PvM posted Entry 1891 on January 22, 2006 05:35 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1886

On Evolution News (sic)Luskin shows once again why Intelligent Design is scientifically vacuous

Luskin wrote:

Sure, they just finished decoding the chimp genome but it actually lessened our knowledge of human/chimp similarities rather than upping it. Similarities could easily be the result of “common design” rather than common descent—where a designer wanted to design organisms on a similar blueprint and thus used similar genes in both organisms. This doesn’t challenge ID.

In other words, our ignorance (or perhaps better phrased Luskin’s unfamiliarity with science) seems to be evidence of Intelligent Design?

Common descent requires nested hierarchies, common design has no such requirements and thus the claim that ID can accomodate the evidence is an ad hoc argument. Unless one has independent understanding of the “Designer’s” this argument fails to be scientific.

Of course, even if common descent were true, this would not challenge ID since ID could equally well accomodate that the “Designer” front-loaded evolution. In other words, with Intelligent Design, anything goes.

What is truely interesting is how Luskin seems to break with the Big Tent tradition and seems to accept that the similarities between human and chimps is merely ‘microevolution’.

And he also seems to ignore how evolutionary theory predicted the existence of a fused chromosome. We may excuse Luskin for not being too familiar with evolutionary science but as PZ Myers has has documented there is much wrong with the ID argument presented by Luskin.

Marvel how scientists have discovered how we evolved

“By comparing the human and chimp genomes, we can see the process of evolution clearly in the changes (in DNA) since we diverged from our common ancestor,” said Robert Waterston, director of genome sciences at the University of Washington and lead author of a report on the project in today’s edition of the journal Nature.

They identified a gene

… known as FOXP2, that may help explain why we talk and chimps don’t. An earlier study of a British family with an inherited, severe deficit in speech discovered the cause of the disorder – an altered form of FOXP2.

“It turns out chimps have the same (genetic) sequence as that family with the speech deficit,” Waterston said. Comparing the human and chimp genomes, he said, shows that the speech-friendly form of FOXP2 really took hold in humans some 150,000 years ago.

Or how researchers found that

New research provides more evidence that chimpanzee brains are human-like in terms of the links between brain asymmetry, language and right- or left-handedness.

Luskin continues however to state that “Those interested in an analysis of the many differences between humans and chimps from a pro-ID perspective should read Reflections on Human Origins by William Dembski. (PCID, Volume 4.1, July 2005)”

I encourage our readers to explore Dembski’s ‘perspectives’ as it furthers my claim that Intelligent Design is scientifically vacuous.

Dembski wrote:

Design theorists have yet to reach a consensus on these matters. Nevertheless, they have reached a consensus about the indispensability of intelligence in human origins. In particular, they argue that an evolutionary process unguided by intelligence cannot adequately account for the remarkable intellectual gifts of a William James Sidis or the remarkable moral goodness of a Mother Teresa.

And they still deny with a straight face that ID is not about religion? Just check Google for “chimp human similarities”…

Of course, Luskin in his posting misses the point completely namely by spinning a strawman

Luskin wrote:

While the pieces did indeed cite examples of evolution, these did not present evidence that Neo-Darwinism can account for things like new body plans, novel biological functions, and real biological novelty.

A quick reading of the article quoted by Luskin shows that

Amid this outpouring of results, 2005 stands out as a banner year for uncovering the intricacies of how evolution actually proceeds. Concrete genome data allowed researchers to start pinning down the molecular modifications that drive evolutionary change in organisms from viruses to primates. Painstaking field observations shed new light on how populations diverge to form new species–the mystery of mysteries that baffled Darwin himself. Ironically, also this year some segments of American society fought to dilute the teaching of even the basic facts of evolution. With all this in mind, Science has decided to put Darwin in the spotlight by saluting several dramatic discoveries, each of which reveals the laws of evolution in action.

The lack of scientific comprehension by so many Intelligent Design activists is deplorable but can easily be addressed by strenghtening the science education, not by weakening it. However, I can understand why ID activists would support weakening the scientific education.

And let me finally address the vacuous claim by Luskin that

Neo-Darwinism can [not] account for things like new body plans, novel biological functions, and real biological novelty.

Of course, the evidence presented was not meant to show this. That Darwinian theory however can explain new body plans, novel biological functions and real biological novelty is well supported by the evidence. But it is that kind of evidence which ID proponents apparantly want to exclude from our science education.

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Comment #74909

Posted by nitpicker on January 22, 2006 7:20 PM (e)

Common descent requires nested hierarchies, common design has no such requirements and thus the claim that ID can accomodate the evidence is an ad hoc argument….

The only thing ID requires is ignorance. Any detail of evolution you do not know means that the designer did it. The less you know, the more you can claim about the designer. Ignorance is king.

Comment #74910

Posted by bill on January 22, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

I think that at this stage it’s all feathers and no bird with the Discovery Institute.

When their chief spokesman is the half-wit Luskin, failed scientist turned lawyer, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

Comment #74917

Posted by Russell on January 22, 2006 7:26 PM (e)

Luskin wrote:

Sure, they just finished decoding the chimp genome but it actually lessened our knowledge of human/chimp similarities rather than upping it.

A classic example of ID up-is-downism.

Comment #74920

Posted by steve s on January 22, 2006 7:29 PM (e)

yeah Russell, my mouth fell open when i read that line. You can’t make this stuff up.

Comment #74921

Posted by Ron Okimoto on January 22, 2006 7:35 PM (e)

You seem to have missed Luskin’s bogus argument about looking at insertion/deletions or base-pair substitutions. This vacuous argument is so bogus that only a scam artists or truely clueless individual would use it.

But it turns out that similarities depend on how you measure them. One study which considered insertions and deletions realized that “our perceived sequence divergence of only 1% between these two species [humans and chimps] appears to be erroneous, because this work […] puts both species much further apart.” (see “Driving man and chimp apart” by Cathy Holding in The Scientist, June 26, 2003; “Comparative sequencing of human and chimpanzee MHC class I regions unveils insertions/deletions as the major path to genomic divergence” by T. Anzai et al. in PNAS 100:7708-7713 (June 24, 2003)). Those interested in an analysis of the many differences between humans and chimps from a pro-ID perspective should read Reflections on Human Origins by William Dembski. (PCID, Volume 4.1, July 2005)

The fact is that there are different ways to measure divergence. If you want to use in/dels they tell you the same story as using base-pair substitutions. You have to consistently apply the same measure across the taxa that you are working on. No big whoop. Who could be so screwed up in their interpretation of the data? Really, if you see by one measure that chimps and humans are less than 2% divergent measuring base substitutions and horses and donkeys are 2% or a little more different, guess what we expect to find when we look at in/dels for horses and donkeys. You can also predict that in/dels will not be as accurate a measure for evolutionary divergence because you can’t tell how many events went into removing or inserting a piece of DNA and pieces of variable size can be removed or inserted. All this is just common sense, but what do the IDiots make of it?

There is a very good reason why most studies use base-pair substitutions rather than in/dels to measure genetic distance. What is the IDiot explanation for why scientists know what measure will tell them the most accurate evolutionary information?

Comment #74922

Posted by caerbannog on January 22, 2006 7:42 PM (e)


yeah Russell, my mouth fell open when i read that line. You can’t make this stuff up.

Whaddaya mean, “can’t make this stuff up”?
Casey just did!! :)

Comment #74926

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 22, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

I think that at this stage it’s all feathers and no bird with the Discovery Institute.

When their chief spokesman is the half-wit Luskin, failed scientist turned lawyer, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

True, they’re having a very hard time attracting anyone who can think real clearly.

But that’s no reason to stop pounding them.

Comment #74927

Posted by I like latin on January 22, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

They would never lie at the DISCO institute. Luskin is an upstanding moral man as is Dembski (and all the others over their dancing in their little Disco-tech).

How could you possibly suggest that they would make things up. After all, didn’t you know, they’re in it for the money.

Besides, from what I can see in Luskin’s little piece the ‘designer’ did it accounts for everything. So, who needs any good theory or science.

The more I read at PT the more I’m convinced that trying to convince any of the ID’ers of their folly is like yelling at a wall. You don’t change the wall’s opinion and you get p&&&ed off and frustrated because no matter what you say to the wall nothing changes. I guess arguing with a wall may be better, at least it (unless the intelligent deceiver intervenes) won’t lie to you or the public about how biology works.

Back to lurking..

Comment #74935

Posted by mark duigon on January 22, 2006 8:28 PM (e)

Luskin wrote:

In conclusion, the evidence presented in this article supports microevolution—a process denied by no design theorist.

But don’t the IDiots insist that microevolution is evolution within a species? So what Luskin is saying is not that “man came from a monkey [sic]” but “man is a monkey!”

Comment #74938

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 8:33 PM (e)

the evidence presented in this article supports microevolution—a process denied by no design theorist.

Of course, the “micro/macro” thingie is standard ICR boilerplate from four decades ago, thus demonstrating that (1) Judge Jones was correct when he concluded that ID is nothing but creationism renamed, and (2) ID simply has nothing new to offer.

Comment #74943

Posted by PvM on January 22, 2006 8:50 PM (e)

Mark wrote:

So what Luskin is saying is not that “man came from a monkey [sic]” but “man is a monkey!”

Indeed. Welcome to Luskin’s world. Watch the backpedalling…

Comment #74948

Posted by shiva on January 22, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

…new body plans, novel biological functions, and real biological novelty

New, novel and novelty - like stuck in the groove of those old vinyls. And pray what is “real” biological novelty? So there is some ‘false’ biological novelty?

Comment #74949

Posted by Spike on January 22, 2006 9:21 PM (e)

… known as FOXP2, that may help explain why we talk and chimps don’t. An earlier study of a British family with an inherited, severe deficit in speech discovered the cause of the disorder — an altered form of FOXP2.

“It turns out chimps have the same (genetic) sequence as that family with the speech deficit,” Waterston said. Comparing the human and chimp genomes, he said, shows that the speech-friendly form of FOXP2 really took hold in humans some 150,000 years ago.

This is very interesting. Does it mean that we could insert the human version of FOXP2 into chimps and get some who would really tell us what they think of us?

Seriously, could knowing how close the human and chimp versions are lead us to “improving” the chimp version?

I’d really like to see that experiment. Is there any work planned along these lines?

Comment #74951

Posted by bill on January 22, 2006 9:25 PM (e)

That experiment has been done: Planet of the Apes.

Comment #74952

Posted by Qualiatative on January 22, 2006 9:34 PM (e)

PvM,

Common descent requires nested hierarchies, common design has no such requirements and thus the claim that ID can accomodate the evidence is an ad hoc argument. Unless one has independent understanding of the “Designer’s” this argument fails to be scientific.

This is like saying that irreducible complexity is required by ID while Darwinism has no such requirement. The only difference is that ID is able to subsume common descent whereas blind evolution cannot subsume IC. You mislabel ID as “ad hoc” where it is merely parsimonious.

Of course, PT is not a forum for serious debate. Hence, you may now commence ad hominems and personal attacks…

Comment #74958

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 9:53 PM (e)

This is like saying that irreducible complexity is required by ID

do feel free to extend an analysis of that. I’m curious to see how ID in your mind stands up without the concept of IC.

and to laugh as you fail to do so (there’s your “ad hominem”)

Comment #74962

Posted by shiva on January 22, 2006 10:10 PM (e)

Qualiatative Of course, PT is not a forum for serious debate. Hence, you may now commence ad hominems and personal attacks…

Funny coming from a person who bans posters who ask uncomfortable questions.

Comment #74963

Posted by Spike on January 22, 2006 10:11 PM (e)

Qualiatative,

The problem is that everything is “subsumed” by ID. No matter what is discovered or what scientific arguments are made, the response is, “That fits in ID.”

Until you ID folks define what distinquishes designed from undesigned, there’s no way you can claim it’s falsifiable.

Comment #74965

Posted by k.e. on January 22, 2006 10:15 PM (e)

Here’s your “Darwinist’s vs IDist’s” score card Qualiatative

This is like saying that irreducible complexity is required by ID while Darwinism has no such requirement.

Correct give yourself a banana.

The only difference is that ID is able to subsume common descent whereas blind evolution cannot subsume IC.

Correct give yourself a banana.

You [PvM] mislabel ID as “ad hoc” where it is merely parsimonious.

Sorry no Banana

Pray for the Grand Olde Designer to show up with his test tubes and blueprints, Darwin’s Ghost Perhaps ? JAD,Dave Scott, Dembski, Luskin?

Score
“Darwinist’s” 2 (both own goals by Qualiatative )
“IDist’s” 0 (no score, appeals to the heavens don’t register on the scoreboard)

Comment #74966

Posted by Jeff McKee on January 22, 2006 10:16 PM (e)

…rather than common descent—where a designer wanted to design organisms on a similar blueprint and thus used similar genes in both organisms

Surley this has been asked before, but how does this “similar blueprint” idea jibe with “irreducible complexity?” I thought living forms were too complex for small genetic differences to account for changes in locomotor patterns or brain complexity. Yet in this quote they tacitly acknowledge the opposite, with obvious genetically-based functional precursors for both bipedalism & the human brain. Clearly there are functional homologues of these precursors surviving into the morphological and genetic makeup of a modern apes (& vice versa for modern chimp/gorilla features as compared to modern humans).

The ID creationists also have yet to deal with the nuisance of the fossil record. Perhaps they could present an hypothesis about the successive forms of Australopithecus in the fossil record, based upon “Intelligent Design.” I’ve got quite a few more morphologically “intermediate” forms, for which they must disprove the hypothesis that some represent “transitional forms.”*

In sum, if chimps and humans are so close gentically that it is the product of “design,” and we have indisputable fossil evidence of intermediate forms for the human lineage, where is the irreducible complexity? If one admits, as one must due under the weight of the fossil and genetic evidence, where DOES one find evidence of irreducible complexity beyond “similarity of design?”

In very short: the notion of “similar blueprint” is a contradiction to “irreducible complexity.”

Comment #74970

Posted by Flint on January 22, 2006 10:22 PM (e)

I gotta admit, I have never before heard the “goddidit explanation subsumes everything” described as “parsimonious”. But wait, wouldn’t “magic” be more parsimonious than “goddidit”? After all, it has three fewer letters.

Comment #74972

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 10:24 PM (e)

*poof* has even 1 fewer letters than magic!

Comment #74973

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

where a designer wanted to design organisms on a similar blueprint and thus used similar genes in both organisms

Oh, goody — here’s my chance again to (1) ask an IDer to show us how this scientific, uh, theory of his works and (2) demonstrate to all the lurkers why ID simply isn’t science:

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

1. Observe some aspect of the universe

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

3. Make testible predictions from that hypothesis

4. Make observations or experiments that can test those predictions

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

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

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

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

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

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.

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

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

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

3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.

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

IDers, please fill in the blank.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comment #74974

Posted by Flint on January 22, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

Surley this has been asked before, but how does this “similar blueprint” idea jibe with “irreducible complexity?”

Simple, really. The answer is known. Goddidit. The evidence must perforce fit the answer. Being mere fallible humans, we can only guess how the Designer did His thing - did he use modular construction? Did he follow least-cost engineering principles? What WERE the design goals? Since we can’t know, and all we can know is that everything was designed (or most things, or some things, or IC things, or things Behe knows when he sees them), well, see, that’s because we’re imperfect. Except about design. Our knowledge that we are designed (or some parts of us are, or whatever) isn’t imperfect at all. It is infallible.

Comment #74987

Posted by PvM on January 22, 2006 11:40 PM (e)

This is like saying that irreducible complexity is required by ID while Darwinism has no such requirement. The only difference is that ID is able to subsume common descent whereas blind evolution cannot subsume IC. You mislabel ID as “ad hoc” where it is merely parsimonious.

Irreducible complexity is not required by ID. Of course ID is able to subsume almost anything, even the lack of IC since ID is not about science. Blind evolution is a confusing term as it seems to ignore the constraints and the interactions between evolution and the environment.

Of course, PT is not a forum for serious debate. Hence, you may now commence ad hominems and personal attacks…

Why? It’s much easier to show why ID is scientifically vacuous. You should not confuse PT with Uncommon Descent where dissent is actively surpressed. The claim that ID is parsimonous is just another way of stating that it is scientifically vacuous. After all ID can subsume common descent as well as lack of common descent, IC as well as lack of IC… etc…

Comment #74996

Posted by djmullen on January 23, 2006 1:05 AM (e)

Lenny, your comment #74973 is a gem! I’ve saved a copy for future reference.

Comment #75001

Posted by Timothy Chase on January 23, 2006 2:28 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

Blind evolution is a confusing term as it seems to ignore the constraints and the interactions between evolution and the environment.

(see 74987 above)

Better yet, “blind evolution” is an equivocation on the term “blind.” Evolution is “blind” in the sense of there being no agency which is directing it, and it is certainly “blind” in the sense that no great architect is determining which mutations happen when. But given the how natural selection tends to cull from the population those members of the population which are unfit, leaving only those which are fit to pass on their genes to their descendants, natural selection is not “blind” to the environment, but with mutation, results in descent with modification – including adaptation, leading to organisms which are better-adapted to their environment over time. In this sense, it most certainly isn’t “blind.” Referring to evolution as “blind” is just a variation on the old creationist “evolution is just random mutation” argument – where they keep “forgetting” the role of natural selection. But I guess they would prefer to argue against a straw man…

Comment #75005

Posted by a maine yankee on January 23, 2006 5:42 AM (e)

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Charles Darwin

Can anyone say it better?

Comment #75006

Posted by Ian Musgrave on January 23, 2006 5:45 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

Luskin continues however to state that “Those interested in an analysis of the many differences between humans and chimps from a pro-ID perspective should read Reflections on Human Origins by William Dembski. (PCID, Volume 4.1, July 2005)”

Yes, they should read it to see the typical appalling anti-logic of ID advocates. I have critiqued his essay here on PT and I critiqued an earlier version of it here.

These critiques aren’t exhaustive, but they highlight some typical ID mishandling of biology, I could go on, at length, about the other errors he makes, but the ones I identify are bad enough.

Simply put, either Dembski has an appalling understanding of biology, or he is deliberately misrepresenting evidence of common ancestry.

Comment #75015

Posted by Caledonian on January 23, 2006 7:46 AM (e)

There’s no reason it can’t be both - those possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

Comment #75018

Posted by Thomas T. Panto on January 23, 2006 8:03 AM (e)

But seriously folks:

Dinosaurs had TWO EYES, TWO EARS, ONE NOSE, ONE MOUTH and a BIGGER BRAIN than the Blind Followers of mere words, therefore proving that BOTH evolution AND de-evolution exist.

The ”Intelligent Designers” evolved somewhere in the vacuum of space. And he was intelligent enough to see what he dumped here, and not come back.

If the ”Intelligent Designer” gave a damn, then would snap his finger and straighten out this debate.

Since the ”Intelligent Designer” does not care that we are consuming the earth to build killing machines in our wars over invisible borders, barbaric beliefs, the MERE WORDS of flat earth neanderthals, therefore he does not deserve to be worshiped by the two legged worker ants serving the self serving rulers who pledged, allegianced and indoctrinated them into the servitude of LIES.

This is the atomic age. Only those who live in reality MIGHT live in reality. The mentally dis-functional become extinct.

Comment #75020

Posted by k.e. on January 23, 2006 8:11 AM (e)

Caledonian said:
There’s no reason it can’t be both - those possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

In reply to

Simply put, either Dembski has an appalling understanding of biology, or he is deliberately
misrepresenting evidence of common ancestry.

I agree with the further proviso

Dembski is deliberately misrepresenting biology, and has a [deliberate] ‘appalling understanding’ of common ancestry.

But as he says …ID has been ‘good’ to him

And hucksterism and street theater will bring in the rubes and part them from their money quicker than a rat with a gold tooth.

Comment #75022

Posted by k.e. on January 23, 2006 8:16 AM (e)

Thomas
Right on !
I wish I could be more optimistic but I think those that are mentally dis-functional, given half a chance with their reality, might make US extinct.

Comment #75027

Posted by MrDarwin on January 23, 2006 9:21 AM (e)

Evolutionary critics often claim that evolution “makes no predictions” but here’s a pretty bold one:

Now that we know the exact sequences for numerous genes for humans and chimpanzees, as soon as we have a suitable outgroup we can determine the exact DNA sequence for most of those genes in the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. In fact for ANY two related species, we can (in theory) reconstruct genes that once existed in a common ancestor that no longer exists. Moreover, we should be able to actually reconstruct those genes and test whether or not they are functional (i.e., produce functional enzymes or other proteins). Of course if evolution is true they WILL BE fully functional–because they DID exist in a common ancestor, and they WERE functional–but neither creationism nor ID makes such a prediction.

So… anybody working on this yet?

Comment #75029

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on January 23, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

anonymous wrote:

This is like saying that irreducible complexity is required by ID while Darwinism has no such requirement.

You may learn how IC evolves at Talk Design.

Comment #75034

Posted by PaulC on January 23, 2006 9:47 AM (e)

Luskin:

Sure, they just finished decoding the chimp genome but it actually lessened our knowledge of human/chimp similarities rather than upping it.

This is an oddly revealing statement about how Luskin’s mind works. How can additional information “lessen” our knowledge? Was it just so much to process that biologists collectively forgot something they already knew? (dating myself, but I’m picturing Barbarino of Welcome Back Kotter saying “I’m so confused.”)

I can see how more information could refute something we mistakenly accepted as part of our knowledge, or could decrease our certainty if our certainty had an oversimplistic basis. But in both cases our knowledge does not decrease.

I suppose it’s just a slip of the tongue, but given that Luskin’s a lawyer, I wonder if he is more inclined to see truth not as an objective property, but a normative one determined by rhetorical competition. I just cannot imagine a scientist saying that a new development lessened our knowledge.

Comment #75038

Posted by RupertG on January 23, 2006 10:22 AM (e)

If additional information lessens our knowledge, what would Luskin suggest we do to increase it? Are we in danger of decreasing what we know to nothing if we continue on a path of finding things out?

This piece and the one by OSC are so close to self-parody one wonders if the big tent isn’t candy-striped, with streamers flying from the top. Roll up, roll up…

R

Comment #75043

Posted by AC on January 23, 2006 10:35 AM (e)

Flint wrote:

I gotta admit, I have never before heard the “goddidit explanation subsumes everything” described as “parsimonious”.

I have. Many times, unfortunately.

Translated Luskin: God designed all life on Earth, but did so in a way that just happens to look like evolution.

Bill Hicks: “I think God put you here to test my faith, dude.”

PaulC wrote:

I can see how more information could refute something we mistakenly accepted as part of our knowledge, or could decrease our certainty if our certainty had an oversimplistic basis.

Slip indeed. Doesn’t get much more certain or oversimplistic than “Goddidit”.

Comment #75047

Posted by BLC on January 23, 2006 10:52 AM (e)

Alas, RupertG, that is indeed what many religious people think. Truth (capital ‘T’, is their any other kind?) comes from a book, and any new knowledge that doesn’t directly agree with that book causes Doubt (capital ‘D’). And Doubt is the opposite of Faith, and is a sin. The only real knowledge comes from the Truth comes from the Bible, so, yes, to them, additional information can lessen knowledge.

Comment #75050

Posted by JAllen on January 23, 2006 11:04 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

I encourage our readers to explore Dembski’s ‘perspectives’ as it furthers my claim that Intelligent Design is scientifically vacuous.

Dembski wrote:

Design theorists have yet to reach a consensus on these matters. Nevertheless, they have reached a consensus about the indispensability of intelligence in human origins. In particular, they argue that an evolutionary process unguided by intelligence cannot adequately account for the remarkable intellectual gifts of a William James Sidis or the remarkable moral goodness of a Mother Teresa.

And they still deny with a straight face that ID is not about religion?

From page 14:

Dembski wrote:

Why are we altruistic? According to evolutionary ethics and evolutionary psychology (currently two of the hottest evolutionary subdisciplines), altruism is not a designer’s gift to us and the apes; it does not reflect a designer’s benevolence.

From The Act of Creation: Bridging Transcendence and Immanence

Dembski wrote:

The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.

How do you get “religion” from that? I mean ID says only one thing about the Designer - the Designer is Intelligent…and Benevolent. Um, ID says two things about the Designer - the Designer is Intelligent and Benevolent…and a gift-giver. Three! Three things about the Designer; Intelligence, Benevolence, and Generosity…and an over-arching Purpose for Creating the Universe.

Amongst the things said about the Designer are extreme Intelligence, unlimited Benevolence, boundless Generosity, and a Purposeful Creator of the Universe.

How can you shoehorn “religion” into that?

Comment #75055

Posted by Corkscrew on January 23, 2006 11:17 AM (e)

Amongst the things said about the Designer are extreme Intelligence, unlimited Benevolence, boundless Generosity, and a Purposeful Creator of the Universe.

And an irrational hatred of palaeontologists

Comment #75062

Posted by Wislu Plethora on January 23, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

Amongst the things said about the Designer are extreme Intelligence, unlimited Benevolence, boundless Generosity, and a Purposeful Creator of the Universe.

And an irrational hatred of palaeontologists

And an inordinate fondness for beetles.

Comment #75063

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 23, 2006 11:38 AM (e)

Luskin wrote

Love is hate, war is peace

Dembski wrote
We have always been at war with Oceania

Comment #75067

Posted by FastEddie on January 23, 2006 12:14 PM (e)

I wonder why we never see headlines such as “Discovery Institute Scientists Map Chimp Genome?”

Comment #75068

Posted by PvM on January 23, 2006 12:17 PM (e)

Better yet, “blind evolution” is an equivocation on the term “blind.” Evolution is “blind” in the sense of there being no agency which is directing it, and it is certainly “blind” in the sense that no great architect is determining which mutations happen when. But given the how natural selection tends to cull from the population those members of the population which are unfit, leaving only those which are fit to pass on their genes to their descendants, natural selection is not “blind” to the environment, but with mutation, results in descent with modification — including adaptation, leading to organisms which are better-adapted to their environment over time. In this sense, it most certainly isn’t “blind.” Referring to evolution as “blind” is just a variation on the old creationist “evolution is just random mutation” argument — where they keep “forgetting” the role of natural selection. But I guess they would prefer to argue against a straw man…

In addition, evolution is not blind since it can ‘learn from the past’… In other words, it can evolve to be able to evolve. This concept of evolvability is exemplified in the SOS response in bacteria. Evolution can ‘learn’ what variation or mechanisms of variation may be more effective. For instance neutral mutations are both important for robustness and evolvability. Because of this neutrality can actually be under selection. Now that is something to ponder.
So yes, evolution is all but ‘blind’.

Comment #75070

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 23, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

Luskin wrote:

Sure, they just finished decoding the chimp genome but it actually lessened our knowledge of human/chimp similarities rather than upping it.

Can anyone understand the above statement by Looserkin? The more we know the less we know….MMMMMMMMM this is the classic statement on accepting ignorance. Hey, not bad for a looser to admit it, finally.

Comment #75074

Posted by k.e. on January 23, 2006 12:40 PM (e)

Dembski as quoted earlier
Amongst the things said about the Designer are extreme Intelligence, unlimited Benevolence, boundless Generosity, and a Purposeful Creator of the Universe.

Man Dembski’s got the full house there….. that would explain why the ID movement has been so good to him.

1.boundless Generosity ……as proved by enormous book sales

2.Purposeful Creator of the Universe…… as proved by his ‘divine’ mathematics

3.unlimited Benevolence ….ok that will take care of the conscience when the judgment comes….oh that ‘s right he got out Dover when he gathered up his skirts and vanished on a ‘technicality’

3 extreme Intelligence…. well if he was THAT intelligent why have so many people proved him wrong

In fact if He was THAT intelligent why do we need to do science at all ? Lets just ask the smartest guy in the whole universe ! TaDA ….enter God….well I’m not THAT smart I’m English you know.

Comment #75076

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 23, 2006 12:41 PM (e)

Evolutionary critics often claim that evolution “makes no predictions” but here’s a pretty bold one:

Now that we know the exact sequences for numerous genes for humans and chimpanzees, as soon as we have a suitable outgroup we can determine the exact DNA sequence for most of those genes in the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. In fact for ANY two related species, we can (in theory) reconstruct genes that once existed in a common ancestor that no longer exists. Moreover, we should be able to actually reconstruct those genes and test whether or not they are functional (i.e., produce functional enzymes or other proteins). Of course if evolution is true they WILL BE fully functional—because they DID exist in a common ancestor, and they WERE functional—but neither creationism nor ID makes such a prediction.

So… anybody working on this yet?

You mean something like this?
Reconstructing large regions of an ancestral mammalian genome in silico
Genome Research 14:2412-2423, 2004
Mathieu Blanchette, Eric D. Green, Webb Miller and David Haussler

or perhaps this?
Evaluating hypotheses of basal animal phylogeny using complete sequences of large and small subunit rRNA
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 August 14; 98(17): 9707–9712.
Mónica Medina, Allen G. Collins, Jeffrey D. Silberman, and Mitchell L. Sogin

Those seemed to be computer exercises, I don’t think they were actually constructing genes with the ancestral sequences and testing for function. Maybe you could collaborate.

Comment #75078

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 23, 2006 12:50 PM (e)

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

Lenny, my hat is off to you. Well presented and articulated response.

Comment #75085

Posted by mark on January 23, 2006 1:02 PM (e)

Why similar blueprints?

Humans use blueprints. Oftentimes, it’s cheaper and quicker to design a modified product starting with exiting blueprints. We have limits, and take shortcuts when possible in order to overcome those limits. The Intelligent Designer is not a human; the Intelligent Designer is supernatural (must be, having created the universe). It should be easy for the Intelligent Designer to start from scratch.

Another, important reason humans use blueprints is to communicate a design from one human to another. Does the Intelligent Designer engage in such communication with other Intelligent Designers? Humans give a copy of the blueprints to the mechanical engineer, and to the structural engineer, the contractor, the plumber, etc., and those other humans all cooperate to construct the product using forges, lathes, saws, welding torches, and so forth, making use of materials that are obtained by processing raw ores and substances (as specified by the blueprints). Are the Intelligent Designers also constrained by material and technological limitations? Are there Quality Control Intelligent Designers to make sure the fabrications meet specifications?

Comment #75087

Posted by gwangung on January 23, 2006 1:08 PM (e)

Why similar blueprints?

Humans use blueprints. Oftentimes, it’s cheaper and quicker to design a modified product starting with exiting blueprints. We have limits, and take shortcuts when possible in order to overcome those limits. The Intelligent Designer is not a human; the Intelligent Designer is supernatural (must be, having created the universe). It should be easy for the Intelligent Designer to start from scratch.

Another, important reason humans use blueprints is to communicate a design from one human to another. Does the Intelligent Designer engage in such communication with other Intelligent Designers? Humans give a copy of the blueprints to the mechanical engineer, and to the structural engineer, the contractor, the plumber, etc., and those other humans all cooperate to construct the product using forges, lathes, saws, welding torches, and so forth, making use of materials that are obtained by processing raw ores and substances (as specified by the blueprints). Are the Intelligent Designers also constrained by material and technological limitations? Are there Quality Control Intelligent Designers to make sure the fabrications meet specifications?

And what kind of evidence have you found for these suppositions?

If you have evidence, you got a scientific controversy. If you don’t have evidence, it ain’t science.

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

Comment #75091

Posted by PvM on January 23, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

Luskin has a point in that the more we know, the less we know can indeed occur. This is basically the ID argument namely that more evidence has uncovered much we do not know.
A good example is oceanography. In the first half of the 19’s century it was believed that we understood most of what makes the oceans ‘move’ until better instruments showed a wealth of fine structure which opened up oceanography to a whole new era of discovery and scientific progress.
Same with the cell, once thought to be basically a blob of protoplasm, it now shows intricate complexities beyond our imaginations. ID activists seem to take this as a reason to conclude: thus designed. Scientists see it as an opportunity to do science.
Biochemistry opened up a whole new era of research and data, data which could have falsified much of evolutionary theory or the concept of common descent. Instead we find exquisite examples of evolution.
Same with the Cambrian explosion. Our ignorance led us to wild speculations but more and more data as well as a better understanding of body plans, has helped science understand much better what caused the Cambrian explosion. And where ID activists see problems, science is looking for and finding plausible answers.

Which is why I consider ID totally vacuous from a scientific perspective.

Poof… Parsimonous indeed…

Comment #75095

Posted by BWE on January 23, 2006 1:54 PM (e)

Posted by k.e. on January 23, 2006 08:16 AM (e)

Thomas
Right on !
I wish I could be more optimistic but I think those that are mentally dis-functional, given half a chance with their reality, might make US extinct.

Whoever has more babies that live to reproductive age, reproduce and survive the environmental catastrophes that come up will do better. At least we can hope that we are witnessing the beginning of speciation.

Comment #75096

Posted by PaulC on January 23, 2006 1:58 PM (e)

PvM:

Luskin has a point in that the more we know, the less we know can indeed occur. This is basically the ID argument namely that more evidence has uncovered much we do not know.

I think we’re in agreement apart from phrasing, but simply uncovering more things that remain to be known, or even finding that something you thought you knew was wrong does not mean that you know less as a result. For Luskin to use the phrase “lessened our knowledge” suggests either sloppy formulation or possibly a fully subjective concept of truth. Short of literally losing previously extant information (e.g. not being able to duplicate a Stradivarius violin), there is no such thing as “lessened knowledge.”

Comment #75097

Posted by Spike on January 23, 2006 1:59 PM (e)

JAllen:

No one expects the Discovery Inquisition!

gwangung: mark is not making suppositions, he’s asking questions in this vein:

If we use the watch in the desert and Mt. Rushmore as analogies of Intelligent Design, do we then need to suppose that the Intelligent Designer works like human designers, with various Intelligent Drafters, Intelligent Engineers, Intelligent Tradespeople, etc. etc.?

Comment #75100

Posted by gwangung on January 23, 2006 2:05 PM (e)

Ah. I misunderstood (a common instance, I’m afraid).

However, you still need to continue the work to a point where you CAN work with evidence. You have to make assumptions on how all these other agents work and what…evidence…they will leave behind, before you get science. Until we get to that point, it’s not science (and I leave my mind open that we COULD find evidence that such agents exist…but since we haven’t, intelligent design ain’t science yet).

Comment #75107

Posted by Russell on January 23, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

Same with the cell, once thought to be basically a blob of protoplasm, it now shows intricate complexities beyond our imaginations.

Personally, I’ve never bought this talking point of Behe’s. When I was in high school, I could see a cell in a microscope, but I also learned there were a whole lot of things I couldn’t see: DNA, ribosomes, enzymes. I was pretty sure that (a) there would be countless more things in there that hadn’t been recognized yet, and (b) that these unseen things - both named and unnamed - were organized in complex ways we also had yet to recognize.

I don’t think I ever assumed they were unstructured blobs. I also assumed that I was not particularly clairvoyant in this regard, and that science in general probably saw not-yet-understood structure and complexity, rather than the absence of structure and complexity.

I don’t buy the DI line that recent scientific discoveries make their notion of an “intelligent designer” any more compelling than it was 50 years ago.

Comment #75109

Posted by Moses on January 23, 2006 2:25 PM (e)

Comment #75087

Posted by gwangung on January 23, 2006 01:08 PM (e)

Why similar blueprints?

Humans use blueprints. Oftentimes, it’s cheaper and quicker to design a modified product starting with exiting blueprints. We have limits, and take shortcuts when possible in order to overcome those limits. The Intelligent Designer is not a human; the Intelligent Designer is supernatural (must be, having created the universe). It should be easy for the Intelligent Designer to start from scratch.

Another, important reason humans use blueprints is to communicate a design from one human to another. Does the Intelligent Designer engage in such communication with other Intelligent Designers? Humans give a copy of the blueprints to the mechanical engineer, and to the structural engineer, the contractor, the plumber, etc., and those other humans all cooperate to construct the product using forges, lathes, saws, welding torches, and so forth, making use of materials that are obtained by processing raw ores and substances (as specified by the blueprints). Are the Intelligent Designers also constrained by material and technological limitations? Are there Quality Control Intelligent Designers to make sure the fabrications meet specifications?

And what kind of evidence have you found for these suppositions?

If you have evidence, you got a scientific controversy. If you don’t have evidence, it ain’t science.

Having worked in a blueprint-dependent quality assurance position in a manufacturing environment (and on a personal level in home construction) I believe he was pointing out the fallacy of the blue-print argument by explaining why we (humans) need, produce and use blue-prints. And brought up some rhetorical questions to illustrate that a supernatural “intelligent designer” wouldn’t be constrained by intellectual and physical constraints to use the same blue-print-with-modifications for its creations.

Evolution requires a series of modified, frequently getting more complex, blueprints to communicate the plan, and changes made to the plan, from one generation to another. ID requires “poof,” therefore why the series of modified, frequently getting more complex, sets of blue-prints out there?

Comment #75117

Posted by BWE on January 23, 2006 3:15 PM (e)

you are wishing that god was real in the sense of a guy up there who metes out some kind of individual justice. Just think obout this one: How many people has you god killed? Now, how many people has your satn killed? No wonder people think christians are ignorant and dangerous.

Comment #75122

Posted by natural cynic on January 23, 2006 3:37 PM (e)

Luskin makes about as much sense as the Achilles and the tortoise paradox. Think of it as filling in the gaps. As soon as a transitional fossil is found, that leaves two gaps. That way, evolution never wins!

Comment #75132

Posted by Ian Musgrave on January 23, 2006 4:04 PM (e)

In Post 75027

Mr Darwin wrote:

Moreover, we should be able to actually reconstruct those genes and test whether or not they are functional (i.e., produce functional enzymes or other proteins). Of course if evolution is true they WILL BE fully functional—because they DID exist in a common ancestor, and they WERE functional—but neither creationism nor ID makes such a prediction.

Yes, it’s been done. The most recent example is recreating an anchient archosaur rod visual pigment protein. It worked, was slighly more red-sensitive than most vertebrates and possibly was better in dim light. See also the reference list where other functional ancestral proteins have been synthesized. For example eosinophil proteins.

Comment #75136

Posted by MissPrism on January 23, 2006 4:21 PM (e)

Sorry, wrong tags.
Links: News story, PubMed paper citation

Comment #75143

Posted by dre on January 23, 2006 4:54 PM (e)

i’m still wondering (and i’m not sure if i mean this as a personal attack):

what does the name “qualiatative” mean? is it a pun that i don’t get, or just an ignorant misspelling? i can’t even try to take the first word of his posts seriously after reading his name, much less the “logic” in them.

Comment #75147

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 23, 2006 5:09 PM (e)

the remarkable moral goodness of a Mother Teresa

I wonder if Dembski decided to use Mother Teresa as his ethical model before or after reading Christopher Hitchens’s The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice:

Publisher's Weekly wrote:

What’s next–The Girl Scouts: The Untold Story? How could anybody write a debunking book about Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity order? Well, in this little cruise missile of a book, Hitchens quickly establishes that the idea is not without point. After all, what is Mother Teresa doing hanging out with a dictator’s wife in Haiti and accepting over a million dollars from Charles Keating? The most riveting material in the book is contained in two letters: one from Mother Teresa to Judge Lance Ito–then weighing what sentence to dole out to the convicted Keating–which cited all the work Keating has done “to help the poor,” and another from a Los Angeles deputy D.A., Paul Turley, back to Mother Teresa that eloquently stated that rather than working to reduce Keating’s sentence, she should return the money he gave her to its rightful owners, the defrauded bond-holders. (Significantly, Mother Teresa never replied.) And why do former missionary workers and visiting doctors consistently observe that the order’s medical practices seem so inadequate, especially given all the money that comes in? (Hitchens acidly observes that on the other hand, Mother Teresa herself always manages to receive world-class medical care.) Hitchens’s answer is that Mother Teresa is first and foremost interested not in providing medical treatment, but in furthering Catholic doctrine and–quite literally–becoming a saint.

or Aroup Chatterjee’s Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict, reviewed here:

A terse summary of Chatterjee’s primary concerns with Mother Teresa appear in the final chapter where he quotes his “Deposition Before the Committee for Beatification/Canonisation of Mother Teresa.” Among Chatterjee’s concerns are:
* Mother Teresa often said that she picked people up from the streets of Calcutta, but she and her order of nuns did not do this. People requesting such service were told curtly to ring 102 (similar to 911).
* While the order owns several ambulances, these are used primarily to transport nuns to and from places of prayer.
* Mother Teresa said that her order fed 4000, 5000, 7000 or 9000 Caltuttans every day (the number varied). The two or three soup kitchens in Calcutta feed a maximum of only 300 people per day. The kitchens will provide food only to people with “food cards” that are distrubuted predominantly to the Catholic poor.
* While Mother Teresa’s order has some presence in many countries throughout the world, the majority of these are for training monks or nuns, not for aiding the poor.
* Mother Teresa’s shelters will usually only help children if the parents sign a form of renunciation which signs the rights to the children to her organization.
* Mother Teresa often insists that her natural family clinics prevent unwanted pregnancies, but this number is without any basis in truth.
* Mother Teresa insisted that suffering was beautiful as it evoked Christ’s suffering, but when ill she visited exclusive, expensive hospitals.
* The hospice in Calcutta through which Mother Teresa gained such wide recognition is very small (80 beds) and provides little medical care. Needles are reused, all patients are forced to have their heads shaven, visitors are forbidden and painkillers are rarely if ever used. The nurses do not speak the language of the people and are not usually involved in the care of the patients. This duty is assumed by volunteers.
* Mother Teresa often accepted money from suspicious sources, the most notable of which is Charles Keating, America’s most notorious thief.

Comment #75156

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 23, 2006 5:34 PM (e)

Common descent requires nested hierarchies, common design has no such requirements and thus the claim that ID can accomodate the evidence is an ad hoc argument. Unless one has independent understanding of the “Designer’s” this argument fails to be scientific.

This is like saying that irreducible complexity is required by ID while Darwinism has no such requirement.

Uh, no, it’s nothing like that. Nested hierarchies are an implication of common descent; that’s what “requires” means there. But IC is not an implication of ID; rather, certain people claim that IC systems imply ID. Not only is that the other way around, but their claim is simply false.

The only difference is that ID is able to subsume common descent

The whole point of IC systems is that they supposedly could not have “descended” – they purportedly had to be “created”.

whereas blind evolution cannot subsume IC.

No, that’s quite false, as has been explained over and over. Contrary to Behe’s assumption, the last step in the evolution of an IC system need not have been to add some component to a non-functioning system; it’s not hard to think of other possibilities. (Aside from the fact that Behe’s examples of IC systems aren’t actually IC.)

You mislabel ID as “ad hoc” where it is merely parsimonious.

ID is parsimonious in the sense that it is so frugal of explanation that it offers none at all, asserting that an unknown agent created biological mechanisms by unknown means at unknown times.

Of course, PT is not a forum for serious debate. Hence, you may now commence ad hominems and personal attacks…

That paragraph is itself a textbook case of a form of ad hominem argument known as “poisoning the well”.

Comment #75162

Posted by Zarquon on January 23, 2006 5:52 PM (e)

Yes ‘qualiatative’ is based on a pun on the word Qualia
Probably means the poster objects to physicalist and materialist theories of mind.

Comment #75171

Posted by AC on January 23, 2006 6:06 PM (e)

Russell wrote:

I don’t buy the DI line that recent scientific discoveries make their notion of an “intelligent designer” any more compelling than it was 50 years ago.

Their “arguments” are largely aimed at people who never looked through that microscope. And those who would never look. And even some who spurn microscopes as tools of Satan.

natural cynic wrote:

Luskin makes about as much sense as the Achilles and the tortoise paradox. Think of it as filling in the gaps. As soon as a transitional fossil is found, that leaves two gaps. That way, evolution never wins!

They seem to take a similar approach in the opposite direction regarding the “micro-macro distinction”. I’d offer to teach them calculus if I thought they’d listen.

Comment #75175

Posted by Jason on January 23, 2006 6:15 PM (e)

http://www.iscid.org/papers/Dembski_HumanOrigins_062204.pdf

In this POS, Dembski says that humans are the only primates that undergo menopause, but this is wrong. Gorillas have been documented to do this as well as captive orangutans. Chimps die before they ever hit menopause.

Comment #75189

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

Moses wins the “why similar blueprints” prize for seeing that I find the blueprint analagy to have serious shortcomings. And yes, forcing the Intelligent Designer to use blueprints, even metaphorically, does not really constrain a supernatural designer, leading to the futility of posing any kind of testable hypotheses. Because it’s such a loose methaphor, there is no way to figure out what kind of evidence to look for.

Comment #75213

Posted by Karl on January 23, 2006 8:59 PM (e)

I am new here. I have a question and a comment.
Q: ID uses the human eye as an example of IC and of ID. It is my understanding that, in fact, the human eye is badly designed. Can we not offer that as rebuttal to their claim - or is that too simplistic?
C: Re Post #74973 by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank. He wrote a long statement about the scientific method. I thought it was excellent. It brought to mind something I read some years ago which I have now found. “The philosopher Ronald de Sousa once memorably described philosophical theology as ‘intellectual tennis without a net,’…It’s your serve. Whatever you serve, suppose I return service rudely as follows:’What you say implies that God is a ham sandwich…’. If you then volley back…how can I logically justify my claim that your serve has such a preposterous implication, I will reply ‘Oh, do you want the net up for my returns, but not for your serves?”
and more.
From Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennett Simon and Schuster, 1995

Comment #75219

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 23, 2006 9:30 PM (e)

Re Post #74973 by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank. He wrote a long statement about the scientific method. I thought it was excellent.

It’s that standard response I always give to any ID “you ignore my supernatural evidence” whining.

I tend to cut-and-paste the same responses to IDers all the time. Mostly that’s because IDers say the same thing every time (the same thing that creation “scientists” said 30 years ago), and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. When IDers keep telling me the same thing, they’ll keep getting the same answer from me. And I’ve been in this fight for a looonnngggg time.

Alas, I’m quite sure that many of the longtime regulars here are sick of seeing my standards response by now. ;) But the new arrivals seem to like it, every time I post it. :)

Comment #75221

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 23, 2006 9:33 PM (e)

Let’s see what Luskin makes of the latest chimp-human news: watch out, Casey, they could be catching up to you!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10994885/.

Not that, in Casey’s case, the chimps would have to evolve all that fast to overtake him.

Comment #75234

Posted by Russell on January 23, 2006 10:12 PM (e)

From Steviepinhead’s link:

And by revealing this through DNA analysis, scientists have provided support for a controversial hypothesis that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to other species of great apes with which they’re currently classified.

This is controversial news? To whom?

Comment #75245

Posted by H. Humbert on January 23, 2006 10:42 PM (e)

Whenever I hear Behe’s IC arguments, I always think of arches. An arch requires all of its elements to hold it together, including (most importantly) a keystone. However, the keystone is always the last element added in any arch. They sure seem irreducibly complex to me. Remove one piece and they crumble to the ground. All of this raises the question, how does any arch ever get built in the first place?

The builders used a scaffold to support the structure which is now missing, of course. So much for IC…

Comment #75253

Posted by PvM on January 23, 2006 11:39 PM (e)

Jason wrote:

In this POS, Dembski says that humans are the only primates that undergo menopause, but this is wrong. Gorillas have been documented to do this as well as captive orangutans. Chimps die before they ever hit menopause.

Let’s not hold the fact that reality again disagrees with Dembski’s ‘arguments’ confuse the issue… :-)

Theorists See Evolutionary Advantages In Menopause

and this 1981 paper

Chimpanzee reproductive senescence: a possible model for evolution of the menopause.

Researchers document gorilla menopause January 1, 2006

Another “prediction” by ID activists rejected by reality?

Cool pictures of a study

Menopause in Nonhuman Primates: 1995 - Fall 2000 Research all the way back to the 90’s…
Can we say, another Icon of ID bites the proverbial dust?

And then Dembski 2004

(3) Human females experience menopause; no other primates do (the only known mammal besides humans to experience menopause is the pilot whale).

Let’s see if Dembski updates his posting and gives due credit. Or is Dembski going to pull another ‘use the critics’?

Dembski wrote:

These can be turned to advantage, and I’ve done so on numerous occasions. I’m not going to give away all my secrets, but one thing I sometimes do is post on the web a chapter or section from a forthcoming book, let the critics descend, and then revise it so that what appears in book form preempts the critics’ objections. An additional advantage with this approach is that I can cite the website on which the objections appear, which typically gives me the last word in the exchange. And even if the critics choose to revise the objections on their website, books are far more permanent and influential than webpages.

A true scholar and a gentleman this Dembski…

Comment #75254

Posted by Anton Mates on January 23, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

Q: ID uses the human eye as an example of IC and of ID. It is my understanding that, in fact, the human eye is badly designed. Can we not offer that as rebuttal to their claim - or is that too simplistic?

I think it depends on the audience. If you’re talking to someone who’s honestly interested in whether the eye looks like it was designed by the particular deity they’re thinking of, then it’s certainly legit to suggest evidence in the negative.

However, if you’re arguing with a creationist or a professional ID proponent, it’s probably not helpful. The creationist will simply deny that the various instances of “bad design” are really bad for a human (e.g. “It’s good to have blood vessels in front of the retina because it keeps it better nourished,” or will attribute them to the Fall; the ID proponent will say that we don’t know enough about the designer to know what their design goals were.

Basically, that kind of argument can only work if you’re talking to someone willing to commit to a very specific model of design and Designer–“I know a good God would never make us pointlessly prone to hernias and back problems!”–and AFAIK most people actively arguing for ID or creationism don’t fit that description. Their gods are too vague (in this particular area) or too capricious. You should focus on why the eye looks like it could have evolved, not on why it couldn’t have been designed.

All that said, I think Talk.Origins’ discussion of Creationist Claim CB921.1 does a good job of using bad design to do the former. It basically argues that our eyes underperform badly in various ways compared to those of all sorts of other animals, yet we do all right with them; therefore we shouldn’t find it unbelievable if our ancestors managed to survive with more primitive models. Which is a nice intuitive counter to the “What good is half an eye?” argument from incredulity.

Comment #75274

Posted by Timothy Chase on January 24, 2006 3:03 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

In addition, evolution is not blind since it can ‘learn from the past’… In other words, it can evolve to be able to evolve. This concept of evolvability is exemplified in the SOS response in bacteria. Evolution can ‘learn’ what variation or mechanisms of variation may be more effective. For instance neutral mutations are both important for robustness and evolvability. Because of this neutrality can actually be under selection. Now that is something to ponder.

So yes, evolution is all but ‘blind’.

from #75068

Well, as I understand it, the neutral theory of molecular evolution of Motoo Kimura has given way to the near neutralism of his student Ohta, however, it would seem to explain how genome size is an inverse function of population size, with slightly deleterious mutations, such as what occurs during gene duplications or the creation of introns, giving evolution more to play with later on, at least in eukaryotes. Similarly, it would seem to have played a role in the widespread use of combinatorial switches. However, it would seem that soft selection permits a far higher genetic load (and thus polymorphism) even within the context of a selectionist theory, and moreover, that genetic load may be quite beneficial in ensuring that fitness varies within a population, making early population culling more common at a stages when it is less likely to threaten the population as whole, at least according to Bruce Wallace in “Fifty Years of Genetic Load.”

Other aspects of evolving evolvability are considered the books: “The Plausibility of Life” (e.g., the low fidelity, high reduncy circuits of organisms and the plasticity of the phylotype in different environments leading to stronger directional selection) and “Endless Forms Most Beautiful.” However, in addition to evolvability being evolvable, it would also seem to be infectious – such as with the acquisition of chloroplasts and mitochondria, bacterial proteins (e.g., rhodopsin) and protein pathways before the division between gametes and somatic cells, and the retroelements, including the retrotransposons (responsible for the duplication of genes which makes possible sub-functionalization and neo-functionalization) and the lines which facilitate amplification. The mammalian radiation itself may very well be the result of retroviral infections, and it seems that much of primate evolution was driven by retroviruses which had a taste for sex, and prefered the male gametes as their pathway into the germline.

Comment #75287

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 7:28 AM (e)

Scientists test non-scientific theories using scientific method and when the non-scientific theory fails, they rejoice at their triumph in science?

The best the scientific community can possibly say is that ID is not “scientific,” YET. A Unified Theory requires the dissolution of science. This process is already underway. It is only natural that “evolving science” will evolve towards a theory that unifies General scientific and General non-scientific theory. Whether this Unified theory will be named ID or not, only time will tell. What scientists defend today will not be what science defends tomorrow or the next day. Today’s arguments against ID will be useless tomorrow as our knowledge expands where it is most ignorant, in the non-scientific realm, and science recognizes the irrelevancy of its constraints. Science will then recognize the futility of its rebelliousness. It will succumb to a Unified Theory and pass into oblivion. It has to or we shall remain ever ignorant of the true nature of the universe.

Comment #75290

Posted by k.e. on January 24, 2006 7:47 AM (e)

thordaddy
Bad news
Is that the Catholic “The Unified Theory”
The Buddhist “The Unified Theory”
The Islamic “The Unified Theory”
The Atheist “The Unified Theory”
The Brucist “The Unified Theory”
The Logical Positivists “The Unified Theory”
The Zoroastrian “The Unified Theory”
The Church of England “The Unified Theory”
The Gnostic “The Unified Theory”

Which one ? There are thousands to choose from.

Comment #75292

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 8:07 AM (e)

k.e.

Why give 9 choices for a “Unified” Theory? The Unified Theory is “it.” All those other theories are either irrelevant or mere pieces of the whole puzzle.

Science must become what is unknown or we shall ever remain ignorant of the origins. As long as science remains only that which is known we have no chance at a Unified Theory. We know that we have NO Unified Theory thus “science” must take us into the unknown or let the unknown into science. This depends upon the evolutions of science and ID.

Comment #75297

Posted by k.e. on January 24, 2006 8:17 AM (e)

thordaddy
Do you understand those 9 “Unified theories”
or any religion that supports the Theory of Evolution and their rational.

ID theoy ? No problems, provide the peer reviewed papers and the evidence and you have your ‘Unified Theory’
Here is question
“Why will that never happen”?

Comment #75299

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 24, 2006 8:25 AM (e)

The best the scientific community can possibly say is that ID is not “scientific,” YET.

Well, do let us know when it IS, alright?

In the meantime, would you mind terribly not attempting to pass laws forcing us to teach your nonscientific (“yet”) baloney in a science classroom?

Comment #75300

Posted by Moses on January 24, 2006 8:26 AM (e)

Comment #75287

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 07:28 AM (e)

Scientists test non-scientific theories using scientific method and when the non-scientific theory fails, they rejoice at their triumph in science?

The best the scientific community can possibly say is that ID is not “scientific,” YET. A Unified Theory requires the dissolution of science. This process is already underway.

Wow, that sounds important. We stand in humble awe of your vast intellectual prowess.

It is only natural that “evolving science” will evolve towards a theory that unifies General scientific and General non-scientific theory. Whether this Unified theory will be named ID or not, only time will tell.

OMG! A theory that unifies science and religion! This is the most important breakthrough in the history of mankind, what are you wasting your time here for? Get out there and work on it, and since we’re too dull to understand it, don’t waste your time trying to prove it to us. Instead, bypass peer review and critical analysis and just go straight to the media, after all, that’s what all great thinkers do…

What scientists defend today will not be what science defends tomorrow or the next day. Today’s arguments against ID will be useless tomorrow as our knowledge expands where it is most ignorant, in the non-scientific realm, and science recognizes the irrelevancy of its constraints. Science will then recognize the futility of its rebelliousness. It will succumb to a Unified Theory and pass into oblivion. It has to or we shall remain ever ignorant of the true nature of the universe.

Yea verily, and at the end of a fiery sword the unbelievers shall perish!

Comment #75338

Posted by j-Dog on January 24, 2006 10:52 AM (e)

Hey Thordaddy - I have a Unified Theory for you: Thordaddy = Ignoramus.
I think this is pretty well all encompassing, and a good framework for your future development.

HTH

Comment #75364

Posted by BWE on January 24, 2006 11:54 AM (e)

Science must become what is unknown or we shall ever remain ignorant of the origins. As long as science remains only that which is known we have no chance at a Unified Theory. We know that we have NO Unified Theory thus “science” must take us into the unknown or let the unknown into science. This depends upon the evolutions of science and ID.

-proof that humans wrote the bible without divine intervention. Would god write like this? Verily, I say to ye that he would not!

Comment #75373

Posted by PvM on January 24, 2006 12:21 PM (e)

Thordaddy wrote:

Scientists test non-scientific theories using scientific method and when the non-scientific theory fails, they rejoice at their triumph in science?

It’s always a good time to rejoice when scientists expose the scientific vacuity of any idea. Intelligent Design is but one of many examples.

The best the scientific community can possibly say is that ID is not “scientific,” YET.

Nope, the best the scientific community says is that ID is scientifically vacuous, and always will be as it is based on an appeal from ignorance.

A Unified Theory requires the dissolution of science. This process is already underway. It is only natural that “evolving science” will evolve towards a theory that unifies General scientific and General non-scientific theory. Whether this Unified theory will be named ID or not, only time will tell. What scientists defend today will not be what science defends tomorrow or the next day. Today’s arguments against ID will be useless tomorrow as our knowledge expands where it is most ignorant, in the non-scientific realm, and science recognizes the irrelevancy of its constraints. Science will then recognize the futility of its rebelliousness. It will succumb to a Unified Theory and pass into oblivion. It has to or we shall remain ever ignorant of the true nature of the universe.

Right, the true nature of the universe… You’re funny…
At least we agree that ID is scientifically vacuous. If you hope that ID will outgrow this, then perhaps you should try to contribute in a positive manner rather than speculate about where science may be going…

Comment #75458

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 24, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

Russell wrote:

From Steviepinhead’s link:

And by revealing this through DNA analysis, scientists have provided support for a controversial hypothesis that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to other species of great apes with which they’re currently classified.

This is controversial news? To whom?

I agree that’s phrased a bit confusingly. I took it to mean, not that humans are closest to chimps–which would be a commonplace statement–but that chimps are closer to humans than chimps are to the other great apes. Which may also not be news to some, but which runs counter to the usual branching pattern that you see, in which chimps wind up “looking” closer to gorillas and bonobos (“pigmy chimps”).

At least as to bonobos, this does seem kind of surprising, since my recollection is that bonobos and chimps are supposed to have diverged from each other after the chimp-hominid divergence.

But I haven’t read the underlying paper, so maybe they are including bonobos with chimps. Or maybe the reporter managed to misconstrue something and confuse me entirely (wouldn’t be the first time!).

Comment #75461

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 6:00 PM (e)

Whoa, am I amongst scientists or a bunch of school yard bullies?

A few questions for the scientists:

Doesn’t all of science have an underlying smidgen of speculation?

When one says ID is not science does this automatically confer a religious nature to ID?

Does one need to be religious to speculate on the validity of ID?

When one says ID is not Science, what predictions are being made?

When one states that ID is “scientifically vacuous” does that mean ID is devoid of science?

Answers to these specific questions will no doubt enhance the debate. Will the scientists oblige?

Comment #75463

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 24, 2006 6:09 PM (e)

Sorry, theonomo. By your logic, since I’m not a scientist, I must be a school yard bully.

So I’m afraid I can’t help you out.

Now, if I were a mental health counselor, maybe.

Comment #75464

Posted by gwangung on January 24, 2006 6:12 PM (e)

Whoa, am I amongst scientists or a bunch of school yard bullies?

Both.

Having a weak ego isn’t a virtue for a scientists…If you can’t defend your ideas, you’ll have a poor time of being a scientist (lots of people don’t realize that).

Comment #75467

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 6:24 PM (e)

gwangung,

Perhaps you might answers a few question and allow me to defend my “ideas?”

Anyway, I would love a link to the scientific equations that define the relative strength or weakness of an “ego.”

Comment #75475

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 24, 2006 6:51 PM (e)

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 06:00 PM (e)

Whoa, am I amongst scientists or a bunch of school yard bullies?

A few questions for the scientists:

Doesn’t all of science have an underlying smidgen of speculation?

When one says ID is not science does this automatically confer a religious nature to ID?

Does one need to be religious to speculate on the validity of ID?

When one says ID is not Science, what predictions are being made?

When one states that ID is “scientifically vacuous” does that mean ID is devoid of science?

Answers to these specific questions will no doubt enhance the debate. Will the scientists oblige?

Well as I am not a scientist I do not fit your criteria to answer you. However I can point you in a way to find out for yourself.

Do a google search to find the “Wedge” document of the Disco Institute. Read it and find out the whole DI strategy.

Go to Talk Origins (there is a link on PT main page). There you will find a list of all the ID/Creationist arguments and sciences’ response. Not just quick of-pat answers either, but links to original papers and research.

Read the reports about the Dover case and the antics of the DI/school board and TMLC both before and during the case.

Find out what the “scientific method” means. Find out what “peer review” means in science. Check out what scientists mean when they use the word “scientific theory”.

Then do a search for any positive evidence for ID.

I wont kid you here. Doing that will take a bit of work but at least you will know what you are talking about after doing it.

To get you started here is a link to the most FAQ from creationists.

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html

Here is a link to the Wedge.

http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

I expect that I have just wasted my time responding to you. I hope you prove me wrong.

Comment #75488

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 24, 2006 7:18 PM (e)

When one says ID is not science does this automatically confer a religious nature to ID?

Nope.

But THIS (from my website) sure does:

In 1999, an internal Discovery Institute document was leaked to the Internet by an internal source. The document outlined the Discovery Institute’s longterm plan to, as it states, produce a “broadly theistic understanding of nature” (Discovery institute, The Wedge Document, 1999), and its tactic of using the evolution “controversy” as a “wedge” to do this. The authenticity of the “Wedge Document”, as it quickly became known, was later admitted by the Discovery Institute.

The very first sentence of the Wedge Document makes plain the underlying religious aim of the Discovery Institute and its anti-evolution campaign: “The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western Civilization was built.” (Wedge Document) The Discovery Institute, like other fundamentalist Christians, refers to the rejection of this religious idea as “the philosophy of materialism” or “naturalism” or sometimes “darwinism” (all are phrases which have long been the fundie code words for “atheism”), and explicitly states that this materialistic atheism is the direct result of science: “This cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.” (Wedge Document) Thus, as the Discovery Institute’s basic complaint can be summed up as “science is atheistic”. Under the heading “Governing Goals”, the Discovery Institute lists, “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.” (Wedge Document, 1999)

The goal of Discovery Institute’s “intelligent design theory”, then, is to replace “materialism” with …. well … they are very careful in court and in legislation to NOT name their replacement. However, since “materialism” and “naturalism” have long been the fundie code word for “atheism”, and since nothing but a god or deity is capable of using any NON-“materialistic” or SUPER-“naturalistic” mechanism or process, it seems pretty certain that what Discovery Institute wants is to introduce theism into science and to force science to bow before its religious opinions. As the Wedge Document puts it, “Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.”

The Discovery Institute, after a long silence, has attempted to deflect concerns about the Wedge Document in a web article (“The Wedge Document; So what?”, Discovery Institute website, March 1, 2004). Their “response” is fraught with deception and evasion.

The Institute first tries to downplay the significance of the document, by dismissing it as a mere “early fundraising proposal”. Even a cursory reading of the document, however, demonstrates this claim to be nonsense. Nowhere in the entire document is there any appeal for funds, nor any mention of fundraising. What IS mentioned, however, are things such as “The Wedge Strategy”, “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary”, “Governing Goals”, “Five Year Goals”, “Twenty Year Goals”, and “The Wedge Strategy Progress Summary”. The document also lists a number of steps to be taken to advance the ID agenda — every one of which Discovery Institute subsequently carried out (or attempted to). The DI’s claim that the Wedge Document is just a “fundraising proposal” and not actually a planning document outlining the goals of the Institute and the steps it plans to take in order to reach those goals, is laughable and not worthy of any serious consideration.

Even the Discovery Institute’s denial that the Wedge Document sets out a religious agenda confirms that it has a religious agenda. “We think the materialist world-view that has dominated Western intellectual life since the 19th century is false and we want to refute it. We further want to reverse the influence of such materialistic thinking on our culture. (Discovery Institute, “The Wedge Document; So What?”, 2004)

Not only is the DI’s dismissal of the Wedge Document as a “fundraising proposal” dishonest and plainly untrue, it is also completely irrelevant. It makes no difference whether the Wedge Document is a strategy guide, a fundraising proposal, or a memo for the Institute’s janitor. What DOES matter (and what the Discovery Institute’s “response” fails utterly to acknowledge or defend) is that the Wedge Document clearly, unequivocably and unmistakably declares, in print, that the “governing goal” of the Institute is to advance their religious beliefs, that “intelligent design theory” is the primary method they have chosen through which to pursue that goal, and that they have an articulated pre–planned 20-year strategy to use ID “theory” as a method of advancing their religious goals. Despite all the DI’s arm-waving, the Wedge Document demonstrates with crystal clarity that the sole and only aim of the Institute is to use “intelligent design theory” as a means of advancing religion – exactly what the US Constitution says they CANNOT do. And when they claim that ID “theory” has no religious aims or purpose, the Wedge Document demonstrates that they are flat-out lying to us.

More recent published statements by DI associates confirm that replacing “scientific materialism” with “God” or a “theistic understanding of nature” is indeed the only aim and purpose of “intelligent design theory”. DI associate George Gilder wrote an entire piece entitled “The Materialist Superstition” which decries “the Darwinian materialist paradigm”, and advocates replacing it with “intelligent design”, which, Gilder implies (but is very careful NOT to explicitly state), is NON-materialistic. (“The Materialistic Superstition”, Discovery Institute Website, 2005). Other ID advocates, however, have at times been less circumspect. DI guru Phillip Johnson, who talks much more openly than the others about the explicit anti-atheistic goals of “intelligent design theory”, specifically contrasts “scientific materialism” with “divine intervention”; “It is the alleged absence of divine intervention throughout the history of life – the strict materialism of the orthodox theory – that explains why a great many people, only some of whom are biblical fundamentalists, think that Darwinian evolution (beyond the micro level) is basically materialistic philosophy disguised as scientific fact.” (Johnson, “The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism”, First Things, November 1997, PP 22-25) “Science also has become identified with a philosophy known as materialism or scientific naturalism. This philosophy insists that nature is all there is, or at least the only thing about which we can have any knowledge. It follows that nature had to do its own creating, and that the means of creation must not have included any role for God…. The reason the theory of evolution is so controversial is that it is the main scientific prop for scientific naturalism. Students first learn that “evolution is a fact,” and then they gradually learn more and more about what that “fact” means. It means that all living things are the product of mindless material forces such as chemical laws, natural selection, and random variation. So God is totally out of the picture, and humans (like everything else) are the accidental product of a purposeless universe.” (Johnson, “The Church of Darwin”, Wall Street Journal, August 16, 1999). “For now we need to stick to the main point: In the beginning was the Word, and the ‘fear of God’- recognition of our dependence upon God-is still the beginning of wisdom. If materialist science can prove otherwise then so be it, but everything we are learning about the evidence suggests that we don’t need to worry. (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship; A Call to Separate Materialist Philosophy from Empriical Science”, address to the 1996 “Mere Creation Conference”) Johnson explicitly calls for “a better scientific theory, one genuinely based on unbiased empirical evidence and not on materialist philosophy” (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship). Johnson doesn’t tell us what this NON-materialistic philosophy might be that he wants to base science on, but it is crushingly clear from the rest of his statements that he, like every other IDer, wants to base science on his religious beliefs.

DI associate Michael Behe also makes the connection between fighting “scientific materialism” and “theistic understanding of nature” explicitly clear. “Darwinism is the most plausible unintelligent mechanism, yet it has tremendous difficulties and the evidence garnered so far points to its inability to do what its advocates claim for it. If unintelligent mechanisms can’t do the job, then that shifts the focus to intelligent agency. That’s as far as the argument against Darwinism takes us, but most people already have other reasons for believing in a personal God who just might act in history, and they will find the argument for intelligent design fits with what they already hold. With the argument arranged this way, evidence against Darwinism does count as evidence for an active God, just as valid negative advertising against the Democratic candidate will help the Republican, even though Vegetarian and One-World candidates are on the ballot, too. Life is either the result of exclusively unintelligent causes or it is not, and the evidence against the unintelligent production of life is clearly evidence for intelligent design.” (Behe, “The God of Science”, Weekly Standard, June 7, 1999, p. 35) “Naturalism is a philosophy which says that material things are all that there is. But philosophy is not science, and therefore excluding ideas which point to a creator, which point to God, is not allowed simply because in public schools in the United States one is not allowed to discriminate either for or against ideas which have religious implications.” (Behe, Speech at Calvary Chapel, March 6, 2002)

Another DI associate, William Dembski, makes the connection between ID and Christian apologetics even more explicit: “Not only does intelligent design rid us of this ideology, which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I’ve found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ. Indeed, once materialism is no longer an option, Christianity again becomes an option. True, there are then also other options. But Christianity is more than able to hold its own once it is seen as a live option. The problem with materialism is that it rules out Christianity so completely that it is not even a live option. Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.” (Dembski, “Intelligent Design’s Contribution to the Debate Over Evolution”, Designinference.com website, February 2005). Indeed, Dembski titled one of his books “Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology” (Dembski, 1999). In that book, Dembski makes the religious basis of ID “theory” explicit: “The conceptual soundings of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ.” (Dembski, 1999, p. 210). Other statements by Dembski make it clear that his designer cannot be anything other than God: “The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.” (Dembski, “The Act of Creation”, ARN website, Aug 1998) “From our vantage, materialism is not a neutral, value-free, minimalist position from which to pursue inquiry. Rather, it is itself an ideology with an agenda. What’s more, it requires an evolutionary creation story to keep it afloat. On scientific grounds, we regard that creation story to be false. What’s more, we regard the ideological agenda that has flowed from it to be destructive to rational discourse. Our concerns are therefore entirely parallel to the evolutionists’. Indeed, all the evolutionists’ worst fears about what the world would be like if we succeed have, in our view, already been realized through the success of materialism and evolution. Hence, as a strategy for unseating materialism and evolution, the term “Wedge” has come to denote an intellectual and cultural movement that many find congenial.” (Dembski, “Dealing with the backlash against intelligent design”, 2004) “ “But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God’s glory is getting robbed…And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he’s done - and he’s not getting it.” (Dembski, address given at Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004) “Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (Dembski, Why President Bush Got It Right about Intelligent Design, 2005)

In these public statements by DI associates and its own internal documents, we see the legal and political strategy of “intelligent design theory” in a nutshell — ID wants to eliminate “materialism” and “atheism” in favor of “theistic understanding”, but since it’s illegal in the US to advance religion in public schools, ID advocates have no choice but to downplay and evade mentioning their clearly stated goal of doing exactly what the law says they cannot do — using the public schools to advance their religious beliefs. As the Wedge Document puts it, “We are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a “wedge” that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the “thin edge of the wedge,” was Phillip Johnson’s critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe’s highly successful Darwin’s Black Box followed Johnson’s work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” (Wedge Document, 1999)

Some idea of the Dicovery Institute’s real aims can be revealed by looking at its funding sources. Nearly all of the Discovery Institute’s money comes in the form of grants from wealthy “conservative” fundamentalist Christians. In 2003, the Discovery Institute received some $4.1 million in donations and grants. Twenty-two different foundations give money to the DI; two-thirds of these are religious institutions with explicitly Christian aims and goals. In its first year of operations, DI got around $450,000 from the Maclellan Foundation, a fundie lobbying group in Tennessee. The executive director of the Maclellan Foundation was explicit about the purpose of its donation; “We give for religious purposes. This is not about science, and Darwin wasn’t about science. Darwin was about a metaphysical view of the world.” (NY Times, Aug 21, 2005) DI has also received donations from the Henry P. and Susan C. Crowell Trust of Colorado Springs. The trust’s website states, “OUR MISSION: The teaching and active extension of the doctrines of Evangelical Christianity through approved grants to qualified organizations.” Another DI donor is the AMDG Foundation in Virginia, run by Mark Ryland, a former Microsoft exec and Discovery vice president. According to the New York Times, “the initials stand for Ad Majorem Dei Glorium, Latin for ‘To the greater glory of God,’ which Pope John Paul II etched in the corner of all his papers.” (NY Times, Aug 21, 2005) The Stewardship Foundation gave the group more than $1 million between 1999 and 2003. According to their website, “The Stewardship Foundation provides resources to Christ-centered organizations whose mission is to share their faith in Jesus Christ with people throughout the world.”

The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute’s anti-evolution fight, though, is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory”. By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other politically active group – only a museum trust in his wife’s hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. Ahmsnosn has, by himself, provided about one-third of the toal donations to the Discovery Institute during its existence, and funds about one-fourth of the Institute’s annual operating expenses. He sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist – a fringe group of fundies who argue that the US Constitution should be abandoned and the US should be “reconstructed” under “Biblical law”.

It is important to understand that intelligent design “theory” is, if you will pardon the pun, intelligently designed specifically and solely to attempt to evade and get around all of the Federal court cases which make it illegal to use the schools to advance religion. Why does the Discovery Institute backpedal and avoid talking about the “governing goals” listed in the Wedge Document? Because they know that their stated goal — using “intelligent design theory” to advance religion – is illegal, so they MUST pretend they don’t have any religious aims or goals. Why does the Institute fall all over itself to disassociate itself from creation ‘science’? Because creation ‘science’ has already been ruled illegal in the 1987 Supreme Court case. Why does the Institute bend over backwards to avoid answering questions about what their designer is, what it does, how old their “theory” concludes the universe to be, or whether humans are evolved from apes? Because each of those points were included as defining characteristics of creationism in the Arkansas and Louisiana cases, and DI has no choice but to avoid mentioning them (it’s also a political ploy on behalf of DI’s attempt to hold together young-earthers and old-earthers in its creationist “big tent”). Why does Discovery Institute currently declare that it does NOT favor teaching intelligent design “theory” as an “alternative scientific theory”? Because when it DID try to have ID taught as an “alternative theory” in Ohio, they lost crushingly and embarrassingly. Why has the Institute been advising the Dover School Board to end the lawsuit over intelligent design “theory”? Because DI knows as well as anyone else that they HAVE no “scientific theory”, and that a court case that established this would be the end of the entire ID movement.

However, as I have long noted, fundamentalists are their own worst enemies, and their own incessant compulsion to attack “materialism”, “atheism”, “darwinism” and “naturalism”, gives the lie to their claims to be non-religious. Intelligent designer “theory” is, as the Discovery Institute admitted from the beginnning in its own internal documents, a legal and political strategy to “wedge” their religious opinions into public schools. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. It has the sole and only aim of advancing religion by attacking science’s presumed “atheism” and “materialism”. ID “theory” is nothing but an illegal advancement of religious beliefs, and IDers are flat-out lying to us when they claim otherwise.

Comment #75520

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 10:17 PM (e)

When one says ID is not Science, what predictions are being made?

I still await the predictions. So if ID is the argument for God then science is logically the argument for no God? What we “know” is of No God (science) and what is “unknown” is God (religion). It could then be said that science is the theory of the “known” and ID is the theory of the “unknown.” This presents quite the predicament for a scientist for he adds to the “known” (science) the previously “unknown” (religion) but still calls it science. Evidence of ID will continuously penetrate science because it is required that the “unknown” (God) become “known” (science). Who really cares what you call as long as we all understand its meaning. Called it Unified Science, an oxymoron, no doubt! LOL!

Comment #75521

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 10:29 PM (e)

Steviepenhead,

Although you addressed “theonomo,” I’m not sure by what logic one was precluded from being outside the two character profiles I presented. You could have certainly declared yourself a Darwinian evangelist and nothing in my QUESTION stopped you from doing so. I happened to be concerned with ONLY whether I am amongst scientists or school yard bullies at this time. So, am I?

Comment #75525

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 24, 2006 10:47 PM (e)

You figure it out. It’s the “unknown” and you’re the wingnut.

Comment #75528

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 24, 2006 10:52 PM (e)

So if ID is the argument for God then science is logically the argument for no God?

Um, no.

But thanks for demonstrating to all the lurkers that ID is indeed nothing but a religious crusade, and that Iders are simply lying to us when they claim (and testify in court) that it’s not.

What we “know” is of No God (science) and what is “unknown” is God (religion). It could then be said that science is the theory of the “known” and ID is the theory of the “unknown.” This presents quite the predicament for a scientist for he adds to the “known” (science) the previously “unknown” (religion) but still calls it science. Evidence of ID will continuously penetrate science because it is required that the “unknown” (God) become “known” (science). Who really cares what you call as long as we all understand its meaning. Called it Unified Science, an oxymoron, no doubt! LOL!

Huh? What the hell are you gibbering about?

Comment #75531

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 24, 2006 11:07 PM (e)

Jesus, PT is frigging infested with these creationist dimwits today! Ruins the enjoyment of being here. Are these all people DaveScot booted out of UD, and they’re all looking for a new home? This is why I’ve been spending more time at After the Bar Closes, fewer idiots there. So far.

I think the troll infestation post-Dover is worse. But dang, in the first week after Dover, it was great, all the IDiots were all shocked into slience and there were no trolls here at all.

Hey, Steviepinhead, did you ever track down the Enrico article?

Comment #75533

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 24, 2006 11:14 PM (e)

Hey Luskin, here’s another set of nutters that you need to go set straight:

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Representative Lott, Carlton, Moore, Staples, Wells-Smith
House Bill 953

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-301, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT SCHOOL BOARDS MAY AUTHORIZE THE TEACHING OF CREATIONISM OR INTELLIGENT DESIGN; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

(ww) To authorize the teaching of “creationism” or “intelligent design” in the public schools. If the school’s curriculum requires the teaching of evolution, then the teaching of “creationism” or “intelligent design” shall be required.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.

Maybe Luskin can go read the entire Aguillard decision to them, and explain what all the big words mean. (snicker) (giggle)

I *love* the fundies. Just let them talk long enough, and they shoot themselves in the head every single time.

:)

Comment #75534

Posted by orrg1 on January 24, 2006 11:15 PM (e)

How about a couple of simple examples on why the scientific method, and specifically steps 3-5 as described by Lenny are so much more important than thordaddy’s “General non-scientific theory” will ever be. How about London back in 1854, where many died from a cholera outbreak. How many fervent prayers were uttered by those stricken and their families? How sincere and pained were these prayers? What good did they do? Through a careful mapping of the locations of cholera deaths, and his belief in the germ theory of disease, the physician Dr. John Snow asked for the handle of a water pump in the area to be removed. New cases of cholera plummeted, and many lives were saved. Does science have to be complicated? At heart, a lot of it is just common sense and careful observation. Another famous, earlier example, is Edward Jenner’s discovery of the principle of vaccination. How many prayers were futilely spoken in behalf of those suffering the horrible disease of smallpox? Were not these prayers deadly serious? Now in this case how many untold lives have been saved, how much suffering has been spared, through careful observation, an intelligent interpretation of the data, and application of steps 3-5? I am no expert in biology, but as anyone remotely acquainted with discoveries discussed, for instance, on this website are aware, the explosion of knowledge in this area over the past several decades has been breathtaking. All through application of the scientific method, and building on what has been learned before.

What can be learned about ANYTHING in the universe through “General non-scientific theory?” What has been learned? To what certainty in comparison to what has been learned applying careful observation, common sense, and experiment? Why are these nincompoops so determined to bang their heads again and again against the wall, and why do they think they have the right to do the same with our kids?

Comment #75538

Posted by JM Ridlon on January 24, 2006 11:28 PM (e)

I am a PhD student in microbiology and have a working knowledge of molecular genetics, biochemistry, and genomics/bioinformatics. I have been debating Casey Luskin, as well as other ID supporters. These individuals wrongly infer the mystical workings of the “designer” based on our experience of human design and creation. For instance..

Luskin said: Here is how intelligent design theory works:
i.Observation: The ways that intelligent agents act can be observed in the natural world and described.

I reply: Yes, this theory is perfect for determining who makes mouse traps, watches and nachos but it fails to predict the MECHANISM of how “irreducible complexity” arises [in biological structures].

The reason for this failure is because we can determine the MECHANISMS by which mouse traps are produced. We have no MECHANISM for how a “designer” supposedly created a flagellum. Modern science has provided the biochemical and genetic MECHANISMS to produce the variation that Darwin observed. ID theory argues from ignorance and unwarranted inference.

Later in the conversation, Luskin illustrates how we can all detect specified complexity.

Luskin said: “Now lets say you are walking in a field and find a TV set. You don’t necessarily know anything about who or what designed that TV set, but you can tell it is designed because, at some fundamental level, it exhibits specified complexity.”

I reply: No, I know it was designed, and by whom because it says SONY on it. We have prior knowledge of humans designing TV’s, but no prior knowledge of anyone or any being designing a flagellum.

The IDists are going about this whole thing totally wrong. All they have to do is provide a mechanism by which irreducible complexity arises…it will be very difficult to observe supernatural creation unfortunately. With an upturned nose they tell me to provide plausible pathways to show how a flagellum evolved gradually(which cannot be shown). This is MY challenge to the DI: Provide the mechanism(s)used by a designing intelligence, which by definition of irreducible complexity is not subject to irreducible complexity, to produce any irreducibly complex biological structure, such as a flagellum. Behe has claimed the designer would not necessarily be subject to irreducible complexity. This is absurd. An organic being with the intelligence to produce the first cells would have to be multicellular and thus contain what Behe defines as IC. Assuming Behe is right and the designer could be an organic being,the question is where did the designer’s cells come from….infinite regression. In the end, design must invoke creation. I’ll use Behe’s example of the mousetrap. Because a mousetrap exists outside the mind of the human designer, it had to be created by that human designer. Likewise, if ID claims a “designer” generated IC, ID must invoke supernatural creation.

Despite my simple request of a single observable mechanism for the generation of IC, which would take but a few seconds, Casey told me several weeks ago he is too busy to reply but he will try to respond. I am waiting.

Comment #75542

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 24, 2006 11:38 PM (e)

Behe has claimed the designer would not necessarily be subject to irreducible complexity.

I.e., the designer evolved, and therefore God is absolutely completely totally unnecessary.

I pointed this out to him about four years ago.

He, uh, never wrote me back.

Comment #75543

Posted by JM Ridlon on January 24, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

Poking holes in ID is so easy. They come at you with vigor until you point out some obvious and damning flaw in their hypothesis…..and they leave the phone off the hook.

Comment #75546

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 12:34 AM (e)

Lenny,

If ID isn’t science then on what basis do you ascribe “religious crusade” to it? How do you “know” (ID is a religious crusade) what you clearly claim isn’t scientifically knowable (an argument for God). Is there something outside science that helps illuminate this crusade for you?

orrg1,

Some may argue that science has done nothing good, but that argument isn’t going to suffice here. Of course naturalistic science has produced results. That’s not the problem. The problem is that it can not answer the final question (original cause)and remain science as we currently define it.

You ask,

>>What can be learned about ANYTHING in the universe through “General non-scientific theory?

–We don’t need to learn about ANYTHING using the GNT when scientific theory is just fine. It is the EVERYTHING minus ANYTHING that the GNT seeks to theorize about. Science claims it CANNOT do it because it is unknown. Science has no use for the unknown, but that doesn’t mean the unknown is useless. In fact, science makes much use of the unknown and tries to pass it off as something (givens). The hypocrisy is part of scientific evolution. Some unknowns are more equal than others. Science can only fan the flames and will never put out the fire of the intelligent design argument.

Comment #75551

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 1:03 AM (e)

JM Ridlon,

What are these “mechanisms?”

Comment #75575

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 6:18 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

So if ID is the argument for God then science is logically the argument for no God? What we “know” is of No God (science) and what is “unknown” is God (religion). It could then be said that science is the theory of the “known” and ID is the theory of the “unknown.” This presents quite the predicament for a scientist for he adds to the “known” (science) the previously “unknown” (religion) but still calls it science. Evidence of ID will continuously penetrate science because it is required that the “unknown” (God) become “known” (science). Who really cares what you call as long as we all understand its meaning. Called it Unified Science, an oxymoron, no doubt! LOL!

Classic example of the logical error (false dilemma) made by all the ID advocates, and shared by thordaddy.

There are more than two options available, not just science and religion. The third option is - we don’t know.

How did life get started? We don’t know. Could it have been a divine creator? Possibly. Could it have been through entirely natural means? Possibly. Can we tell either way? No. At least not yet.

ID is just a god of the gaps argument - there are gaps in science so we’ll stick a ‘supernatural designer’ in there.

Some quotes for you from Judge Jones:

“ID is at bottom premised upon a false dichotomy, namely, that to the extent evolutionary theory is discredited, ID is confirmed.”…”ID proponents primarily argue for design through negative arguments against evolution,”…”However, we believe that arguments against evolution are not arguments for design. Expert testimony revealed that just because scientists cannot explain today how biological systems evolved does not mean that they cannot, and will not, be able to explain them tomorrow.”

Comment #75576

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 6:24 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

Science has no use for the unknown

Very strange idea. Science exists to try to understand and explain the unknown.

Comment #75577

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 6:36 AM (e)

Posted by thordaddy on January 24, 2006 10:17 PM (e)

When one says ….…..

So I was right. It was a complete waste of time replying to you.

Comment #75578

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 7:09 AM (e)

Odd Digit opines,

>>Classic example of the logical error (false dilemma) made by all the ID advocates, and shared by thordaddy.

There are more than two options available, not just science and religion. The third option is - we don’t know.

How did life get started? We don’t know. Could it have been a divine creator? Possibly. Could it have been through entirely natural means? Possibly. Can we tell either way? No. At least not yet.

ID is just a god of the gaps argument - there are gaps in science so we’ll stick a ‘supernatural designer’ in there.

–How does the scientist define divine creator/God scientifically? He can’t and he says he can’t, but still engages in conversation that gives this intelligent designer existence and refuses to give it scientific credibility. You talk as if there is no empirical evidence of an intelligent designer as you simultaneously concede he may have created the universe. How could such a concession come from a complete lack of empirical evidence?

Then you say,

>>Very strange idea. Science exists to try to understand and explain the unknown.

–Science only explains what is already known by adding meaning. The question is this:

If ID is NOT Science, then what is it?

If you say it’s religion, then define religion.

If you say it’s “creationism” in disguise, define these disguises!

If you say its an argument for the existence of God, then state on what basis a scientist can argue against something he claims is scientifically “unknown.”

If you argue for the possibility of knowing the One Cause and concede that an IDer may be the One Cause, then by what argument can one state that ID isn’t science or evolved science won’t observe an IDer?

Comment #75581

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 7:19 AM (e)

Stephen,

Perhaps if you asked some questions or answered the ones I posed then I would have felt compelled to reply.

I don’t care what others say. I want to hear Stephen Elliot’s answers. Here’s a question.

If ID is not science then on what basis can the scientist argue against something he claims is scientifically “unknown?”

Let’s see if you really want to play?

Comment #75583

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 7:51 AM (e)

ID not science?
Read what the DI states its mission is.

http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html…

ID is clearly a political movement to advance religion. They say so themselves. How can that ever be scientific?

on what basis can the scientist argue against something he claims is scientifically “unknown?”

On a personal basis only. Some atheists here claim God does not exist. But that is a personal argument not a scientific one. But on the other hand I argue that God exists, that is also a personal argument.

I take it that you have only come here to play word games.

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 07:19 AM (e)

Stephen,

Perhaps if you asked some questions or answered the ones I posed then I would have felt compelled to reply.

I did not directly answer you. However I gave plenty of links and suggestions where you could find things out for yourself that did answer you. All you had to do was click on 2 links and do a few google searches.
There you could find plenty of arguments/discoveries made by people far better and able than myself.

Back to ID.
It is not science because it does no science. You might be able to state that it makes scientific arguments but that is all it does. What is more it makes those arguments for political/religious reasons (they say so themselves) so it is not a scientific endeavor.

I am willing to argue with you further. But only if you read the wedge document If you wish to claim ID as science read their own document and defend your position in light of that evidence.

After you have done that I will be asking what positive evidence there is for ID. You have now been forewarned so you can easily ensure you are forearmed. Right?

Comment #75593

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

You talk as if there is no empirical evidence of an intelligent designer…

There is no empirical evidence of an intelligent designer. Unless you claim to have some? If so, I’d love to know what it is…

thordaddy wrote:

…you simultaneously concede he may have created the universe. How could such a concession come from a complete lack of empirical evidence?

I said I don’t know either way. There is no empirical evidence that an intelligent designer created the universe. There is also no empirical evidence that shows shows the universe was created by natural forces without an intelligent designer. So either hypothesis is just as valid as the other at the moment.

The only logical concession that can come from a complete lack of empirical evidence is “we don’t know”.

Comment #75597

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 8:21 AM (e)

If ID isn’t science then on what basis do you ascribe “religious crusade” to it? How do you “know” (ID is a religious crusade) what you clearly claim isn’t scientifically knowable (an argument for God). Is there something outside science that helps illuminate this crusade for you?

Yes, there is — the statements of the IDers themselves, when they declare, out loud, in public, that ID is a religious crusade.

I’ll repeat myself for you:

In 1999, an internal Discovery Institute document was leaked to the Internet by an internal source. The document outlined the Discovery Institute’s longterm plan to, as it states, produce a “broadly theistic understanding of nature” (Discovery institute, The Wedge Document, 1999), and its tactic of using the evolution “controversy” as a “wedge” to do this. The authenticity of the “Wedge Document”, as it quickly became known, was later admitted by the Discovery Institute.

The very first sentence of the Wedge Document makes plain the underlying religious aim of the Discovery Institute and its anti-evolution campaign: “The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western Civilization was built.” (Wedge Document) The Discovery Institute, like other fundamentalist Christians, refers to the rejection of this religious idea as “the philosophy of materialism” or “naturalism” or sometimes “darwinism” (all are phrases which have long been the fundie code words for “atheism”), and explicitly states that this materialistic atheism is the direct result of science: “This cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.” (Wedge Document) Thus, as the Discovery Institute’s basic complaint can be summed up as “science is atheistic”. Under the heading “Governing Goals”, the Discovery Institute lists, “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.” (Wedge Document, 1999)

The goal of Discovery Institute’s “intelligent design theory”, then, is to replace “materialism” with …. well … they are very careful in court and in legislation to NOT name their replacement. However, since “materialism” and “naturalism” have long been the fundie code word for “atheism”, and since nothing but a god or deity is capable of using any NON-“materialistic” or SUPER-“naturalistic” mechanism or process, it seems pretty certain that what Discovery Institute wants is to introduce theism into science and to force science to bow before its religious opinions. As the Wedge Document puts it, “Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.”

The Discovery Institute, after a long silence, has attempted to deflect concerns about the Wedge Document in a web article (“The Wedge Document; So what?”, Discovery Institute website, March 1, 2004). Their “response” is fraught with deception and evasion.

The Institute first tries to downplay the significance of the document, by dismissing it as a mere “early fundraising proposal”. Even a cursory reading of the document, however, demonstrates this claim to be nonsense. Nowhere in the entire document is there any appeal for funds, nor any mention of fundraising. What IS mentioned, however, are things such as “The Wedge Strategy”, “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary”, “Governing Goals”, “Five Year Goals”, “Twenty Year Goals”, and “The Wedge Strategy Progress Summary”. The document also lists a number of steps to be taken to advance the ID agenda — every one of which Discovery Institute subsequently carried out (or attempted to). The DI’s claim that the Wedge Document is just a “fundraising proposal” and not actually a planning document outlining the goals of the Institute and the steps it plans to take in order to reach those goals, is laughable and not worthy of any serious consideration.

Even the Discovery Institute’s denial that the Wedge Document sets out a religious agenda confirms that it has a religious agenda. “We think the materialist world-view that has dominated Western intellectual life since the 19th century is false and we want to refute it. We further want to reverse the influence of such materialistic thinking on our culture. (Discovery Institute, “The Wedge Document; So What?”, 2004)

Not only is the DI’s dismissal of the Wedge Document as a “fundraising proposal” dishonest and plainly untrue, it is also completely irrelevant. It makes no difference whether the Wedge Document is a strategy guide, a fundraising proposal, or a memo for the Institute’s janitor. What DOES matter (and what the Discovery Institute’s “response” fails utterly to acknowledge or defend) is that the Wedge Document clearly, unequivocably and unmistakably declares, in print, that the “governing goal” of the Institute is to advance their religious beliefs, that “intelligent design theory” is the primary method they have chosen through which to pursue that goal, and that they have an articulated pre–planned 20-year strategy to use ID “theory” as a method of advancing their religious goals. Despite all the DI’s arm-waving, the Wedge Document demonstrates with crystal clarity that the sole and only aim of the Institute is to use “intelligent design theory” as a means of advancing religion – exactly what the US Constitution says they CANNOT do. And when they claim that ID “theory” has no religious aims or purpose, the Wedge Document demonstrates that they are flat-out lying to us.

More recent published statements by DI associates confirm that replacing “scientific materialism” with “God” or a “theistic understanding of nature” is indeed the only aim and purpose of “intelligent design theory”. DI associate George Gilder wrote an entire piece entitled “The Materialist Superstition” which decries “the Darwinian materialist paradigm”, and advocates replacing it with “intelligent design”, which, Gilder implies (but is very careful NOT to explicitly state), is NON-materialistic. (“The Materialistic Superstition”, Discovery Institute Website, 2005). Other ID advocates, however, have at times been less circumspect. DI guru Phillip Johnson, who talks much more openly than the others about the explicit anti-atheistic goals of “intelligent design theory”, specifically contrasts “scientific materialism” with “divine intervention”; “It is the alleged absence of divine intervention throughout the history of life – the strict materialism of the orthodox theory – that explains why a great many people, only some of whom are biblical fundamentalists, think that Darwinian evolution (beyond the micro level) is basically materialistic philosophy disguised as scientific fact.” (Johnson, “The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism”, First Things, November 1997, PP 22-25) “Science also has become identified with a philosophy known as materialism or scientific naturalism. This philosophy insists that nature is all there is, or at least the only thing about which we can have any knowledge. It follows that nature had to do its own creating, and that the means of creation must not have included any role for God…. The reason the theory of evolution is so controversial is that it is the main scientific prop for scientific naturalism. Students first learn that “evolution is a fact,” and then they gradually learn more and more about what that “fact” means. It means that all living things are the product of mindless material forces such as chemical laws, natural selection, and random variation. So God is totally out of the picture, and humans (like everything else) are the accidental product of a purposeless universe.” (Johnson, “The Church of Darwin”, Wall Street Journal, August 16, 1999). “For now we need to stick to the main point: In the beginning was the Word, and the ‘fear of God’- recognition of our dependence upon God-is still the beginning of wisdom. If materialist science can prove otherwise then so be it, but everything we are learning about the evidence suggests that we don’t need to worry. (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship; A Call to Separate Materialist Philosophy from Empriical Science”, address to the 1996 “Mere Creation Conference”) Johnson explicitly calls for “a better scientific theory, one genuinely based on unbiased empirical evidence and not on materialist philosophy” (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship). Johnson doesn’t tell us what this NON-materialistic philosophy might be that he wants to base science on, but it is crushingly clear from the rest of his statements that he, like every other IDer, wants to base science on his religious beliefs.

DI associate Michael Behe also makes the connection between fighting “scientific materialism” and “theistic understanding of nature” explicitly clear. “Darwinism is the most plausible unintelligent mechanism, yet it has tremendous difficulties and the evidence garnered so far points to its inability to do what its advocates claim for it. If unintelligent mechanisms can’t do the job, then that shifts the focus to intelligent agency. That’s as far as the argument against Darwinism takes us, but most people already have other reasons for believing in a personal God who just might act in history, and they will find the argument for intelligent design fits with what they already hold. With the argument arranged this way, evidence against Darwinism does count as evidence for an active God, just as valid negative advertising against the Democratic candidate will help the Republican, even though Vegetarian and One-World candidates are on the ballot, too. Life is either the result of exclusively unintelligent causes or it is not, and the evidence against the unintelligent production of life is clearly evidence for intelligent design.” (Behe, “The God of Science”, Weekly Standard, June 7, 1999, p. 35) “Naturalism is a philosophy which says that material things are all that there is. But philosophy is not science, and therefore excluding ideas which point to a creator, which point to God, is not allowed simply because in public schools in the United States one is not allowed to discriminate either for or against ideas which have religious implications.” (Behe, Speech at Calvary Chapel, March 6, 2002)

Another DI associate, William Dembski, makes the connection between ID and Christian apologetics even more explicit: “Not only does intelligent design rid us of this ideology, which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I’ve found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ. Indeed, once materialism is no longer an option, Christianity again becomes an option. True, there are then also other options. But Christianity is more than able to hold its own once it is seen as a live option. The problem with materialism is that it rules out Christianity so completely that it is not even a live option. Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.” (Dembski, “Intelligent Design’s Contribution to the Debate Over Evolution”, Designinference.com website, February 2005). Indeed, Dembski titled one of his books “Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology” (Dembski, 1999). In that book, Dembski makes the religious basis of ID “theory” explicit: “The conceptual soundings of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ.” (Dembski, 1999, p. 210). Other statements by Dembski make it clear that his designer cannot be anything other than God: “The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.” (Dembski, “The Act of Creation”, ARN website, Aug 1998) “From our vantage, materialism is not a neutral, value-free, minimalist position from which to pursue inquiry. Rather, it is itself an ideology with an agenda. What’s more, it requires an evolutionary creation story to keep it afloat. On scientific grounds, we regard that creation story to be false. What’s more, we regard the ideological agenda that has flowed from it to be destructive to rational discourse. Our concerns are therefore entirely parallel to the evolutionists’. Indeed, all the evolutionists’ worst fears about what the world would be like if we succeed have, in our view, already been realized through the success of materialism and evolution. Hence, as a strategy for unseating materialism and evolution, the term “Wedge” has come to denote an intellectual and cultural movement that many find congenial.” (Dembski, “Dealing with the backlash against intelligent design”, 2004) “ “But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God’s glory is getting robbed…And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he’s done - and he’s not getting it.” (Dembski, address given at Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004) “Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (Dembski, Why President Bush Got It Right about Intelligent Design, 2005)

In these public statements by DI associates and its own internal documents, we see the legal and political strategy of “intelligent design theory” in a nutshell — ID wants to eliminate “materialism” and “atheism” in favor of “theistic understanding”, but since it’s illegal in the US to advance religion in public schools, ID advocates have no choice but to downplay and evade mentioning their clearly stated goal of doing exactly what the law says they cannot do — using the public schools to advance their religious beliefs. As the Wedge Document puts it, “We are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a “wedge” that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the “thin edge of the wedge,” was Phillip Johnson’s critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe’s highly successful Darwin’s Black Box followed Johnson’s work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” (Wedge Document, 1999)

Some idea of the Dicovery Institute’s real aims can be revealed by looking at its funding sources. Nearly all of the Discovery Institute’s money comes in the form of grants from wealthy “conservative” fundamentalist Christians. In 2003, the Discovery Institute received some $4.1 million in donations and grants. Twenty-two different foundations give money to the DI; two-thirds of these are religious institutions with explicitly Christian aims and goals. In its first year of operations, DI got around $450,000 from the Maclellan Foundation, a fundie lobbying group in Tennessee. The executive director of the Maclellan Foundation was explicit about the purpose of its donation; “We give for religious purposes. This is not about science, and Darwin wasn’t about science. Darwin was about a metaphysical view of the world.” (NY Times, Aug 21, 2005) DI has also received donations from the Henry P. and Susan C. Crowell Trust of Colorado Springs. The trust’s website states, “OUR MISSION: The teaching and active extension of the doctrines of Evangelical Christianity through approved grants to qualified organizations.” Another DI donor is the AMDG Foundation in Virginia, run by Mark Ryland, a former Microsoft exec and Discovery vice president. According to the New York Times, “the initials stand for Ad Majorem Dei Glorium, Latin for ‘To the greater glory of God,’ which Pope John Paul II etched in the corner of all his papers.” (NY Times, Aug 21, 2005) The Stewardship Foundation gave the group more than $1 million between 1999 and 2003. According to their website, “The Stewardship Foundation provides resources to Christ-centered organizations whose mission is to share their faith in Jesus Christ with people throughout the world.”

The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute’s anti-evolution fight, though, is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory”. By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other politically active group – only a museum trust in his wife’s hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. Ahmsnosn has, by himself, provided about one-third of the toal donations to the Discovery Institute during its existence, and funds about one-fourth of the Institute’s annual operating expenses. He sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist – a fringe group of fundies who argue that the US Constitution should be abandoned and the US should be “reconstructed” under “Biblical law”.

It is important to understand that intelligent design “theory” is, if you will pardon the pun, intelligently designed specifically and solely to attempt to evade and get around all of the Federal court cases which make it illegal to use the schools to advance religion. Why does the Discovery Institute backpedal and avoid talking about the “governing goals” listed in the Wedge Document? Because they know that their stated goal — using “intelligent design theory” to advance religion – is illegal, so they MUST pretend they don’t have any religious aims or goals. Why does the Institute fall all over itself to disassociate itself from creation ‘science’? Because creation ‘science’ has already been ruled illegal in the 1987 Supreme Court case. Why does the Institute bend over backwards to avoid answering questions about what their designer is, what it does, how old their “theory” concludes the universe to be, or whether humans are evolved from apes? Because each of those points were included as defining characteristics of creationism in the Arkansas and Louisiana cases, and DI has no choice but to avoid mentioning them (it’s also a political ploy on behalf of DI’s attempt to hold together young-earthers and old-earthers in its creationist “big tent”). Why does Discovery Institute currently declare that it does NOT favor teaching intelligent design “theory” as an “alternative scientific theory”? Because when it DID try to have ID taught as an “alternative theory” in Ohio, they lost crushingly and embarrassingly. Why has the Institute been advising the Dover School Board to end the lawsuit over intelligent design “theory”? Because DI knows as well as anyone else that they HAVE no “scientific theory”, and that a court case that established this would be the end of the entire ID movement.

However, as I have long noted, fundamentalists are their own worst enemies, and their own incessant compulsion to attack “materialism”, “atheism”. “darwinism” and “naturalism”, gives the lie to their claims to be non-religious. Intelligent designer “theory” is, as the Discovery Institute admitted from the beginnning in its own internal documents, a legal and political strategy to “wedge” their religious opinions into public schools. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. It has the sole and only aim of advancing religion by attacking science’s presumed “atheism” and “materialism”. ID “theory” is nothing but an illegal advancement of religious beliefs, and IDers are flat-out lying to us when they claim otherwise.

Comment #75599

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 8:30 AM (e)

Stephen says,

>>ID is clearly a political movement to advance religion. They say so themselves. How can that ever be scientific?

–It’s clearly a political movement for those you are quoting, but such a generalization does not apply to me. A scientist who generalizes isn’t saying much.

Then you say,

>>On a personal basis only. Some atheists here claim God does not exist. But that is a personal argument not a scientific one. But on the other hand I argue that God exists, that is also a personal argument.

I take it that you have only come here to play word games.

–Words are important tools for conveying and debating science. To say I play word games is only significant if I am distorting the meaning of words. If I am distorting meaning then call me on it.

Lastly, you opine,

>>It is not science because it does no science. You might be able to state that it makes scientific arguments but that is all it does. What is more it makes those arguments for political/religious reasons (they say so themselves) so it is not a scientific endeavor.

I am willing to argue with you further. But only if you read the wedge document If you wish to claim ID as science read their own document and defend your position in light of that evidence.

After you have done that I will be asking what positive evidence there is for ID. You have now been forewarned so you can easily ensure you are forearmed. Right?

–I don’t need to read the Wedge Document if I’m arguing for ID under entirely different motives that are removed from religion or specific reference to God.

How can ID make “scientific arguments,” but have “no science?” If Falsibility is no longer a relevant demarcation then what demarcation will fail next?

You want positive evidence of ID? Your awareness of it would be good evidence to start with. You personally concede the possibility of an IDer yet you claim NO empirical evidence to justify such concession. On what basis have you made this concession, Mr. Scientist?

Comment #75600

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 8:38 AM (e)

Lenny,

You are only talking about some proponents of ID, but you’re not talking about me. You need to address those arguments that don’t rely on religion or God instead of using a straw man to knock down ID.

A scientist who generalizes isn’t saying much.

How can a scientist concede the possibility of an IDer while claiming no empirical evidence to justify that concession? On what basis can the scientist justify such a concession? Science does not allow this concession. What does, Lenny?

Comment #75603

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 8:48 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

You want positive evidence of ID? Your awareness of it would be good evidence to start with.

So where is it? Please please please show us where this positive evidence is.

Comment #75604

Posted by ben on January 25, 2006 8:57 AM (e)

You want positive evidence of ID? Your awareness of it would be good evidence to start with

Hmmm. Apparently any nonscientific claim, however lacking in objective evidence or sound reasoning, is supported by the mere fact that one knows that the claim exists. So according to thor, all one has to do to support a claim is to publicize it; once people know about the existence of the assertion, it becomes true.

Moronic.

Comment #75605

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 8:58 AM (e)

Odd Digit opines,

>>There is no empirical evidence of an intelligent designer. Unless you claim to have some? If so, I’d love to know what it is…

–Then it must be scientifically concluded that an IDer does not exist? But, science does NOT allow you to make such a claim. “Why not,” you ask, “if I have no empirical evidence then is must allow it!” Because there is empirical evidence in the awareness you have for the possibility of an IDer. Without this awareness you can not engage in this conversation. With this conversation you convey the possibility of an IDer. How did you become aware of something non-existent?

Then you say,

>> I said I don’t know either way. There is no empirical evidence that an intelligent designer created the universe. There is also no empirical evidence that shows shows the universe was created by natural forces without an intelligent designer. So either hypothesis is just as valid as the other at the moment.

The only logical concession that can come from a complete lack of empirical evidence is “we don’t know”.

–You don’t know because Science is either faulty or incomplete and you won’t make the concession. It cannot be anything else unless it has gleaned the One Cause. It hasn’t done it. If it is faulty, as in the irrelevancy of falsifying a hypothesis, then it begs the question? Is anything else an impediment to scientific discovery? If it is incomplete then it is counter-intuitive to argue that ID is not science. The best that can be said is that ID is not science AGAIN. Remember, ID was considered science in an earlier manifestation. How did it lose its Scientific credibility unless the definition of science didn’t radically change? What precludes the definition of science from radically changing again?

Comment #75606

Posted by Renier on January 25, 2006 8:59 AM (e)

thordaady wrote:
How can a scientist concede the possibility of an IDer while claiming no empirical evidence to justify that concession? On what basis can the scientist justify such a concession? Science does not allow this concession. What does, Lenny?

I might be reading this wrong, I don’t understand the question, and it might be because I am not that good in English. It just looks like chaos to me. Could someone please paint a picture for me? Is he complaining about scientists that concede possibilities without empirical evidence or asking for help justifying concession? wtf???

Comment #75607

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 9:03 AM (e)

ben,

What’s more moronic?

Claiming your awareness of an IDer is no proof of empirical evidence,

or

Claiming NO empirical evidence, but conceding the possible existence of an IDer?

Comment #75611

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 9:15 AM (e)

Our newest troll, thordaddy wrote:

You are only talking about some proponents of ID, but you’re not talking about me. You need to address those arguments that don’t rely on religion or God instead of using a straw man to knock down ID.

Unfortunately, since you have yet to bring any arguments to the table, we have so far used the declarations of the forefront members of the ID movement. If you have arguments, present them. But I would wager absurds amounts of money that all of your arguments will rely on God and probably religion - if I thought anyone here would take the wager, which I doubt.

Let me repeat myself: You have not presented any arguments. Put up or shut up.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75614

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 9:17 AM (e)

Renier,

If your are a scientist then nothing known exists outside of science. If something is “known” outside of science, what is it called? Everything outside science is then “unknown.” This self-imposed boundary served to mitigate the hubris of scientists. It essentially said that the One Cause may never be completely defined by science because it may be the work of an IDer. ID lies outside of scientific constraint. It can assert its truthfulness and need not concede the possibility of an unintelligent cause. These transcendent truths are lost on most scientists because it is a realm they seldom seem to occupy?

Comment #75615

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 9:20 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

Claiming NO empirical evidence, but conceding the possible existence of an IDer

It is moronic to think that existence of believers equals empirical proof. Any number of children believe in Santa Claus. That doesn’t magically create evidence for its existence. Just because you declare yourself an IDer it doesn’t mean that there is evidence for ID.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75616

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

Then it must be scientifically concluded that an IDer does not exist? But, science does NOT allow you to make such a claim. “Why not,” you ask, “if I have no empirical evidence then is must allow it!” Because there is empirical evidence in the awareness you have for the possibility of an IDer. Without this awareness you can not engage in this conversation. With this conversation you convey the possibility of an IDer. How did you become aware of something non-existent?

The possibility of something existing is just a matter of exercising one’s imagination. Exercising one’s imagination is not considered empirical evidence that the thing one is imagining actually exists.

I’m not the one postulating that a intelligent designer exists - the ID crowd are doing that. I’m taking their possibility and saying that we can’t rule it out. However, given the absolute lack of evidence FOR an intelligent designer we can’t show that one exists either.

The burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim. If you are claiming that an intelligent designer exists, then please provide your evidence to substantiate this claim.

You don’t know because Science is either faulty or incomplete and you won’t make the concession. It cannot be anything else unless it has gleaned the One Cause. It hasn’t done it. If it is faulty, as in the irrelevancy of falsifying a hypothesis, then it begs the question? Is anything else an impediment to scientific discovery?

I would concede that ‘science’ is incomplete rather than ‘faulty’. We don’t know everything yet. That’s what makes it fun, by the way.

What is the ‘One Cause’?

If it is incomplete then it is counter-intuitive to argue that ID is not science.”

I might just as well argue that is is counter-intuitive to argue that knitting is not science or philosophy is not science or sunbathing is not science. It’s not what is NOT science that’s important, it’s what IS science.

The best that can be said is that ID is not science AGAIN. Remember, ID was considered science in an earlier manifestation. How did it lose its Scientific credibility unless the definition of science didn’t radically change? What precludes the definition of science from radically changing again?

When was ID ever science?
The definintion of science hasn’t changed.

You’ll have to explain yourself, because I don’t know what you’re talking about here.

Comment #75619

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Grey Wolf,

Here’s a few questions to start a debate.

1. ID is not science. What predictions are being made?

2. Is awareness of an IDer proof of NO empirical evidence?

3. If ID has no empirical evidence then why must science concede the possibility in the existence of an IDer?

4. How can a scientist argue against the existence of something scientifically “unknown?”

5. Why do the constraints of science apply to ID when the existence of ID remains outside its constraints?

Go get’m, Mr. Wolf?

Comment #75622

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 9:30 AM (e)

The new IDiot, thordaddy wrote:

Remember, ID was considered science in an earlier manifestation. How did it lose its Scientific credibility unless the definition of science didn’t radically change?

Good grief, man. Creationism lost scientific credibility because, like you, never presented evidence for its position while the competing theories - evolution, physics, biology, astrophysics, geology, etc. - presented mounds of evidence. The definition of science (which can be boiled down to “follow the evidence”) discarded creationism (which later evolved into ID) because it was empty of evidence.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75625

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 9:35 AM (e)

“Creationism lost scientific credibility”

I don’t think ‘creation science’ HAD any scientific credibility to lose. Probably more accurate to say it never gained any scientific credibility to begin with.

Comment #75628

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 9:39 AM (e)

Grey Wolf opines,

>>It is moronic to think that existence of believers equals empirical proof. Any number of children believe in Santa Claus. That doesn’t magically create evidence for its existence. Just because you declare yourself an IDer it doesn’t mean that there is evidence for ID.

–But you’re not a believer and either are most scientists. The question is how those that don’t believe in the existence of an IDer are still required to scientifically concede the possibility of that existence despite the complete lack of empirical evidence? That of which is paradoxically, required to legitimate science. If there is NO empirical evidence for an IDer then the constraints of science that doesn’t allow you to make that declaration of Known Truth are faulty or incomplete.

Comment #75630

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 9:42 AM (e)

questions by thordaddy:

1. ID is not science. What predictions are being made?

The question doesn’t follow the statement, but I’ll say this: I agree with the statement. As far as I am aware, ID makes no predictions whatsoever. You might want to bring some, though, if you disagree. I will not do your homework for you, though. Either bring evidence for ID and the predictions that is obtained from the evidence, or admit defeat and shut up.

2. Is awareness of an IDer proof of NO empirical evidence?

No. Lack of empirical evidence stands on its own. After 100 years creationism and ID have presented no empirical evidence for their position. Your existence doesn’t provide proof for ID - see my Santa Claus example above. The fact that I can imagine Santa Claus doesn’t make him real.

3. If ID has no empirical evidence then why must science concede the possibility in the existence of an IDer?

Science doesn’t know if there is an all powerful being outside reality. Science doesn’t know if there is a small band of aliens living in a planet called Rupert beyond Pluto. Science doesn’t care, in fact, if they do until it has evidence.

4. How can a scientist argue against the existence of something scientifically “unknown?”

It doesn’t. It argues that until we have evidence, it is not scientific to say it exists. And until evidence is provided, it will not be considered part of science and thus does not belong in, for example, science lessons.

5. Why do the constraints of science apply to ID when the existence of ID remains outside its constraints?

Because ID followers insist that it is science. And thus science must explain that it is not. Meanwhile, ID remains religion, and no-one except the ID followers themselves say otherwise.

I’ve answered your questions. I assume you will want to rebate my answers. However, fair is fair, I ask that if you answer, you also answer my own questions:

1. What is the theory of ID?

2. What evidence is there for the existence of the Intelligent Designer?

3. Is the Intelligent Designer the Christian God (or viceversa)?

4. Should we teach ID at schools?

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75631

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 9:45 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

—But you’re not a believer and either are most scientists.

You, sir, are a complete and utter moron, not to mention a pathological liar. You know nothing of me, and already feel ready to comment on my beliefs? Revise your opening statement, ask for forgiveness, and I might come back to you on the rest of it.

Imbecile.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75638

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 10:04 AM (e)

Odd Digit opines,

>>The possibility of something existing is just a matter of exercising one’s imagination. Exercising one’s imagination is not considered empirical evidence that the thing one is imagining actually exists.

–An idea exists in the same manner as all other things in the universe. Science says so! It consists of little theoretical photons accelerating through space-time releasing information that then collides with other photons and so on and so forth. This process releases vast amounts of information from every direction. If this is the basis for our current understanding of the universe then the mere awareness of an IDer is empirical evidence as that awareness can only be a product of this bombardment of information.

>>I’m not the one postulating that a intelligent designer exists - the ID crowd are doing that. I’m taking their possibility and saying that we can’t rule it out. However, given the absolute lack of evidence FOR an intelligent designer we can’t show that one exists either.

–You’re right, science can’t rule it out. Why is that? You say it’s because ID isn’t science? Could it be that science is faulty? We know it’s incomplete because it can give no definitive answer on ID.

>>The burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim. If you are claiming that an intelligent designer exists, then please provide your evidence to substantiate this claim.

–Sorry, but I’m not required to play by scientific rules because I’m not confined by the constraints of science. One must stay consistent.

Why do I need to provide my evidence when you are well aware of this evidence for yourself? Are you not bombarded by massive amounts of “information” according to current theoretical physics and is not this “information” empirical evidence? It’s why you must concede the possibility of ID because the empirical evidence requires it.

Comment #75639

Posted by gwangung on January 25, 2006 10:08 AM (e)

Why do I need to provide my evidence

Stop playing games.

You make a claim, you provide evidence.

Don’t want to do that? Then don’t complain when you’re treated like a troll—which I think you are.

Comment #75641

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 10:11 AM (e)

thordaddy the crank wrote:

An idea exists in the same manner as all other things in the universe. Science says so! It consists of little theoretical photons accelerating through space-time releasing information that then collides with other photons and so on and so forth. This process releases vast amounts of information from every direction. If this is the basis for our current understanding of the universe then the mere awareness of an IDer is empirical evidence as that awareness can only be a product of this bombardment of information.

Someone has read too much Discworld, or not enough.

Lets do a thought experiment: I will create one of those “theoretical photons”: triangles have four sides.

According to you, that means that somewhere in the universe, a triangle with four sides exists?

Yep, I think we’ve got to the point where thordaddy admits to be kidding or to be a crank, whichever he prefers. I will still want that apology, though.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75642

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

Why do I need to provide my evidence when you are well aware of this evidence for yourself?

I am not aware of any evidence for the intelligent designer. As I said in my first post, and in almost every other between that one and this one, put up or shut up.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75645

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 10:23 AM (e)

The question is how those that don’t believe in the existence of an IDer are still required to scientifically concede the possibility of that existence despite the complete lack of empirical evidence? That of which is paradoxically, required to legitimate science. If there is NO empirical evidence for an IDer then the constraints of science that doesn’t allow you to make that declaration of Known Truth are faulty or incomplete.

The question is how those that don’t believe in the existence of an IDer are still required to scientifically concede the possibility of that existence despite the complete lack of empirical evidence?

The lack of evidence one way or the other is why it is not science. Also the same reason that science can’t say yes or no to God’s existence.

That of which is paradoxically, required to legitimate science.

No paradox. Science has its own standards. Religion has different ones. Poetry has its own rules as does literature, painting, sculpture, golf, football etc.

If there is NO empirical evidence for an IDer then the constraints of science that doesn’t allow you to make that declaration of Known Truth are faulty or incomplete.

No empirical for or against a God=God is not scientifically validated or refuted.

Why do you write in a way to make your meaning obscure?

Comment #75646

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 10:30 AM (e)

Odd Digit continues,

>>I would concede that ‘science’ is incomplete rather than ‘faulty’. We don’t know everything yet. That’s what makes it fun, by the way.

–It’s incompleteness is self-evident. The very nature of science requires it, but the very nature of science is to glean the One Cause to all the effects and give it meaning. Science lives in paradox. Science is not just incomplete, but fundamentally faulty. Science must declare whether it can give us the One Cause or concede that it can’t and recognize that other theories outside of science may exist.

>>What is the ‘One Cause’?

–It is what created the effect of the universe and all that is contained within it.

>>I might just as well argue that is is counter-intuitive to argue that knitting is not science or philosophy is not science or sunbathing is not science. It’s not what is NOT science that’s important, it’s what IS science.

–Why would these arguments suffice when they have no relations to the origins of the universe? Science is nothing more than giving meaning to what we “observe.” But it is not the only game in town even if it acts like it is. By clinging to a “conservative” definition of science, scientist pretend they exist outside the realm of influence and change even though all their theories require such subjugation. How can scientists believe that the constraints that define science today will still be there tomorrow? It contradicts their own theories.

>>When was ID ever science?
The definition of science hasn’t changed.

You’ll have to explain yourself, because I don’t know what you’re talking about here.

–Creationism was at one time considered science. This was in the time before Darwin and the idea of an IDer has essentially existed since the beginning of time as the empirical evidence bombards intelligent life everyday with clues about the CAUSE of the Universe. How can science become non-science and why then CAN’T today’s science become non-science tomorrow?

Comment #75649

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 10:41 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

An idea exists in the same manner as all other things in the universe. Science says so! It consists of little theoretical photons accelerating through space-time releasing information that then collides with other photons and so on and so forth. This process releases vast amounts of information from every direction. If this is the basis for our current understanding of the universe then the mere awareness of an IDer is empirical evidence as that awareness can only be a product of this bombardment of information.

The fact that an idea exists doesn’t make the thing the idea is about exist, does it! See Grey Wolf’s four sided triangle example…

You’re right, science can’t rule it out. Why is that? You say it’s because ID isn’t science? Could it be that science is faulty? We know it’s incomplete because it can give no definitive answer on ID.

No, I say ID isn’t science because it has no evidence.

Sorry, but I’m not required to play by scientific rules because I’m not confined by the constraints of science. One must stay consistent.

If you are trying to argue that ID is science then you have to play by scientific rules. That means you have to provide evidence for ID I’m afraid. If you don’t want to play by scientific rules then I recommend that you don’t spend time on a scientific blog. Come back when you want to play by scientific rules.

Why do I need to provide my evidence when you are well aware of this evidence for yourself? Are you not bombarded by massive amounts of “information” according to current theoretical physics and is not this “information” empirical evidence? It’s why you must concede the possibility of ID because the empirical evidence requires it.

What information? Are you going on about ideas again?

Comment #75650

Posted by steve s on January 25, 2006 10:44 AM (e)

Way Off-Topic. Take it to After the Bar Closes.

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=SF;f=14

(And while you’re there, check out Official Uncommon Pissant Discussion Thread)

Comment #75652

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

thordaddy wrote:

Science must declare whether it can give us the One Cause

Why?

or concede that it can’t and recognize that other theories outside of science may exist.

Science already recognises other theories outside of science. It doesn’t take them into account because they are not science.

Why would these arguments suffice when they have no relations to the origins of the universe?

How do you know they don’t?

Science is nothing more than giving meaning to what we “observe.” But it is not the only game in town even if it acts like it is. By clinging to a “conservative” definition of science, scientist pretend they exist outside the realm of influence and change even though all their theories require such subjugation. How can scientists believe that the constraints that define science today will still be there tomorrow? It contradicts their own theories.

So you concede that the definition of science hasn’t changed…

Creationism was at one time considered science. This was in the time before Darwin and the idea of an IDer has essentially existed since the beginning of time as the empirical evidence bombards intelligent life everyday with clues about the CAUSE of the Universe. How can science become non-science and why then CAN’T today’s science become non-science tomorrow?

‘A creator’ was and is a valid hypothesis for the creation of the universe. If you are talking about Human origins (biblical story of ‘creation’), then we can now say that there is a lot of evidence that Humans were not created spontaneously 6000 years ago by God. There is a lot of evidence instead that we evolved from a primitive ancestor of many many more years than that. New discoveries in science have invalidated one theory of human creation and replaced it with another. In that sense you can say that genesis is not science. I don’t think it ever was though - it’s a story about a supernatural event, and the supernatural lies outwith the purview of science and always has (except in Kansas).

Comment #75662

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 11:34 AM (e)

I vote that Thordaddy be forcibly bounced to the bathroom wall. He deserves it at least as much as Mynym.

Comment #75666

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 11:37 AM (e)

Grey Wolf opines,

>>questions by thordaddy:

(thordaddy)1. ID is not science. What predictions are being made?

The question doesn’t follow the statement, but I’ll say this: I agree with the statement. As far as I am aware, ID makes no predictions whatsoever. You might want to bring some, though, if you disagree. I will not do your homework for you, though. Either bring evidence for ID and the predictions that is obtained from the evidence, or admit defeat and shut up.

–Mr. Wolf, you are under the impression that I’m under some kind of rhetorical or scientific constraint? When one says ID is not science, what value is in the statement other than ID is not science… Ok… then quit acting as if ID must act within the restraints of science even though it clearly lies outside of them. Be consistent. It is the JOB of science to make a declaration to the One Cause. Can it do or NOT? That’s the fundamental question.

>>(thordaddy)2. Is awareness of an IDer proof of NO empirical evidence?

No. Lack of empirical evidence stands on its own. After 100 years creationism and ID have presented no empirical evidence for their position. Your existence doesn’t provide proof for ID - see my Santa Claus example above. The fact that I can imagine Santa Claus doesn’t make him real.

–The very existence of ID as an idea for the origins is proof of empirical evidence. The fact that this awareness dates back to the beginning of man is even more accumulative empirical evidence. How did you become aware if not from the “natural” properties of the universe? Are you not subject to the bombardment of theoretical energy (information) and does not this “information” constitute empirical evidence?

>>(thordaddy)3. If ID has no empirical evidence then why must science concede the possibility in the existence of an IDer?

Science doesn’t know if there is an all powerful being outside reality. Science doesn’t know if there is a small band of aliens living in a planet called Rupert beyond Pluto. Science doesn’t care, in fact, if they do until it has evidence.

–Science feigns ignorance? Is this temporary or permanent? Is it too much to ask of science to give meaning to the One Cause? If so, it must take a seat and recognize the futility of its constraints.

>>(thordaddy)4. How can a scientist argue against the existence of something scientifically “unknown?”

It doesn’t. It argues that until we have evidence, it is not scientific to say it exists. And until evidence is provided, it will not be considered part of science and thus does not belong in, for example, science lessons.

–“Evidence” being the key word. If we are bombarded by “information” from all directions at all times according to theoretical physics, then science must except this empirical evidence.

If there is an historical awareness of ID and this awareness is subject to the “natural” laws then the “natural” laws gave this awareness to us via empirical evidence. If science is incomplete (no meaning for the One Cause) and faulty (can’t declare the existence or non-existence of the One Cause) then it must make concessions to the existence of an IDer, but save face by claiming it’s still not science.

>>(thordaddy)5. Why do the constraints of science apply to ID when the existence of ID remains outside its constraints?

Because ID followers insist that it is science. And thus science must explain that it is not. Meanwhile, ID remains religion, and no-one except the ID followers themselves say otherwise.

–But you say its religion and must comply with science? That means ID can claim scientific credibility AGAIN as science is radically redefined given greater insight. You must except this great possibility. Science cannot stay within the same constraints forever and leave the most important question lefted unanswered? ID is an outgrowth of the frustration with science to give any real meaning to life and the Universe. They will liberalize the meaning of empirical evidence to its logical extreme. New constraints will evolve. Old constraints will die (falsibility). Science will have to make a decision soon.

>>I’ve answered your questions. I assume you will want to rebate my answers. However, fair is fair, I ask that if you answer, you also answer my own questions:

1. What is the theory of ID?

–As I understand it in its most simple terms, only intelligence can produce intelligence. Intelligence cannot come from unintelligence. Therefore, the Universe was intelligently designed and the empirical evidence is in the interpretation of the continuous bombardment of “information” contained throughout the Universe.

>>2. What evidence is there for the existence of the Intelligent Designer?

–The intelligence that we see all around us. We only know our life and our intelligence. It’s only through our intelligence does anything exist or have meaning. Our intelligence need not be constrained by science. Intelligence is a fundamental property of the Universe. Design is a manifestation of intelligence. It seems to have been there since the One Cause. The empirical evidence is strong and many feel it, but you are stuck being a scientist. You know you want to be liberated. LOL!

>>3. Is the Intelligent Designer the Christian God (or viceversa)?

–We’re waiting for science to do its job.

>>4. Should we teach ID at schools?

–Of course, as the judge Jones said, it’s the only reasonable “alternative theory.”

Comment #75669

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 12:08 PM (e)

Wolf opines,

>>Good grief, man. Creationism lost scientific credibility because, like you, never presented evidence for its position while the competing theories - evolution, physics, biology, astrophysics, geology, etc. - presented mounds of evidence. The definition of science (which can be boiled down to “follow the evidence”) discarded creationism (which later evolved into ID) because it was empty of evidence.

–Then how was it “science” in the first place? Easy, the constraints of science changed and they will change again. It’s already happening and will continue to happen.

Then you say,

>>Lets do a thought experiment: I will create one of those “theoretical photons”: triangles have four sides.

According to you, that means that somewhere in the universe, a triangle with four sides exists?

–Is this your argument? The idea exist right above this sentence. Science says so. Its existence was a manifestation of your intelligence in both the appropriate use of posting technology and the “idea” of a triangle with four sides being communicated to me. I had never tried to conceptualize a triangle with four-sides. If this idea is non-existent then how did you bring it to my attention if not by the “natural” laws? Science isn’t the only game in town.

Stephen Elliot opines,

>>The lack of evidence one way or the other is why it is not science. Also the same reason that science can’t say yes or no to God’s existence.

–What does that mean to have lack of evidence one way or another other than both theories are equally valid or invalid. Which is it?

>>No paradox. Science has its own standards. Religion has different ones. Poetry has its own rules as does literature, painting, sculpture, golf, football etc.

–And then how can science give us the answer for the One Cause when it can’t give causes for those things outside science? How can mechanical laws explain religion or poetry in any meaningful sense? It can’t… but it says that no answers can be found outside science. It must decide or science must change its constraints.

>>No empirical for or against a God=God is not scientifically validated or refuted.

–Then you are either left conceding the incompleteness of science or the faultiness of its constraints. A decision must be reached as our intelligence requires it. Science must do its job or get out of the way.

>>Why do you write in a way to make your meaning obscure?

–My words mean exactly what they say. If you are confused on something then please articulate this confusion so as to give me the opportunity to clarify.

Odd Digit opines,

>>I don’t think ‘creation science’ HAD any scientific credibility to lose. Probably more accurate to say it never gained any scientific credibility to begin with.

–That doesn’t make any historical sense. Creationism was science until science transformed into something else that excluded creationism. This process is happening again, but in the other direction. Science will embrace ID because ID will change the constraints of science.

Comment #75671

Posted by ben on January 25, 2006 12:09 PM (e)

I think it would be swell if thordaddy applied the scientific mathod to figuring out how KwickXML works so we don’t have to be subjected to his impenetrable quoting style as well as his nonsensical argumentation.

Comment #75673

Posted by Irrational Entity on January 25, 2006 12:18 PM (e)

So, the intelligent designer decided to make humans and chimps similar as part of common design? How strange of the designer to leave a series of fossils showing designed creatures that diverge from a common species and approach current human and chimp form over time. Odd how ID is not religion, but the designer might have just created things as they presently exist rather than allowing them to develop over time. Why can’t scientists see that ID is not religion but a heterodox group of people who believe things were created by a higher power?

(end pathetic attempt get back on topic)

Comment #75674

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

thordaddy,
I have made a thread over on AtBC dedicated to you.
From now on I will only respond to you on this thread.

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=43d7558e8ec4ba98;act=ST;f=14;t=178

I hope others will do the same.
You seem to be deliberately trying to derail subjects on PT threads.

Comment #75675

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 12:25 PM (e)

Thanks to his determination to derail this thread, there is now an official Thordaddy thread at After the Bar Closes. Please do not respond to him here anymore – take it there.

Comment #75676

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 12:27 PM (e)

Sorry, looks like our messages crossed!

What he said.

Comment #75677

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 12:27 PM (e)

Odd Digit opines,

>>The fact that an idea exists doesn’t make the thing the idea is about exist, does it! See Grey Wolf’s four sided triangle example

–Who said anything about that magic trick other than Grey Wolf? Oh wait, don’t particles pop out of thin air in the “natural” laws? If I conceptualize Odd Digit as a young impressionable liberal, does that mean Odd Digit will exist in such a state? Of course not, but Odd Digit still exists and I’ve never “observed” him outside of my own thoughts. Ideas are real, but science is unable to give it any real meaning because science contrains while ideas are uncontainable.

Then you say,

>>No, I say ID isn’t science because it has no evidence.

–Then why must you concede its possible existence and how can you engage in intelligent conversation on the topic? How do you accomplish these incredible feats?

Next,

>>So you concede that the definition of science hasn’t changed…

–What? The definition of science has changed and will change again. It is of this universe and subject to the “natural” laws, no?

Comment #75680

Posted by k.e. on January 25, 2006 12:36 PM (e)

Thordude
Are you aware of the term “begging the question”.

No ?

Then why did you ask ?

Your One Truth ?

Isn’t that what Molley Bloom was on about ?

Comment #75684

Posted by k.e. on January 25, 2006 12:50 PM (e)

Thordude
Since you seem to like physics you will know who this person was

“An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.”
– Max Planck

This has happened in the rest of the world WRT the ToE there seems to be a collective amnesia working in some parts of the US due to backward education.

Was Max Planck American ?

Comment #75685

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 12:57 PM (e)

Arden Chatfield kindly inquired:

Hey, Steviepinhead, did you ever track down the Enrico article?

Yep. I located and copied it at the UW library–good ol’ Suzallo–on Tuesday and read it last night and this morning.

I’ll post a couple of thoughts over on the Panderichthys thread (http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/12/18-week/#e001813), where it actually has some slight relevance regarding how we construct past relationships from present evidence.

That way, we won’t further derail this thread–which has not merely flown off the tracks, but is busily plowing up fields in the next county!–and we won’t take up the time of important extraterrestrial entities like, um, “Odin.”

Comment #75686

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 12:58 PM (e)

Please do not enable the troll.

Take it here:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=43d76270949f6787;act=ST;f=14;t=178

Comment #75688

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 1:00 PM (e)

I’ll post a couple of thoughts over on the Panderichthys thread (http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/12/18-w…), where it actually has some slight relevance regarding how we construct past relationships from present evidence.

Looking forward to it.

Comment #75689

Posted by Odd Digit on January 25, 2006 1:03 PM (e)

Thordaddy, if you want to read your response you’ll have to head over to after the bar closes.

Comment #75697

Posted by Tim Hague on January 25, 2006 1:35 PM (e)

This thread sounds looks a mission for Caledonian. Unless Thordaddy is Caledonian on a wind up…

Comment #75704

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 2:03 PM (e)

If it’s the same “thordaddy,” this is a fellow who celebrated the “swift boating” of John Kerry, has some sort of problem with gay folks, and thinks GWB is the next Savior:

There has been a steady and potentially potent assention of power trend towards the right. The madness and hysteria of the left both home and abroad necessarily leaves one to the conclusion that President Bush is putting something together for Republicans and conservatives that could have longterm benefits. Why you choose to be on the outside is unknown. From my vantage point and having read many of the opinions you have put forth concerning conservative thought and liberal rot, I would say that it seems President Bush is pushing back that liberal madness like no one else I’ve ever been concious of. Granted, I’m just a 30 year-old father of two that thinks it ridiculous to abandon the Republican Party. Gay marriage, abortion, prayer, shool vouchers, Supreme Court nominees, tax reform, Social Security reform and taking a fight to the enemy are all issues I see as manifestly positive for conservatives.

I don’t see the point in trying to point out facts that are techically true in order to sow doubt in the party that is the conservative’s best and strongest ally?

Posted by: thordaddy on November 4, 2004 06:07 PM

From: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/002753.html.
Of course, none of that means he can’t be an ID wingnut too…

(No reflection on all you rational anti-ID conservatives and Republicans is intended.)