

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

Doh, I meant “creationist thought”

Comment #69336

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 9, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

The wingnuts are back early this year.

Maybe they’re having harsh weather in ToonTown, or wherever they migrate to during our winter…

Comment #69337

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

“Fair enough.”

When you figure out what an testable empirical claim is and what entailment is, let me know. To reiterate, I’m looking for an empirical claim, something testable, that is entailed by ID and is not entailed without it. For instance, the claim that much of junk DNA has a function cannot serve as a test against ID; if we do find such functions, that does not give us any further reason to favor ID over ToE, and if we don’t find any such functions, ID adherents can claim that we just haven’t found them yet.

A personal anecdote: I once encountered a page of code, about 60 lines of LISP, the first half of which converted a data structure from one form to another, and the second half of which turned it back, with no net effect (it took quite a while to figure out that this is what it was doing). Conveniently the intelligent designer of this code was a corporeal being in an office down the hall, so I took it in to him and he puzzled over it, concluding that I had analyzed it correctly. He went digging into his files (paper; this was in the 70’s) and found an old listing with exactly the same code, plus one line in the middle that passed the converted data structure to a routine that extracted some information from it. The conversion was solely for the sake of that routine, which expected the data structure to be in the altered form. At some point that routine and the data extraction it did were deemed no longer necessary, so all calls to it were removed, pretty much mechanically … leaving the conversion to and fro that no longer served any purpose. The presence of this pointless code did not, however, contradict the claim that it had been intelligently designed.

Comment #69338

Posted by ben on January 9, 2006 8:00 PM (e)

Ahh! But I did not use the “lack of technology” excuse to evade an argument. I still supplied my sources, and Mr. Brazeau found them. Besides, I’m hyperlinking now, aren’t I?

I wasn’t addressing whether you made an excuse or an argument. I was pointing out that by being an insulting and self-righteous prick in haphazardly connecting a person’s difficulty getting a given link to open with vicious stereotyping about supposed aspects of their lifestyle, you were also being a hypocrite in portraying yourself as being somehow above the same kind of PC difficulties which you attacked them for.

Comment #69339

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

“OK, I took a first stab at trying to collect some REAL scientific type predictions made by [creationist] thought”

We all know that the bible makes empirical claims. The issue here is ID as a scientific theory, not biblical literalism.

Comment #69344

Posted by Russell on January 9, 2006 8:03 PM (e)

GoP offers testable ID claims.

1. Dembski, with some classic Dembskian mumbo-jumbo containing, so far as I can tell, no predictions at all, let alone testable ones.

2. MikeGene, who “with IC in hand”, makes exactly the same predictions that any “Darwinist” is likely to make. (Indeed, the prediction that a funcional flgE product in Thermotogo seems more critically a test of plain old evo theory, since an intelligent designer could always just poof into existence a totally unrelated substitute.)

3. Attorney Luskin, with the extremely tired “junk DNA” argument. Look. Here’s a very brief summary of “Junk DNA” from a standard evo perspective. DNA gets reproduced, regardless of how functional it is. To the extent it codes something helpful for its further reproduction, its sequence is conserved by natural selection. This can range from, say, a histone gene (absolutely essential - highly conserved) to a pseudogene (generally useless - poorly conserved). Luskin writes: “From an ID perspective, however, it is extremely unlikely that an organism would expend its resources on preserving and transmitting so much ‘junk.’” My question to Luskin - or better yet, to a biologically literate defender of this view, if there is one - is: how can the organism prevent doing so?

Comment #69345

Posted by Inoculated Mind on January 9, 2006 8:05 PM (e)

I’ve been waiting for about two months now for Maxson to explain the statement about ID being testable. I’m letting her take her time.. its going to take a lot of thinking to figure that one out.

Comment #69357

Posted by steve s on January 9, 2006 8:37 PM (e)

Junk DNA is evidence of ID, huh? Never heard that one before.

talkorigins.org/indexcc:

Claim CB130:

So-called junk DNA is not really junk. Functions have been found for noncoding DNA which was previously thought to be junk, and we cannot be sure that the rest of the junk DNA is not functional as well.

Source:
Behe, Michael J., 2003. A functional pseudogene?: An open letter to Nature. http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/behepseudogene052003.htm

Response:

1. It has long been known that some noncoding DNA has important functions. (This was known even before the phrase “junk DNA” was coined.) However, there is good evidence that much DNA has no function:
* Sections of DNA can be cut out or replaced with randomized sequences with no apparent effect on the organism (Nóbrega et al. 2004).
* Some sections of DNA are corrupted copies of functional coding DNA, but mutations in them, such as stop codons early in the sequence, show that they cannot have retained the same function as the coding copy.
* The fugu fish has a genome that is about one third as large as its close relatives.
* Mutations in functional regions of DNA show evidence of selection – nonsilent changes occur less often that one would expect by chance. In other sections of DNA, there is no evidence that any changes are selected against.

Links:
EvoWiki, 2004. Junk DNA. http://www.evowiki.org/wiki.phtml?title=Junk_DNA
References:

1. Nóbrega, Marcelo A., Yiwen Zhu, Ingrid Plajzer-Frick, Veena Afzal and Edward M. Rubin, 2004. Megabase deletions of gene deserts result in viable mice. Nature 431: 988-993.

Further Reading:
Knight, J., 2002. Evolutionary genetics: All genomes great and small. Nature 417: 374-376, http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v417/n6887/full/417374a_r.html

Comment #69371

Posted by seeker on January 9, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

Here’s some more Creationist Predictions, mostly young earth.

Comment #69396

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 9, 2006 9:56 PM (e)

The question in question is “why should your opinion be more valuable than mine or the guy who delivers my pizza”

OK.

But you really should get your OWN pizza delivery guy. ;)

Comment #69397

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 9, 2006 9:58 PM (e)

Creationists have good arguments behind each

Then why do biolgists think they’re all crap?

And why have creationists lost every single Federal; court case they have ever been involved with?

Comment #69398

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 9, 2006 10:01 PM (e)

Here’s some more Creationist Predictions, mostly young earth.

Dude, YEC’s were killed off twenty years ago. Even the IDers don’t pay any attention to them any more. (shrug)

Do try and keep up, would you?

Comment #69406

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 10:20 PM (e)

2. MikeGene, who “with IC in hand”, makes exactly the same predictions that any “Darwinist” is likely to make. (Indeed, the prediction that a funcional flgE product in Thermotogo seems more critically a test of plain old evo theory, since an intelligent designer could always just poof into existence a totally unrelated substitute.)

As I noted, ID doesn’t entail any empirical claims … because the negation of any empirical claim is still compatible with ID. And, as you note here, many of the claims that supposedly support ID are entailed by explanations that do not depend on ID. Rather than make predictions, advocates of ID look around at the existing evidence for something for which they can manage to craft an argument that seems to support of ID. It’s apologetics, not science.

Luskin writes: “From an ID perspective, however, it is extremely unlikely that an organism would expend its resources on preserving and transmitting so much ‘junk.’”

Here again, entailment doesn’t depend on ID. This either is extremely unlikely, or it isn’t, regardless of one’s “perspective”. If one could make a valid argument that it is extremely unlikely that DNA without function would be transmitted, then it would follow that there would be very little DNA without function. But ID would have nothing to do with it.

Of course, there is no such valid argument; it’s simply Luskin’s assertion, and one that can be seen to be false upon examination of the mechanism involved. On top of that, the assertion assumes evolution … how else would such junk DNA be eliminated? Which is why some people, taking a panadaptationist line, argue that the existence of junk DNA falsifies ToE, not ID. But it does neither.

Comment #69408

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 9, 2006 10:21 PM (e)

Hilarious. Creation “science” got crushed in court 20 years ago. ID got crushed in court just a few weeks ago. Yet both of them continue to spout the very same crap, like a broken record.

Comment #69409

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 9, 2006 10:23 PM (e)

You might recall that the IDEA clubs required that their leaders be Christian

No more! The rules have been changed.

Kinda late now, isn’t it. Horse, barn door, and all that.

Comment #69410

Posted by steve s on January 9, 2006 10:25 PM (e)

LOL and I think, Lenny, it reminds me of the phrase “History’s Unmarked Grave of Discarded Lies”

Comment #69411

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 9, 2006 10:25 PM (e)

Here’s some more Creationist Predictions, mostly young earth.

As already noted, the issue here is that ID doesn’t make testable predictions. The problem with YEC isn’t so much that it isn’t falsifiable as that it simply makes false claims.

Comment #69412

Posted by Russell on January 9, 2006 10:33 PM (e)

YEC’s were killed off twenty years ago. Even the IDers don’t pay any attention to them any more

Would that that were so. No, in fact “ID” is just the invisibility cloak that YECers were hoping would let them sneak into public schools. As Judge Jones couldn’t help but notice, however, the cloak is not even as effective as a fig leaf. But you’re right; the more cunning members of the religious right crusade - e.g. the wizards at the Disco Inst. - would cringe at “Seeker’s” crude biblical literalism.

There’s a double irony here that I think worth savoring. “Seeker” is “seeking” with his/her eyes shut tightly against the truth. But anyone seeking the truth about ID, like Judge Jones for instance, has only to seek out the “Seekers” to reveal it.

Comment #69414

Posted by Russell on January 9, 2006 10:46 PM (e)

You might recall that the IDEA clubs required that their leaders be Christian. No more! The rules have been changed.

I guess we’ll never know, but I like to think that discussions right here on PT had more than a little to do with that. (Not that I think any amount of rule-changing could reverse the IDEA clubs’ essentially religious nature)

Comment #69424

Posted by Henry J on January 9, 2006 11:07 PM (e)

Re “Apart from anything else, if their tent gets big enough the roof’ll start to collapse.”

The lack of foundation might be a factor there, too.

Henry

Comment #69576

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 10, 2006 8:28 AM (e)

Of all ‘seekers’ bonkers predictions this one is my favourite:

PREDICTION 32: Rocks in asteroids are typical of the Earth’s crust. Expensive efforts to mine asteroids27 to recover strategic or precious metals will be a waste of money.

So right - why don’t you get George Bush to fund NASA to mine an asteroid? When this turns out to be an enormous waste of money - then you guys will have been proven right all along.

(I hope no-one from Nasa is reading this - don’t want them to get any funny ideas? Like “Mr President - we’ve just come up with this heads we win, tails we win thingy for some space research!)

Comment #69582

Posted by Corkscrew on January 10, 2006 8:38 AM (e)

Henry J wrote:

The lack of foundation might be a factor there, too.

No, it’s built on fundamentalists. They’re all thick as two short planks so they make rather good building material.

Comment #69621

Posted by ivy privy on January 10, 2006 9:31 AM (e)

Comment #69345
Posted by Inoculated Mind on January 9, 2006 08:05 PM

I’ve been waiting for about two months now for Maxson to explain the statement about ID being testable. I’m letting her take her time.. its going to take a lot of thinking to figure that one out.

I’m sure it’s covered on the Cornell IDEA Club web site. It seems to consist of a confusion of ‘design’ with ‘order’ and lots of discussion of Copernicus, Boyle, and other people who haven’t published much lately, pictures of a flagellum, etc.

Comment #69623

Posted by Greg H on January 10, 2006 9:35 AM (e)

Not to stray completely off-topic…although, oddly, no one starts a post that way that isn’t planning on doing exactly that…

Making space exploration commercially attractive would be one way to pump up the funding. Think back to the last great explorations here on Earth - the New World (from the European POV, anyway), westward expansion in North America, the push to open new trade routes through previously unknown terriory. These were all driven by commercial factors - there was money to be made, and people willing to risk big to reap the rewards. Working on space based mining initiatives would open up whole new vistas of commercial enterprise, as well as move those pesky strip mines off the planet. Anyhoo, back to our regularly scheduled discussion, already in progress.

Comment #69678

Posted by steve s on January 10, 2006 11:16 AM (e)

Comment #69582

Posted by Corkscrew on January 10, 2006 08:38 AM (e) (s)

No, it’s built on fundamentalists. They’re all thick as two short planks so they make rather good building material.

Don’t forget their extreme density.

Comment #69691

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 10, 2006 11:50 AM (e)

Albion wrote:

Comment #68776
Did they change the Mission Statement in order to sneak the “God of the Bible” stuff in there, or did it always read that way?

An interesting question. Which mission statement?
From the Start a Club page:

The important qualifications for starting an IDEA Club chapter include:

2) Agreeing with and being willing to uphold the IDEA Center’s mission statement….
5) There are no requirements regarding the religious beliefs of IDEA Club leaders or founders. (Indeed, there are currently IDEA Club leaders who are not Christians.)

There are 7 easy steps involved with starting an IDEA Club Chapter, from what happens right now to when you have your club’s first meeting:

Step 1: Take a look at our mission statement.
The first step in starting an IDEA Club chapter is to take a look at our mission statement and see if you agree. Our mission statement is as follows:

The purpose of the IDEA Center shall be to:
# Promote, as a scientific theory, the idea that life was designed by an intelligent designer,
# Educate people about scientific problems with purely natural explanations for the origins and evolution of life,
# Challenge the philosophical assumptions of Darwinism, naturalism, and materialism,
# Facilitate discussion, debate, and dialogue in a warm, friendly, and open atmosphere where individuals feel free to speak their personal views,
# Host lectures, conferences, and other events for churches, educators, and those interested,
# Help establish and maintain student-run IDEA Club chapters on school campuses or wherever interest exists.
If you agree with our mission statement and would be willing to uphold it as you run a club, then proceed on to step 2!

So there’s a God-free mission statement right there on the ‘Start a Club’ page. But if you instead followed the link to the Mission Center page, it reads quite differently:

Purpose and Mission

The mission of the IDEA Center
The IDEA Center is a 501©(3) non-profit organization based out of San Diego, California. Our mission statement is as follows:
# The IDEA Center is an educational non-profit organization which explores and discusses the topic of “origins” from a pro-intelligent design viewpoint, focusing primarily on the scientific issues and secondarily on the religious / philosophical implications found in any scientific theory which attempts to answer the question, “how did we get here?”
# Our activities will strive to create a warm, friendly, and open atmosphere of inquiry, dialogue, discussion, and debate in which participants of all viewpoints are respected, understood, and free to speak their personal views.
# We believe that in the investigation of intelligent design the identity of the designer is completely separate from the scientific theory of intelligent design, since a scientific theory cannot specify the identity of the designer based upon the empirical data or the scientific method alone, and is not dependent upon religious premises; nonetheless, we consider it reasonable to conclude that the designer may be identified as the God of the Bible, while recognizing that others may identify the designer in a different way.
# Our primary focus of outreach will be to help establish and help maintain Center-affiliated student-run IDEA Club chapters on school campuses. We also offer support to all individuals and organizations who desire to promote intelligent design theory regardless of their affiliation, be it scientific, philosophical, or religious.
# At the heart of our advocacy is to promote intelligent design theory purely on its scientific merits. Our other advocacy goals include to challenge mechanistic and undirected scientific explanations for the origin and diversification of life, to challenge the philosophical assumptions underlying methodological naturalism, and as a final priority to explore the broader intersection of science, philosophy, education, and religion.

Adopted, 2004

Two mission statements to choose from! One God-free and one not. Maybe they are in the process of switching from the God-based one to the godless one. Maybe they will keep changing their web site every day to entertain us.

Comment #69721

Posted by ben on January 10, 2006 12:54 PM (e)

…a pro-intelligent design viewpoint, focusing primarily on the scientific issues…

What if the science doesn’t support thetheory? No worries, we’re still “pro-intelligent design.” So much for science.

the religious / philosophical implications found in any scientific theory which attempts to answer the question, “how did we get here?”

Unless the designer isn’t a supernatural entity, i.e. an alien race, in which case there are no religious implications (apart from the fact that the particulars of the religious viewpoints of the vast majority of IDiots would instantly be proven objectively wrong). So much for IDEA not being primarily religious.

…a scientific theory cannot specify the identity of the designer based upon the empirical data or the scientific method alone

Sure it can. Theory: Life on earth was designed by an alien race. Evidence: Aliens appear and demonstrate this to be so. Designer specified, theory correct. So much (again) for IDEA not presuming a supernatural creator.

we consider it reasonable to conclude that the designer may be identified as the God of the Bible

So we will “scientifically” look only for “evidence” which supports this, ignoring any which doesn’t, and willfully misinterpreting whatever seems to contradict our assumed conclusion, while lying about what our true aims are.

Comment #69753

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 10, 2006 3:06 PM (e)

So there’s a God-free mission statement right there on the ‘Start a Club’ page.

Only if the notion of a non-natural and non-material intelligent designer of life, of interest especially to churches, is God-free.

Comment #69821

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 10, 2006 6:56 PM (e)

Of all ‘seekers’ bonkers predictions this one is my favourite:

PREDICTION 32: Rocks in asteroids are typical of the Earth’s crust.

Apparently Seeker isn’t bright enough to know where meteorites come from.

Maybe Larry can, uh, explain it to him.

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #69826

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 10, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

Making space exploration commercially attractive would be one way to pump up the funding. Think back to the last great explorations here on Earth - the New World (from the European POV, anyway), westward expansion in North America, the push to open new trade routes through previously unknown terriory. These were all driven by commercial factors - there was money to be made, and people willing to risk big to reap the rewards. Working on space based mining initiatives would open up whole new vistas of commercial enterprise, as well as move those pesky strip mines off the planet.

It should also be pointed out that those commercially-driven explorers reaped their rewards by very nearly exterminating all the original inhabitants who got in the way. North America, South America, Africa, Australia, Asia — same story.

Reminds me of a cartoon I remember seeing way back when I was a kid in South Dakota, tacked up on the fridge of nearly every Lakota household I ever visited – it showed a flying saucer with two little green men waving from the hatch, and one Indian looking at another and saying “Oh no, not again”.

Comment #69841

Posted by vandalhooch on January 10, 2006 7:52 PM (e)

Making space exploration commercially attractive would be one way to pump up the funding. Think back to the last great explorations here on Earth - the New World (from the European POV, anyway), westward expansion in North America, the push to open new trade routes through previously unknown terriory. These were all driven by commercial factors - there was money to be made, and people willing to risk big to reap the rewards.

I think any lurking economists might mention that the exploration/exploitation of the New World also required a great deal of initial capital investment. Those exploration and transportaion fleets were not free. A great deal of money and risk was involved from the start.

The problem with non-terra mining is the initial start up costs. I don’t think our planet has near enough excess capital to begin the process.

Comment #70057

Posted by Greg H on January 11, 2006 10:56 AM (e)

Oh there’s no doubt that starting up a non-terra based mining enterprise would be inescapably expensive. The technology to get there is barely in its infancy, and the ability to do any lucrative mining and bring the ores back to Earth is still a ways off.

But if there’s a spare buck laying around waiting to be made, someone will come up with a way to make it. As George Carlin once said - “If you can come up with a way to nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some sucker will buy it from you.” As soon as someone can convince the mining industry that space based mining is profitable, someone will try it.

Comment #70221

Posted by ivy privy on January 11, 2006 6:03 PM (e)

The IDEA Center web site continues to evolve.

The ‘Start a Club’ page now no longer links the mission statement page. Instead it contains the revised, not explicitly God-based mission statement:

Step 1: Take a look at our mission statement.
The first step in starting an IDEA Club chapter is to take a look at our mission statement and see if you agree. Our mission statement is as follows:

The purpose of the IDEA Center shall be to:
# Promote, as a scientific theory, the idea that life was designed by an intelligent designer,
# Educate people about scientific problems with purely natural explanations for the origins and evolution of life,
# Challenge the philosophical assumptions of Darwinism, naturalism, and materialism,
# Facilitate discussion, debate, and dialogue in a warm, friendly, and open atmosphere where individuals feel free to speak their personal views,
# Host lectures, conferences, and other events for churches, educators, and those interested,
# Help establish and maintain student-run IDEA Club chapters on school campuses or wherever interest exists.
If you agree with our mission statement and would be willing to uphold it as you run a club, then proceed on to step 2!

The separate Mission Statement page now says:

Purpose and Mission

The IDEA Center Mission Statement is Currently Under Construction pending Board Approval after some recent changes to IDEA Center policies. The mission statement will be re-posted when finalized.

Hmmm, but if the mission satement is not finalised, what is that now appearing on the ‘Start a Club’ page?

Comment #70334

Posted by ts on January 11, 2006 9:33 PM (e)

to:

the
rev dr lenny flank

“OK.

But you really should get your OWN pizza delivery guy. ;)”

Yeah I saw his complaint earlier,

Maybe I’ll use the guy who delivers my gas.lol

Comment #70532

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 8:07 AM (e)

But you really should get your OWN pizza delivery guy. ;)”

Yeah I saw his complaint earlier,

Maybe I’ll use the guy who delivers my gas.lol

I see you’ve never had one of my Pizza Delivery Guy’s pizzas.

;)

Comment #70543

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 12, 2006 8:54 AM (e)

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on January 10, 2006 07:02 PM (e) (s)

It should also be pointed out that those commercially-driven explorers reaped their rewards by very nearly exterminating all the original inhabitants who got in the way. North America, South America, Africa, Australia, Asia —- same story…

Are you certain this applies to Africa and Asia?

Comment #70547

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 12, 2006 9:15 AM (e)

Stephen Elliott wrote:

Are you certain this applies to Africa and Asia?

It certainly does to Africa, if in a roundabout way, where they are still immersed in civil wars because tribes that hated each other were forced into the same “country” when what they really wanted is to kill each other. Why kill them when you can get them to kill one another while you sell weapons to both sides (and exploit their natural resources, etc)?

Americans should be familiar with this, since you have closed ties to the “Lone Star Country” aka Liberia.

I’m afraid my knowledge of Asian colonization history (or any other period) is lacking, so I will abstain to comment on that.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #70759

Posted by seeker on January 12, 2006 6:31 PM (e)

Hey ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank,

While you smugly snicker to yourself at how intelligent you are, note that I was merely supplying a list of predictions from a creationist site. I did not say they were my predictions, nor did I say that all of them were true or proven or disproven.

The fact remains, ID and creationism can both make TESTABLE predictions - so any accusations of them not being science is merely a fabrication (read “lie”) of evolutionist dogmatists intent on keeping their religion, er, assumptions, as pre-eminent in science, and shutting down any real criticism.

Also, it displays their complete self-delusion that nothing but their perspective is science, and that they have no such faith assumptions as part of their world view. Unable or unwilling to separate their science from their speculation and assumptions, their hubris will lead only one place - to a fall.

Next time you wonder why so many Americans believe in a special creation rather than your “fact” of macroevolution, rather than writing them off as uneducated or religious rubes, consider that your arguments appear biased, uncritically examined by you, exaggerated, and patronizing, as well as anti-faith - not just anti-creationism, but belligerent to faith. The ignorance might not be on the other side of your pointed finger.

Comment #70767

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 12, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

Seeker,

Do you seriously believe that every biologist in the world is in some sort of conspiracy?
If you could disprove evolution you would win prizes, fame and wealth.
So why don’t you take up the challenge?

The problem is your results would need to published in a way, that would let other esteemed people such as yourself, be able to repeat and verify your experiments.

What are these hypothesis of ID that are scientifically testable? If you have any the Disco Institute would pay you good money for them. It would allow them funding dollars from the Templeton (I think) foundation.

Or if you are in a charitable mood, you could post them here. That would be a big fat slap in our faces, wouldn’t it?

Comment #70772

Posted by geoffrobinson on January 12, 2006 6:54 PM (e)

Comment #70759

Posted by seeker on January 12, 2006 06:31 PM (e) (s)
… evolutionist dogmatists intent on keeping their religion, er, assumptions, as pre-eminent in science, and shutting down any real criticism.

Claim CA610:
Evolution is a religion because it encompasses views of values and ultimate meanings.

Source:
Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 196-200.
Response:

1. Evolution merely describes part of nature. The fact that that part of nature is important to many people does not make evolution a religion. Consider some attributes of religion and how evolution compares:
* Religions explain ultimate reality. Evolution stops with the development of life (it does not even include the origins of life).
* Religions describe the place and role of humans within ultimate reality. Evolution describes only our biological background relative to present and recent human environments.
* Religions almost always include reverence for and/or belief in a supernatural power or powers. Evolution does not.
* Religions have a social structure built around their beliefs. Although science as a whole has a social structure, no such structure is particular to evolutionary biologists, and one does not have to participate in that structure to be a scientist.
* Religions impose moral prescriptions on their members. Evolution does not. Evolution has been used (and misused) as a basis for morals and values by some people, such as Thomas Henry Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and E. O. Wilson (Ruse 2000), but their view, although based on evolution, is not the science of evolution; it goes beyond that.
* Religions include rituals and sacraments. With the possible exception of college graduation ceremonies, there is nothing comparable in evolutionary studies.
* Religious ideas are highly static; they change primarily by splitting off new religions. Ideas in evolutionary biology change rapidly as new evidence is found.

2. How can a religion not have any adherents? When asked their religion, many, perhaps most, people who believe in evolution will call themselves members of mainstream religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. None identify their religion as evolution. If evolution is a religion, it is the only religion that is rejected by all its members.

3. Evolution may be considered a religion under the metaphorical definition of something pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion. This, however, could also apply to stamp collecting, watering plants, or practically any other activity. Calling evolution a religion makes religion effectively meaningless.

4. Evolutionary theory has been used as a basis for studying and speculating about the biological basis for morals and religious attitudes (Sober and Wilson 1998). Studying religion, though, does not make the study a religion. Using evolution to study the origins of religious attitudes does not make evolution a religion any more than using archaeology to study the origins of biblical texts makes archaeology a religion.

5. Evolution as religion has been rejected by the courts:

Assuming for the purposes of argument, however, that evolution is a religion or religious tenet, the remedy is to stop the teaching of evolution, not establish another religion in opposition to it. Yet it is clearly established in the case law, and perhaps also in common sense, that evolution is not a religion and that teaching evolution does not violate the Establishment Clause.

The court cases Epperson v. Arkansas, Willoughby v. Stever, and Wright v. Houston Indep. School Dist. are cited as precedent (McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education 1982).

Links:
VonRoeschlaub, Warren Kurt. 1998. God and evolution. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html
References:

1. McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education. 1982. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mclean-v-arkansas.html
2. Ruse, Michael. 2000. Creationists correct?: Darwinians wrongly mix science with morality, politics. National Post, 13 May 2000. http://www.members.shaw.ca/mschindler/A/eyring_2_2.htm
3. Sober, Elliott and David Sloan Wilson. 1998. Unto Others: The evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA610.html

Comment #70780

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 7:23 PM (e)

ID and creationism can both make TESTABLE predictions

emphasis mine.

then, er, why HAVEN’T they?

We’ve been asking for these for years now, with no luck.

maybe if YOU ask them?

Comment #70781

Posted by seeker on January 12, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

Regarding evolution being a religion, it is not directly a religion, but it has significant world view impact and assumptions that must be generally accepted as part of the package - these can not be ignored. As I said in comments on Evolution and Social Darwinism in Civil War Reconstruction,

I am not saying that evolutionists recommend Social Darwinism. Nor am I saying that evolution itself says anything directly about other disciplines.

However, I do believe that the affects of the theory, including ripples into other disciplines of *knowledge* should be considered.

I posit that every discipline of knowledge eventually dovetails with others, since all reality is actually a connected whole, not disparate in the way that we like to analyze things. The fact that evolution’s social, religious, ethical, and philosophic analogs, intended or not, are unsavory, leads me to conclude that evolution itself may be equally untrue or unsavory.”

Comment #70783

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 7:28 PM (e)

“Next time you wonder why so many Americans believe in a special creation rather than your “fact” of macroevolution (made up word) , rather than writing them off as uneducated or religious rubes (shorten to ignorant, not necessarily used as a perjoritive), consider that your arguments appear biased, uncritically examined by you, exaggerated, and patronizing, as well as anti-faith - not just anti-creationism, but belligerent to faith (describe the previous as complete projection). “

The ignorance might not be on the other side of your pointed finger.

naw, it is, as you so clearly demonstrate.

thanks

Comment #70786

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 7:33 PM (e)

Regarding evolution being a religion, it is not directly a religion, but it has significant world view impact and assumptions that must be generally accepted as part of the package - these can not be ignored

congratulations! without even regognizing you have done so, you have essentially done a decent job of pigeonholing ID exactly so.

as a psuedo-religious “worldview” filled with unsubstantiated “assumptions” that MUST be accepted as part of the “package”.

Now please project that back onto evolutionary theory like a good little creationist, so we can for the thousandth time, tear down your projections yet again.

Indeed, with all the trial cases you guys are losing left and right, it certainly isn’t being ignored.

more’s the pity. You’d be far better off going back into the shadows to hide until “the heat is off”.

Comment #70802

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

While you smugly snicker to yourself at how intelligent you are, note that I was merely supplying a list of predictions from a creationist site.

(yawn) Don’t BS me, junior.

Do you know why the “space rocks are the same as earth crust rocks”, uh, “prediction” is already demonstrated baloney?

Do you know where meteorites come from?

Comment #70807

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

Next time you wonder why so many Americans believe in a special creation

Actually, I wonder why so many Americans can’t find the US on a world map, can’t say how long it takes the earth to revolve once around the sun (or even THAT the earth revolves around the sun), can’t define a “molecule”, or don’t know that an electron is smaller than an atom.

I suspect that the reasons why Americans believe in special creation, have a lot in common with the reasons why they can’t answer any of the other questions, either.

Comment #70811

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

any accusations of them not being science is merely a fabrication (read “lie”) of evolutionist dogmatists intent on keeping their religion, er, assumptions, as pre-eminent in science, and shutting down any real criticism.

Blah blah blah. Tell it to the judge.

Oh wait, you already HAVE. In Arkansas, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. In fact, ID/creationists have lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with.

ALL of them.

ID/creationists have, in thirty years of trying, not convinced a single Federal judge anywhere in the United States of America that ID or creationism is “science”.

Why do you suppose that might be … ?

Wait, wait — let me guess. The judges are all a part of the vast international centuries-old conspiracy of evolutionist dogmatists intent on keeping their religion, er, assumptions, as pre-eminent in science, and shutting down any real criticism.

Right?

Comment #70813

Posted by ben on January 12, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

Regarding evolution being a religion, it is not directly a religion, but it has significant world view impact and assumptions that must be generally accepted as part of the package - these can not be ignored

It’s hard to deny that accepting reality will significantly impact one’s world view, just as will building one’s world view on a bunch of superstitious hocus-pocus foisted upon you by people making money off it and laughing at you. At least with the reality thing, you don’t have to deceive yourself to get through the day.

Comment #70825

Posted by KL on January 12, 2006 8:20 PM (e)

“While you smugly snicker to yourself at how intelligent you are, note that I was merely supplying a list of predictions from a creationist site.”

Seeker, if you publish a link to a site, it’s best that you either fully understand the site and the resources it references (and hence, be able to answer questions about what is found there), or stand by quietly as people who have the expertise check it for accuracy.

Make it your business to research things rather than simply passing them on, especially if they involve subjects that lie outside your area of education.

Comment #70827

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 12, 2006 8:22 PM (e)

The fact that evolution’s social, religious, ethical, and philosophic analogs, intended or not, are unsavory, leads me to conclude that evolution itself may be equally untrue or unsavory.

You’re a great thinker, Seeker, there’s no denying that.

Anyway, I’m glad this cleared things up once and for all. Never again will I think creationism is unscientific or motivated by religion.

We now have a new way of deciding on the merit of a scientific theory: Is it savory or not??

Comment #70828

Posted by KL on January 12, 2006 8:24 PM (e)

savory…mmmmm….as in the empanadas we used to eat when I was a kid…

Comment #70836

Posted by seeker on January 12, 2006 8:41 PM (e)

The level of condescension here is typical, but perhaps I am guilty of the same.

Let me start again.
1. Someone said ID makes no predictions
2. I said that it does
3. I added a link to an ID site that listed some generic predictions, as well as links to Creationist sites that had more detailed predictions.

QED: Their models DO make testable predictions.
(I included both because many people (erroneously) conflate ID and creationism. I probably fed into those misconceptions. My bad.)

Now, if you are convinced that some or all of these predictions have been disproved, you surely can claim that they are not true. But you can NOT claim that they make no predictions. That was the sum total of my submissions.

Other claims about evolutionist dogma, its impact on or relationship to religion, philosophy, or political science, were just free bonuses, as were my insults about dogmatism, patronizing attitudes, bias, and arrogance (if the shoe fits…).

And to the dude that called me “junior”, I’m probably older (41) than you, better looking, and not intimidated by your superior attitude - I’ve got one of my own, equally resilient against intellectual bullies ;).

And Arden, I’m sorry that I used the word “savory” in a way that you are unfamiliar with. http://www.answers.com/topic/unsavory (Morally offensive)

Comment #70852

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 9:10 PM (e)

generic predictions

NO! you said these are TESTABLE predictions, more than once, in fact.

the links provided do NOT link to scientifically testable predictions.

but then, your gross misunderstanding of science itself led you down the primrose path you now follow, so i guess that shouldn’t surprise me.

You CAN fix this, if you are true to your handle, seeker.

go take another look at those predictions, then check out any presentation of the scientific method presented on this site, talk origins, ncse, AAAS, etc.

now having both in hand, compare and contrast.

are those “predictions” scientific in nature or not?

if not, are they then “testable” or not in this sense?

I’ll make it easy on you.

go grab your favorite, most important, ID “prediction” and I’ll be happy to attempt to apply the scientific method to it for you.

again, as someone asked earlier, unless you think there is some grand conspiracy extant amongst the entire scientific community to “hold down” *new* (read old, rehashed) ideas like, er, ID, you have to ask yourself the question:

why are there no results of testing the “predictions” you reference anywhere in the literature?

you don’t REALLY believe there to be some sort of grand conspiracy, do you?

hmm.

perhaps I’ll let your pal WD Dembski answer the question about the current state of research in ID for you:

(pardon’s to Wes for stealing this:)

In 1997, at the 1997 “Naturalism, Theism, and the Scientific Enterprise” conference ID advocates said that they didn’t have a scientific hypothesis of ID and a means of testing it, but that they were working on it.

Wesley Elsberry recently at the American Museum of Natural History Debate asked Dembski what progress ID had made in the intervening years. And here is Dembski’s response, verbatim:

WD:
Well, let me answer you in two parts. One, if you throw enough money at researchers, you’ll be getting research, right. So I think, uh, I think the, you know, the, the research you’re citing, I don’t mean to dismiss it, I think there’s a lot of good stuff being done, but it’s certainly, the moneys, the research funds are the evolutionary side, we don’t have very much funding, we’re not getting funding from NSF and NIH, so it’s a mainly, mainly private at this point. And I would say yes, we have our work cut out for us. In 1997 we met at a conference, but there was a conference later that year that which was a private gathering, titled “A Consultation on Intelligent Design”, Where the idea was to try to jump start this as a research program. We weren’t there at the time. So, you know, I, I agree, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but, uh, we’re making some slow, slow progress. You know I think uh, we’re still at the point, I mean, I think that my, my work in No Free Lunch and um, Design Inference was trying to lay some theoretical foundations. And, Uh, you know. But I, I do see, there’s, there’s some good work being done, and, I can, I can list some for you. We are getting some stuff into the peer reviewed literature, it’s not, it’s not a whole lot, you know. So yeah, we’ve got our work cut out.

Yeah, lots of testable predictions ready to go to press!

ID is laughable, and I implore you to take a closer look before you continue any further down that road.

Comment #70858

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 12, 2006 9:24 PM (e)

And Arden, I’m sorry that I used the word “savory” in a way that you are unfamiliar with. http://www.answers.com/topic/unsavory (Morally offensive)

Believe me, I was quite aware that that was how you meant the word.

If you thought I don’t know what that word means, your problems with understanding other people are worse than I thought.

Comment #70868

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 9:37 PM (e)

actually, AC, i think you are onto something there with the savory thing.

ALL creationists are entirely subjective in their denouncement of ET.

to them it just “tastes bad”, i.e., it’s not “intuitive”.

seems to work on both levels, AFAICT.

empanadas… that reminds me, I’m hungry.

Comment #70877

Posted by Henry J on January 12, 2006 9:49 PM (e)

Re “but [evolution] has significant world view impact”

Yeah, evidence based descriptions of reality will do that, won’t they?

Henry

Comment #70878

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 9:54 PM (e)

QED: Their models DO make testable predictions.

They’re all crap. And none of them are based on any “models”.

If you disagree, perhaps you’d be so kind as to tell me what, exactly, is this scientific theory of ID or creationism…. .

You’d be the first, in almost 25 years of asking. Care to give it a go?

And to the dude that called me “junior”, I’m probably older (41) than you

Wrong.

, better looking

Wrong again.

, and not intimidated by your superior attitude - I’ve got one of my own, equally resilient against intellectual bullies ;).

Alas for you, though, I have the advantages of (1) knowing what I’m talking about, and (2) being right. (shrug)

Comment #70880

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 9:55 PM (e)

many people (erroneously) conflate ID and creationism

Would you mind explaining the difference, please?

Comment #70881

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 10:14 PM (e)

I posit that every discipline of knowledge eventually dovetails with others, since all reality is actually a connected whole, not disparate in the way that we like to analyze things. The fact that evolution’s social, religious, ethical, and philosophic analogs, intended or not, are unsavory, leads me to conclude that evolution itself may be equally untrue or unsavory.”

Check this out, junior:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/nazis.htm

Comment #70883

Posted by k.e. on January 12, 2006 10:16 PM (e)

Seeker ….coffee break over …heads down.

Reality does taste very unsavory when every supporting structure of Fundamentalism is being called into question as “seeker” accurately points out.
Fundamentalists have reduced their world view to a moral argument against reality of any sort by simplifying logic to a comparison between how they feel and distrust of their own intellectual reasoning….making life very very difficult for themselves and the rest of the world…. creating a less than amusing desperation.

Comment #70888

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 10:30 PM (e)

perhaps I’ll let your pal WD Dembski answer the question about the current state of research in ID for you:

Then we have:

“Intelligent design itself does not have any content.” – George Gilder, Discovery Institute

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 now, and that’s a real 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. – Paul Nelson, Discovery Institute Fellow

But wait, several of the people who testified for ID in front of the Kansas Kooks were also asked what their, uh, scientific theory of ID was:

Q. What’s your alternative explanation how the human species came into existence if it is not through common descent?

A. Design.

Q. And design would imply a designer?

A. Implies a designer, but we don’t go there….

Q. Isn’t design a philosophical assumption?

A. No.

Q. How do we falsify the designer?

A. We don’t go there. We’re not going to talk about the designer….

Q. So philosophically discuss it, but it’s not a good idea to interpose the supernatural in what should be a scientific process. Correct?

A. We’re not doing that.

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

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

Q. What is the alternative explanation for how the human species came into existence if you do not accept common descent?

A. Design.

Q. When did that design occur?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Who was the designer?

A. Science cannot answer that. When I’m teaching my class I do not answer that. (DeHart testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

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

Q. What is the alternative explanation that you propose then for human species?

A. Again, I’m a chemist, not a biologist.

Q. I didn’t ask you that. I asked you what is your explanation if you do not believe in common descent from prehominid ancestors?

A. I do not think the scientific evidence is sufficient to give an answer to that question.

Q. You have no personal view about that?

A. I have a personal view, but the question is what does science say.

Q. What is your personal view about that?

A. I– again, I do not believe that the scientific evidence is sufficient to rule out –

Q. I didn’t ask you scientifically. I’m asking you what is your personal opinion about that issue?

A. Again, I– at this point I do not believe in a natural explanation for the origin of humanity. (Millam testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

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

Q. What is your alternative explanation for how the human species came into being if not from a common descent from prehominids?

A. From science, I have no alternative explanation.

Q. In your personal opinion?

A. In my personal opinion, I believe there was an intelligent designer.

Q. And when did that intelligent designer create the human species?

A. I’m not sure.

Q. Now, that opinion that you have about intelligent design, that’s not based on science, correct?

A. Correct.

Q. That’s based upon your theistic views?

A. Correct. (Bryson testimony, Kansas Hearing transcript)

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

Q. Based upon your understanding, do you have an alternative explanation for the human species if not common descent from prehominid ancestors?

A. That is not my area of expertise. I work at the other end of the history of life, namely the origin of the first life in the Cambrian phylum.

Q. Do you have a personal opinion as to the question I have just proposed to you, which is if you do not believe that human beings have a common descent with prehominid ancestors, what is your personal alternative explanation for how human beings came into existence?

A. I am skeptical about the evidence for universal common descent and I’m skeptical about some of the evidence that has been marshaled for the idea that humans and prehominids are connected. But as I said, it wouldn’t bother me (unintelligible) stronger than I presently think.

Q. What is your personal opinion at this time?

A. That I’m skeptical about the Darwinian accounts of such things, but that it wouldn’t bother me if it turned out to be different. I think my– I also would tell you that humans and the rest of the non human living world, that humans have qualitatively different features that I think are very mysterious and hard to explain on any materialistic account of the origin of human life….

Q. You think it’s wise for science without a supernatural model to attempt to answer those questions that we still don’t understand?

A. You know, I don’t really work in that area, so I’m not going to venture any more opinions about the topic.(Meyer testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

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

A. Intelligent design provides empirical scientific criteria for detecting design in nature. Detecting design but not detecting the designer. It’s quite true that science doesn’t have to be in the business of saying who the designer is….

Q. What is the alternative explanation?

A. Well, there are a number of alternative explanations. Right now, as this book shows, there are views looking at self-organization, which don’t necessarily agree with that viewpoint. They may or they may not. But there is also the idea of design.

Q. And your opinion as to when that design occurred?

A. I don’t know. (Menuge testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

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

Q. It is true, is it not, that there is no such thing as an ID theory?

A. I wouldn’t say that….

Q. It is true, is it not, that there is no theory?

A. I just said, no, I don’t believe that.

Q. You believe that there is a definable theory of Intelligent Design?

A. Yes, I do. It’s certainly in progress. I would not advocate putting it in the curriculum for reasons other people have given here. It’s a young theory. It hasn’t proved itself, it doesn’t deserve a place in the curriculum as a requirement. It’s an exciting theory and I think a robust one….

Q. And would you agree that Intelligent Design must, in the end, conclude that a designer was involved?

A. A mind, yes. A designing mind. If something is actually designed, then a designing mind had to do it.

Q. But you’re not suggesting it was the design of man?

A. Designed by man?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, certainly before humans appear on the scene, no it couldn’t be.

Q. So the answer, which ID attempts to provide, is a supernatural one, is it not?

A. I won’t go there. (Wells testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

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

5 Q. What is your alternative explanation as to how human species came into existence?

A. During my power point presentation I discussed nothing about offering an alternative, I just simply stated that here’s the supporting and here is the information challenging –

Q. My question is, sir, if you do not accept, if you don’t– do not accept that there is a common descent to human existence, what is your alternative? I’m not asking you about your power point. I’m asking you what is your hypothesis for how we came to be?

A. Again, as I stated, that professionally– that’s something that– that is a different question I guess in terms of my professional, in terms of my personal opinion, that’s different. Again, I was asked to come out here and give my professional assessment, sir.

Q. Do you teach your students your personal opinion or do you attempt to teach your students what is the best of science?

A. As I said, I teach my students the four point– four –

Q. That’s not my question. Listen carefully.

A. All right.

Q. Do you teach your students your personal opinion or do you teach them what you believe is the best science?

A. I teach them actually what I believe is the best science, hence the scientific interpretation both supporting and scientific interpretation both challenging macroevolution. And that information has been generated by scientists, some of these scientists are here today. (Leonard testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

OK, Seeker, any time you’re ready to tell us what this “scientific model of ID” might be, you just go right ahead. OK? Maybe YOU can be the one to finally do what no other IDer in history has been able to do.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought.

Comment #70891

Posted by k.e. on January 12, 2006 10:51 PM (e)

seeker just out of interest
In your own words how do you make a decision between a ‘lie’ and a ‘truth’?

Comment #70892

Posted by Jim Harrison on January 12, 2006 11:01 PM (e)

This thread is another example of a basic problem. The scientists are playing one game–trying to figure out how nature works–while the creationists and I.D. people are playing another–apolegetics. It’s as if one side is playing chess, the other checkers so it’s no wonder if the biologists hereabouts are surprised when a guy like Seeker triumpantly yells out, “King me!” (Catholic anti-evolutionists probably shout “Bingo!”)

Comment #70893

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 11:08 PM (e)

(Catholic anti-evolutionists probably shout “Bingo!”)

ba-dump-bump.

Comment #70894

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 12, 2006 11:13 PM (e)

This thread is another example of a basic problem. The scientists are playing one game—trying to figure out how nature works—while the creationists and I.D. people are playing another—apolegetics. It’s as if one side is playing chess, the other checkers so it’s no wonder if the biologists hereabouts are surprised when a guy like Seeker triumpantly yells out, “King me!” (Catholic anti-evolutionists probably shout “Bingo!”)

True – but the difference is, scientists aren’t claiming to do religious apologetics.

Comment #71076

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 13, 2006 11:47 AM (e)

Regarding evolution being a religion, it is not directly a religion, but it has significant world view impact and assumptions that must be generally accepted as part of the package - these can not be ignored.

Isn’t this also true of the heliocentric solar system? And every other scientific field and theory?

Comment #71103

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 13, 2006 12:08 PM (e)

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 13, 2006 11:47 AM (e) (s)

Isn’t this also true of the (1)heliocentric solar system? And every other scientific field and (2)theory?

Now that is just plain unfair.
Fancy using:

1. A long word and
2. A scientific word seeker probably does not understand.

Comment #71106

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 13, 2006 12:09 PM (e)

Stephen Elliot wrote:

Do you seriously believe that every biologist in the world is in some sort of conspiracy?

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Wait, wait —- let me guess. The judges are all a part of the vast international centuries-old conspiracy of evolutionist dogmatists intent on keeping their religion, er, assumptions, as pre-eminent in science, and shutting down any real criticism.

Hush guys, you might give it away. Then I’d have to call for your expulsion from ‘The Club’.

Comment #71482

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 13, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

Then I’d have to call for your expulsion from ‘The Club’.

Note that MY name is prominently mentioned here, in this classic episode from “The Simpsons” (the most subversive show on TV, ever):

All: Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do! We do!
Karl: Who leaves Atlantis off the maps?
Lenny: Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
Alien: We do! We do!
All: Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star?
We do! We do!
Skinner: Who robs cavefish of their sight?
Homer: Who rigs every Oscar night?
All: We do! We do!

;)