PvM posted Entry 2107 on March 11, 2006 08:22 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2102

On Uncommon Descent Doug Moran announced recently that

Brits to Teach the Controversy

“Creationist theories about how the world was made are to be debated in GCSE science lessons in mainstream secondary schools in England.

The subject has been included in a new syllabus for biology produced by the OCR exam board, due out in September.”

But as usual the ‘victory’ of Intelligent Design was mostly smoke and mirrors and short lived as the OCR Exam Board released a clarification. Why is it that Intelligent Design can only be succesful in our ignorance?

Hattip to Alan Fox and Flitcraft

At OCR, we believe candidates need to understand the social and historical context to scientific ideas both pre and post Darwin.

In our Gateway Science specification, candidates are asked to discuss why the opponents of Darwinism thought the way they did and how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence.

Creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not regarded by OCR as scientific theories. They are beliefs that do not lie within scientific understanding.

Read more about the Gateway Science Suite which states:

Explain that the fossil record has been interpreted differently over time (e.g. creationist interpretation).

Indeed, the brits are teaching the controversy and it does not include Intelligent Design and creationism as they are not scientific theories. In case of Intelligent Design I have argued that it is scientifically vacuous more than not scientific because it lacks much of anything relevant to determine if it is scientific.

The British Humanist Association wrote a letter to the Minister for Schools asking “for a reply that clarified whether it is indeed the government’s view that creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are examples of scientific theories based on empirical evidence within the meaning of the national curriculum.”

The minister Jacqui Smith responded to oral questions about Intelligent Design on Oct 31 2005

Intelligent Design

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in England teach a course in which intelligent design forms a unit. [22201]

Jacqui Smith: Intelligent design does not form part of any programme of study in the national curriculum. In science pupils should be taught at Key Stage 4 “how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence [for example, Darwin’s theory of evolution]”. Although it is possible that intelligent design could be raised in this context, controversies need to be scientific in order to meet national curriculum requirements.

Intelligent design may be taught in religious education lessons as a religious interpretation of how the world was created. All religious education syllabuses are devised by local authorities, so statistics are not held centrally.

More recently the minister commented that

Neither creationism nor intelligent design is taught as a subject in schools. The national curriculum programme of study for science at key stage 4 covers evolution. It sets out that pupils should be taught “that the fossil record is evidence for evolution” and also “how variation and selection may lead to evolution or extinction”. Pupils should however be taught about “how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence”. Also, the biblical view of creation can be taught in RE lessons, where pupils are taught to consider opposing theories and come to their own, reasoned conclusions. Therefore, although creationism and intelligent design are not part of the national curriculum, they could be covered in these contexts.

While some have interpreted these comments to suggest that the minister stated that ID can be taught in science classes, it seems clear to me that the minister was talking in the context of RE (religious education) lessons where a biblical view of creation can be taught. Seems that teaching the controversy once again finds it roots in religion not science.

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Comment #85972

Posted by Jason on March 11, 2006 9:18 PM (e)

I like the way dougmoran wrote “File under: Intelligent Design” when the article wrote about “creationist theories.”

Comment #85973

Posted by Corkscrew on March 11, 2006 9:25 PM (e)

And, for the peace of mind of non-Brits, it should be noted that RE classes in no way advocate for any one religion, merely providing information on the customs and beliefs of a number of them. If done properly, anyway - I seem to recall that Accelerated Christian Education materials aren’t very complimentary about other faiths…

Comment #85977

Posted by Stephen Elliott on March 11, 2006 9:50 PM (e)

IMO. Creationism should be mentioned in science class. It is part of the history of science.

Teach students the “scientific method”, tell them about Creationism and show why it is not science.

We are talking about basic education of pupils aged up-to 16 here. I think this would debunk the idea that ID/Creationism can be considered scientific.

Comment #85978

Posted by Corkscrew on March 11, 2006 10:18 PM (e)

Teach students the “scientific method”, tell them about Creationism and show why it is not science.

The worry, of course, is that some individuals and schools would either skip the third step or complain bitterly about religious discrimination or something. In which case, our current government stands a decent chance of giving in and permitting step 3 to be dropped anyway.

Comment #85989

Posted by Shaun on March 12, 2006 1:38 AM (e)

It’s interesting to note how ID is, for the most part, an American phenomenon. It just doesn’t have traction anywhere else.

You won’t find it in Japan, where less than two percent of the population is Christian and religion in treated in a very un-Western way. Besides, I don’t think the idea of being descended from Izanagi and Izanumi(the mythological Shinto kami who created humanity) would sit well with ID proponents.

And, if anything, Buddhism is more theoretically alligned with modern scientific thought than Chrsitianity is.

Comment #85995

Posted by Mike Z on March 12, 2006 3:41 AM (e)

I still struggle with whether, as Stephen Elliot suggests, I should advocate teaching creationism and ID in science classes as a case study in phil of science, similar to the way we teach Lamarckian theory and show why it is wrong.

It seems that the success of such a lesson depends largely on the knowledge, competence, and confidence of the teacher. But then so do all the other lessons.

Also, I would rather students hear about it from a competent teacher than from some propagandist.

I remember there being some interesting counter-arguments to this approach (beyond Corkscrew’s valid concerns), but quite honestly I do not remember what they are. Anyone wish to indulge us with an explanation or a link?

Comment #85997

Posted by Alan Fox on March 12, 2006 4:15 AM (e)

Some credit is due to Flitcraft for linking to the source material here

Comment #85937

Posted by Flitcraft on March 11, 2006 12:46 PM (e)

Dean,
The Guardian piece you link to and the coverage of this story in the media in general has been pretty useless. It seems to boil down to people being unable to tell the difference between teaching Creationism and teaching history of science.

Here is the actual syllabus that sparked the story
http://www.gcse-science.com/file_downloads/pgd_f……

The relevant bits are pp.34-35. It covers things like debunking Lamarckism and examining the reception Darwin got at the time. All very handy stuff. The exam board itself is very clear:

Creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not regarded by OCR as scientific theories. They are beliefs that do not lie within scientific understanding.

http://www.ocr.org.uk/OCR/WebSite/docroot/newsup……”

I’m a bit concerned that people are going off half-cock over this and that it may lead to them being taken less seriously when they address real threats like the Vardy Schools.

Some other relevant comments follow the one above in the same thread.

Comment #86008

Posted by Emanuel Golstein on March 12, 2006 7:49 AM (e)

We are told over at places like KCFS that creationism is not an issue in Europe, but only ignorant Americans have the problem.

Looks like someone LIED.

Comment #86010

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 8:25 AM (e)

Intelligent design may be taught in religious education lessons as a religious interpretation of how the world was created. All religious education syllabuses are devised by local authorities, so statistics are not held centrally.

Two points:
Considering the alternative to ID is multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes, who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

And for ANYONE who thinks ID=religion- take the ID three-hour challenge

Watch two videos- “The Privileged Planet” and “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”, and then, if you can without lying, tell us why ID is not based on observation and scientific research, but is based on religious doctrines and faith.

Comment #86011

Posted by Faidon on March 12, 2006 8:30 AM (e)

I have to agree with you, emanuel. Seems the problem has spread to ignorant Europeans, too.

I guess it’s a stupidborne virus or something. :)

Comment #86012

Posted by Corkscrew on March 12, 2006 8:42 AM (e)

Well, I suspect the problem is likely to become more intense in the UK in the near future. Ever noticed how UK social trends seem to trail US social trends by about a 20-year lag? Now how long ago, precisely, was the ID marketing concept first devised?

I’m scared now :(

Comment #86013

Posted by Faidon on March 12, 2006 8:49 AM (e)

JoeG wrote:

Considering the alternative to ID is multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes, who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

Oh, I don’t know… maybe the ones who see that ID is all about an undefined incident by an undefined entity at an undefined time via an undefined mechanism, wrapped up in an undefined theory?
JoeG, if you’re going to copy/paste the exact things you post over at UD, bear in mind that people here can actually answer to you.

Oh, and while you’re here, take the time to check the posts of one ‘picofarad’ or ‘milli henry’ or ‘wein’s law’ to see in what moronic and immature way your moderator Dave behaves, when he’s devoid of his god-like privileges.

Comment #86015

Posted by Jim Wynne on March 12, 2006 9:46 AM (e)

Faidon wrote:

JoeG, if you’re going to copy/paste the exact things you post over at UD, bear in mind that people here can actually answer to you.

Joe is oblivious to the fact that his cut-and-paste routine is transparently stupid. He’s been answered countless times in a lot of different places and just continues to post the same incredulous junk.

Comment #86016

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 9:52 AM (e)

Considering the alternative to ID is multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes, who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

Faidon
Oh, I don’t know… maybe the ones who see that ID is all about an undefined incident by an undefined entity at an undefined time via an undefined mechanism, wrapped up in an undefined theory?

LoL! That just described multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes.

BTW design IS a mechanism.

And as I have told many people- the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer in the absence of direct observation or designer input is by studying the design. And anyone who knows anything about ID understands that ID is all about the detection and understanding of the DESIGN.

Faidon:
JoeG, if you’re going to copy/paste the exact things you post over at UD, bear in mind that people here can actually answer to you.

I might get an “answer” but it appears the “answer” is nothing more than hubris.

Now how about taking the challenge?

Comment #86018

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 9:53 AM (e)

who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

Judge Jones wrote 139 pages explaining why it isn’t.

Of course, Paul Nelson also says ID isn’t scientific, and he didn’t take as many words to do it:

“We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’- but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.”

And his pal George Gilder agrees: “What’s being pushed is to have Darwinism critiqued, to teach there’s a controversy. Intelligent design itself does not have any content.”

Or do you consider Nelson and Gilder to be “not in their right mind”?

Watch two videos- “The Privileged Planet” and “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”, and then, if you can without lying, tell us why ID is not based on observation and scientific research, but is based on religious doctrines and faith.

Of course, IDers themselves have told us that ID is based on religious doctrines and faith:

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 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)

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)

Comment #86019

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

We are told over at places like KCFS that creationism is not an issue in Europe, but only ignorant Americans have the problem.

Looks like someone LIED.

Follow the money, and you’ll see for yourself who it is that is lying.

Comment #86020

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 9:55 AM (e)

Jimmy sez:
Joe is oblivious to the fact that his cut-and-paste routine is transparently stupid.

I AM aware of the fact that YOU are transparently stupid.

Comment #86021

Posted by JIm Wynne on March 12, 2006 9:55 AM (e)

I linked to the wrong post in the comment above (although the one I linked to is a good one, too). The correct one is here.

Comment #86022

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 9:58 AM (e)

Odd, isn’t it, that the IDers have now been beaten up so badly and thoroughly in the US (Dover, Ohio) that now they are forced to look outside their own country for inspiration and are forced to hold up Britain as the shining example of ID in action.

And here I thought that the USA was God’s Favorite. (snicker) (giggle)

Alas for the fundies, the Brits want a theocracy even less than the US does. The fundies will get their faces beaten to a bloody pulp in the UK, too. T

Maybe you fundies should make friends with the Muslim nutjobs, like ICR has. They are more your kind of people.

Comment #86024

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 10:01 AM (e)

And as I have told many people- the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer in the absence of direct observation or designer input is by studying the design. And anyone who knows anything about ID understands that ID is all about the detection and understanding of the DESIGN.

Why didn’t you explain your stunning insight to the judge in Dover? Do you mean to tell me that while ID was fighting for its life in court, and YOU had the key insight that would PROVE IT TO BE SCIENCE, you didn’t come forth with it???????? You allowed ID to be killed in court when YOU had the information that would have saved it??????????

I hope the other IDers all beat you up for holding that back.

Comment #86026

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 10:05 AM (e)

I AM aware of the fact that YOU are transparently stupid.

Yep, that’s about the level of discourse I’ve come to expect from IDers.

I have just one question for you, junior. You keep yammering about this “scientific theory of ID”. Nelson and Gilder have already told us that THERE ISN’T ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF ID; Discovery Institute has already told us that IT DOES NOT FAVOR TEACHING ABOUT ID.

That means that YOU, apparently, have some insight or informaiton that the other IDers do not have. What is it? What is this “scientific theory of ID” that you have? Show it to me. How does it work. How is design formulated? How is the design implemented? What does the designer do, specifically? What mechanisms does it use to implement its designs? Where can we see these mechanisms in action anywhere?

Or is “POOF!!! God — uh, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer – dunnit!!!” the best you can do?

Comment #86027

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 10:05 AM (e)

Geez Lenny Judge Jones has been refuted so many times it is amazing that anyone would call on him.

As Gonzalez said:
“Today, we are in a similar situation with intelligent design, which is not based on religion but can have positive theological implications. Either from ignorance or from willful misrepresentation (I don’t claim to know which), critics such as Hazen continue to confuse the implications of a theory with the theory itself.”

Which are you Lenny- ignorant or willfully misrepresenting?

If we listen to Lenny the theory of evolution is an atheistic theory because of what Dawkins, Dennett and a host of others tell us.

ID does not require a belief in God any more than the theory of evolution requires one to be an atheist.

How old is that Paul Nelson quote you mined?

As for the data- it was the data that afforded A. Flew to change from being an atheist to one who understands ID is scientific.

Now instead of quote mining- take the challenge or admit you are an intellectual coward…

Comment #86028

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 10:06 AM (e)

Geez Lenny Judge Jones has been refuted so many times it is amazing that anyone would call on him.

As Gonzalez said:
“Today, we are in a similar situation with intelligent design, which is not based on religion but can have positive theological implications. Either from ignorance or from willful misrepresentation (I don’t claim to know which), critics such as Hazen continue to confuse the implications of a theory with the theory itself.”

Which are you Lenny- ignorant or willfully misrepresenting?

If we listen to Lenny the theory of evolution is an atheistic theory because of what Dawkins, Dennett and a host of others tell us.

ID does not require a belief in God any more than the theory of evolution requires one to be an atheist.

How old is that Paul Nelson quote you mined?

As for the data- it was the data that afforded A. Flew to change from being an atheist to one who understands ID is scientific.

Now instead of quote mining- take the challenge or admit you are an intellectual coward…

Comment #86029

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 10:09 AM (e)

Lenny lies again:
I have just one question for you, junior. You keep yammering about this “scientific theory of ID”.

Please reference one post in which I said anything about this “scientific theory of ID”. Or is lying the best you have- peewee?

Is saying “it evolved” the best you can do? What mutations? What sequence of mutations? Can mutations even allow for the changes required?

Comment #86030

Posted by JIm Wynne on March 12, 2006 10:10 AM (e)

Joe G. wrote:

I AM aware of the fact that YOU are transparently stupid.

Joe, the Pavlov’s Dog of ID “theory,” invokes the Pee Wee Herman Argument. Good job, Joe, right on cue!

Comment #86032

Posted by JoeG on March 12, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

Lenny, ID did fine in Dover. It is obvious the judge had his mind made up before the trial began.

I would love for Judge Jones to take the 3 Hour ID challenge- watch the videos JJ and see the folly of your decision…

Judge Jones blows it

Comment #86035

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 10:39 AM (e)

Lenny, ID did fine in Dover.

BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH AHA HA AH AHA HA H !!!!!!!!

Please reference one post in which I said anything about this “scientific theory of ID”. Or is lying the best you have- peewee?

I see, so there is no scientific theory of ID. Got it.

So (1) ID is just religious apologetics, (2) IDers like you are just lying ot us when they claim it isn’t, and (3) Judge Jones was perfectly correct when he concluded that it is.

Thanks for making that so clear.

Comment #86037

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 10:43 AM (e)

As for the data- it was the data that afforded A. Flew to change from being an atheist to one who understands ID is scientific.

Then SHOW US THIS SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF ID. Put up or shut up. Fish or cut bait. Crap or get off the toilet. (shrug)

But now you’ve made me curious. IDers have been telling us loudly for YEARS now (and testified in court, under oath) that ID is SCIENCE and has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. Nothing at all whatsoever. No religious aims, goals or motives. None. Not a shred. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not a one.

And now here you come barging in here shooting your mouth off about “atheists”…. .

I’m curious —- if ID isn’t about religion, then what difference does it make in this argument whether or not someone is or isn’t an atheist, or a baptist, or a buddhist, or a zoroastrian? The speed of light doesn’t change according to one’s religious views. So why does ID?

(sigh)

Thanks for once again demonstrating so clearly that (1) ID is nothing but religious apologetics, (2) IDers are simply lying to us when they claim it’s not, and (3) Judge Jones was perfectly correct when he concluded that it is.

And, thanks for once again demonstrating so clearly why ID will never win in court. In order to survive court challenges, ID *must*, absolutely *must*, deny that it has any religious aims, motives or goals. And as you are so kind as to demonstrate for everyone, IDers simply can’t do it. They don’t WANT to do it. All they want to do is preach —- and every time they preach, they undermine their own side. They KNOW, absolutely KNOW, that if they preach, they lose in court. So what do they do … ? They preach anyway. Indeed, none of them can go ten minutes without shouting “Jesus saves!!!” and thus giving the whole game away.

They are by far their own worst enemies.

DabveScot was ranting on about the wrong target — it isn’t their rejection of “common descent” that demonstrates the religious aims and goals of ID “theory”. It’s the utter complete total inability and unwillingness of IDers to shut their mouths about their religious opinions. And since ID is all ABOUT getting their religious opinions into other people’s heads, there’s not a thing they can do about it. ID is all about preaching, and there is simply no way for them to preach without letting the whole world KNOW they are preaching.

It’s why ID will never win in court.

Comment #86038

Posted by k.e. on March 12, 2006 10:46 AM (e)

JoeG
Time to change hands.

3 hours of crap god bothering junk advertising on a DVD , no thank you this god can’t be bothered.
Is English your second language?

Have you ever done any actual science ? Hint you won’t find any on any DVD just some purporting to be science it could be ALL lies.

Science is a process with rules and referees and while you Creationist twits are streaking around the lab, watch you don’t get your willys trapped in the door on the way out..

By the way on the “Karl Largerfeld” of gods, he did a nice job on the cut of the tigers claw, pity he didn’t sign his work eh?

Oh YOU can recognize design? Well 2 cheers for you, you can go back to sleep now.

Comment #86040

Posted by Alan Fox on March 12, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

JoeG wrote:

ID did fine in Dover.

Is this statement meant to be taken seriously? Did you read the transcripts of Behe’s testimony and cross-examination, not to mention Steve Fuller’s po-mo contribution?

Your link finds an article by Plantinga taking a similar line to Fuller,

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing science in accord with methodological naturalism? There is a good deal to be said on both sides here. For example, if you exclude the supernatural from science, then if the world or some phenomena within it are supernaturally caused — as most of the world’s people believe — you won’t be able to reach that truth scientifically.

Science redefined to include the supernatural ceases to be science, and becomes philosophy.

Comment #86041

Posted by steve s on March 12, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

Hey JoeG, I don’t understand what Plantinga was talking about–what does ID have to do with anything supernatural?

Comment #86042

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

if you exclude the supernatural from science, then if the world or some phenomena within it are supernaturally caused — as most of the world’s people believe — you won’t be able to reach that truth scientifically.

Um, I thought that was what “faith” was all about. “Things not seen”, and all that. Sorry if IDer’s much-vaunted faith is really that weak. (shrug)

But here, once again, is my standard response to all the ID “science unfairly rules out the supernatural” crap:

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 testable 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 demonstrate 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 “An Unknown Intelligent Designer” created both chimps and humans, 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 testable 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 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, whatever god 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 testable 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 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 scientific 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 IDers cannot put their “hypothesis” through the same scientific method that everyone else has to, then they have no claim to be “science”. Period.

Comment #86043

Posted by Corkscrew on March 12, 2006 10:58 AM (e)

For example, if you exclude the supernatural from science, then if the world or some phenomena within it are supernaturally caused — as most of the world’s people believe — you won’t be able to reach that truth scientifically.

However, if a given supernatural force isn’t subject to methodological naturalism, it’ll be impossible to derive any predictions from knowledge of it and hence it won’t actually do science any harm to completely ignore its existence.

Comment #86044

Posted by k.e. on March 12, 2006 11:00 AM (e)

Alan
Normal sane people would agree with you, however I think Joe has got Behe’s 1000 yard god stare, he even thought he went well. Joe just does not get it and probably never will, which makes him perfect for a job in the sanitation industry or as Fundy cannon fodder. In fact he could be their secret weapon, you know like how the Russians used to find where the German machine gun nests were.

Comment #86045

Posted by Corkscrew on March 12, 2006 11:02 AM (e)

Dammit, Lenny, do you always have to beat me to it? :P

Incidentally, and very oddly, a post I made a few minutes ago has been held for moderation, despite the others being allowed straight through. So don’t be surprised when it appears out of sequence.

Comment #86046

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 12, 2006 11:06 AM (e)

ID does not require a belief in God

No God necessary? None at all whatsoever? So ID demonstrates that the atheists are right and no God or supernatural entity or action is needed? Just a few space aliens or time-travelling genetic engineers?

Is THAT what you are saying, Joe …. . ?

REALLY …… ?

Curious. Why, then, do IDers (like you) keep yammering to me about Flew’s conversion from atheism through ID if, as you NOW say, ID doesn’t require any God and is just as atheistic as evolution supposedly is? After all, if ID concludes that no God or Gods are necessary, then how the heck can Flew use ID to conclude that belief in God is necessary?

Make up your friggin mind, would you? Could you at least TRY to be consistent in your balderdash?

Here’s a hint, Joe —- why don’t you (and all the other IDers) just try BEING HONEST. Why don’t you just say out loud that ID is religious apologetics? Why do you have to lie about it? What do you gain by lying to everyone about it? How does it help Christianity for you to be running around declaring that ID does NOT require a belief in God and that NO GOD IS NECESSARY in ID?

What good does such dishonesty do for anyone, Joe? Who, exactly, do you think you are helping by lying like this, Joe?

Comment #86047

Posted by k.e. on March 12, 2006 11:11 AM (e)

And on excluding the supernatural from science are you being ironic ?

Science has attempted to examine every supernatural explanation for everything going and guess what?
Weeping statues are bogus. The supernatural BY DEFINITION just does not exist everything IS natural.

The DIdeologists know this very well and the only thing they can come up with is to run around saying they are the new gays (which considering their intolerance to gays and other groups is hypocritical) and are being persecuted. Boohoohoo

Comment #86048

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 12, 2006 12:13 PM (e)

JoeG taunts: And for ANYONE who thinks ID=religion- take the ID three-hour challenge.

I started with the Privedleged planet about 6 months ago. While watching the video, a number of questions kept poping into my mind, things that didn’t quite make sense.

1. The video limits it view to western civilization a somewhat parochial view. Astronomical observations and calculations were a part of a many early civilizations and these are ignored by the video. If the ID argument is valid where is the evidence from these other cultures and why was it not included?

2. the video asserts Arestole and Ptolemy lived 2000 yrs ago. Arestole (382-322 bce) died several hundred years before the start of the common era. Why the 2000 yr figure, unless the video is trying to make a specific point.

3. An argument is made that only visible wavelengths are useful for observing the universe, but this seems to ignore telescopes that use other wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.

4. At one point in the video the narrator states “there’s some about the universe than cant be explained by the impersonal aspects of nature and the mere colliding of atoms with atoms and so you have to reach for something beyond the universe to try to account for it”
Narrator: “Such an approach lies at the foundation of modern science.” This is an unwarranted sweeping generalization.

5. The video becomes overt in its’ religious viewpoint at the end with statements like ..”the mechanism of the universe wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly creator….The system best and most orderly artist of all framed for our sake.”

The video came across as a propaganda piece. As such, the blend of science and religion made me uncomfortable.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #86050

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on March 12, 2006 12:56 PM (e)

I have taken the 3-hour challenge before the “3-hour challenge” slogan was even invented. All that got challenged, alas, was my patience (my intelligence was insulted, but I doubt the “3-hour insult” would be as catchy a phrase).

“Unlocking the Mystery of Life” is a long infomercial for ID, produced by a religious apologetics company, replete with misinformation about the status of current science, ambiguities about ID claims [1], and misleading statements about the scientific status of ID proponents featured in the film. I have discussed some of these issues here

I also have seen “Privileged Planet”. I cannot comment specifically on the scientific evidence prsented, since it’s not my field, but even assuming all the facts are correctly and fairly presented, unlike Unlocking, I have still to hear a satisfactory answer, from Gonzalez or anyone else, to the objection that PP’s main argument, the coincidence of habitability with observability, from which its design inference proceeds, is just one big illusion due to observer bias (double bias, in fact, for both parameters). As for the religious undertones, in fact they are even more obvious in PP than in Unlocking.

[1] e.g. IC is still presented as a response to Darwin’s test that the finding of an organ “which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications” would make his theory “absolutely break down”, while in fact even Behe is on the record claiming that IC in principle can evolve, and is just highly unlikely to do so.

Comment #86051

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on March 12, 2006 1:32 PM (e)

JoeG wrote:

And for ANYONE who thinks ID=religion- take the ID three-hour challenge.

How about I take the one line quote challenge instead:

Michael Behe, I'm sure you've heard of him JoeG wrote:

“What if the existence of God is in dispute or is denied? So far I have assumed the existence of God. But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence.”

So much for your argument, I think Behe just sunk it without much further discussion being required.

This of course, came up in court at a certain trial. You know, the one where in some amazing defiance of reality you somehow think didn’t end up as a massive humiliation of ID experts.

Comment #86052

Posted by JS on March 12, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

WinAce wrote:

http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/2183/dnftt0lv.jpg

Comment #86054

Posted by Air Bear on March 12, 2006 2:14 PM (e)

Where’s The Bathroom Wall?

I’m trying not to go off-topic here with an article about Billy Graham and purposefulness in the world, but I can’t get there from here.

The link to TBW leads me to a book ad.

Comment #86055

Posted by Air Bear on March 12, 2006 2:31 PM (e)

So here goes. Move this to TBW if necessary.

There’s an interesting article interview with Billy Graham over at msnbc.com, about the Katrina hurricane disaster.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11780382/site/newsweek/

Mr. Graham, the only televangelist with any integrity at all, says

The Devil might have had nothing to do with this; I don’t know. But God has al­lowed it, and there is a purpose that we won’t know maybe for years to come.

To evangelical Christians, everything is part of God’s Plan. Any scientific theory that makes sense of the sweep of history without embedding with within God’s Plan is anathema to them, no matter how successful the theory is. All the “controversy”, all the alternative (non-)theories, all the arguments about Separation of Church and State, are merely subordinate tactics in the effort to push God’s Plan.

So it doesn’t really matter to the anti-evolution publicists whether their specific arguments make any sense. They are not really pushing a scientific alternative to ToE; they are pushing God’s Plan.

(BTW, “integrity” doesn’t mean intellectual honesty or even sanity, merely that Rev. Graham has never been associated with any scandal. In this article about Katrina Rev. Graham mischaracterizes the Job story and gratuitously predicts the imminent Second Coming.)

Comment #86058

Posted by Russell on March 12, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

Geez Lenny Judge Jones has been refuted so many times it is amazing that anyone would call on him.

Oh? Really? Refuted by anyone who matters? Like an appeals court judge? Or a scientist? Anyone in the reality-based community?

This would be your opportunity to spread the word.

Comment #86060

Posted by PvM on March 12, 2006 2:54 PM (e)

JoeG wrote:

Two points:
Considering the alternative to ID is multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes, who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

An interesting flawed dichotomy which ignores the role of regularities. Which is one of the reasons ID failed to be scientifically relevant.

Joeg wrote:

And for ANYONE who thinks ID=religion- take the ID three-hour challenge

Watch two videos- “The Privileged Planet” and “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”, and then, if you can without lying, tell us why ID is not based on observation and scientific research, but is based on religious doctrines and faith.

Done that and I can say ‘without lying’ that ID is based on religious doctrines and faith and takes observations and scientific research and forces it into its own straightjacket. ID is scientifically vacuous.

Perhaps ID proponents can explain what is scientific about ID?

Comment #86062

Posted by Faidon on March 12, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Now how about taking the challenge?

Whoa… Look what happened after just a few hours. See ,that’s what I meant, Joe. Here on PT you can say anything you want on a subject (as long as you display the most fundamental rules of decency) and it will show up, whether the consensus here is for or against it. Thing is, you gotta be prepared to back it up because, unlike when you post on UD, here the replies of those who disagree with you will also show up.

Just a couple points regarding your reply to me:

LoL! That just described multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes.

Um, yeah, Joe. The analogy was kinda, you know, intentional. *snort*

You see, I wanted to demonstrate to you that even the most complicated and confusing theory is scientifically better than no theory at all, which is what ID is.
Maybe I overestimated your ability to comprehend irony a bit.

BTW design IS a mechanism.

FYI design is NOT a mechanism. Design is, well, just design. And a designed product needs some kind of mechanism to produce it, otherwise it will remain in the realm of Platonic ideas forever…
But I understand why you don’t think of that, since in your mind that mechanism is “poof”.

Anyway, did you check the doings of your man DaveScott on these forums yet? Who knows, it might be an eye-opener.

Comment #86075

Posted by David B. Benson on March 12, 2006 4:49 PM (e)

Teaching discredited theories or hypotheses —

I opine this just confuses students, at all levels. If the class is specifically a “history of science” class then the instructor can keep matters in order. But if the class is about (whichever) science, then that is usually hard enough. So avoiding confusion is advised. Curious students, of course, should be advised to take a history of science or history of ideas course.

Comment #86077

Posted by Dean Morrison on March 12, 2006 5:04 PM (e)

Time to plug our ‘Science Just Science’ site - a few UK based PT’ers and others were inspired by your example to resist this nonsense being exported to the UK. Inteeligent design, or even more alarmingly Young Earth Creationism has a very small foothold in the UK school system in a few faith schools. We have no seperation of church and state here - and Tony Blair is keen to push for more ‘faith schools’ in the belief that they have better discipline and better results than other schools, (It seems they acheive this mainly by excluding children from toubled and poorer backgrounds rather than through any other method.

These include an number of schools part-sposored by rich individuals who are then free to appoint the govenors and staff of a school and set it’s ethos. They pay for 10% of the building cost for a new school - but the government picks up the tab for running the school in perpetuity.

The opportunity to establish a number of evangelical schools has been siezed by used-car salesmen like ‘Sir’ Peter Vardy - a personal friend of Tony Blair. Although they claim to teach the National Curriculum, it is clear that they undermine the teaching of evolution, or any other science that contradicts the Bible in their eyes.

On a documentary last Monday two former pupils of the school recounted how their Biology teacher told them about the basics of evolution which they would be required to learn ‘for the exams’ - but then pulled out a Bible and said that thats what he really beleived, and proceeded to read from Genesis.

Large numbers of Islamic schools are now opening up - and it is beleived that they too teach Creationism.

As schools are only inspected every few years, schools are warned when to expect an inspection, and the inspectors themselves have dropped heavy hints that if evolution is not the subject of study on the day they visit - the suspicion is that these schools are going their own sweet way and going with their stated ‘scripture first’ approach to teaching. One of the Schools even hosted a conference by the ‘Answers in Genesis’ group in 2002 - so it’s pretty clear where they are coming from.

Most of the British public is agianst the increase in faith schools as such, but our religious prime minister is very keen on them, despite many members of his own party being openly hostile to his education ‘reforms’ which seek to give all schools more ‘freedom’.

It seems that the new ‘freedoms’ are awarded to rich individuals, often with the added bonus of a ‘Knighthood’.

So there is only a small toehold at the moment - but there is increasing resistance to this phenomenum. Thanks to the Panda’s Thumb there are a number of well-informed Brits who are able to warn others about the threat.

Please feel free to pop into our forum - its great to have some moral support - and we have collected a lot of resources about the situation in the UK

http://justscience.1.forumer.com/index.php?

or our website which is still at an early stage of development:

http://www.justscience.org.uk

or if you want even more info on the situation in the UK look at the ‘Blackshadow’ site at:

http://www.creationism.co.uk

Comment #86078

Posted by steve s on March 12, 2006 5:22 PM (e)

take the ID three-hour challenge

“We’ve got some revolutionary science!”
“Oh really? Can you show me the papers?”
“Uh I can show you a DVD!”
“Do you have any experiments?”
“We have pop sci books written by lawyers!”
“Um, do you have any predictions we can test?”
“I have a Press Release!”
“Are you even trying to publish?”
“We’re trying to get ourselves legislated into classrooms!”
“Do you even have any labs?”
“No, but did I mention we have a DVD?”

Comment #86121

Posted by Dean Morrison on March 12, 2006 6:19 PM (e)

Dawkins comments on this on Radio four, Friday, the PM programme ( about 43 minutes in)

Dawkins on the OCR exams Radio Four

The guy from the exam board makes a good case that they will teach Darwin - and when they have done that put it into a social context to prepare them for when they leave school. They are quite clear that Evolution is a better explanation for the distribution of fossils than creationism as a minor example.

This should be available for about a week.

Comment #86137

Posted by Corkscrew on March 12, 2006 8:40 PM (e)

I opine this just confuses students, at all levels. If the class is specifically a “history of science” class then the instructor can keep matters in order. But if the class is about (whichever) science, then that is usually hard enough. So avoiding confusion is advised. Curious students, of course, should be advised to take a history of science or history of ideas course.

I disagree - done properly, it can be fairly effective. For example, back when I was being taught in a UK science class, I remember our teacher giving us a run-down on the conflict between the shrinking Earth and plate tectonics hypotheses of landscape formation. It was impressively thorough and gave a good demonstration of how the scientific method works and why alternative hypotheses like that are discarded.

I personally think that having this sort of discussion with respect to an issue that’s still emotionally charged is asking for trouble, but that’s more because of the effect it would have on religious students than because of the effect it would have on science teaching. If OCR wants to stick their neck out on this, good for them.

Comment #86140

Posted by Freelurker on March 12, 2006 8:56 PM (e)

My condensation of the PP video:

People like Carl Sagan feel insignificant when they look at the universe, but when we look at it we feel special.

Whatever Carl Sagan’s actual sentiments were, I’m sure that he knew the difference between when he was indulging in metaphysical musings and when he was making scientific statements.

Comment #86141

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 12, 2006 9:13 PM (e)

At UD this morning, Joseph boasted: These guys can’t afford to have the “3 hour ID challenge” go public. Which is exactly why we have to make sure that it does.

Both videos have been available for some time and I haven’t seen a ground swell of support for ID as a result. Its great that we don’t have to pay to see either video but it suggests that sales have been disappointing since to “get the message out” they are offered for free.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #86142

Posted by the pro from dover on March 12, 2006 9:23 PM (e)

Let’s review a few things. Science isn’t truth vs. falsehood, nor purpose vs. meaninglessness, nor athiesm vs. divine guidance, nor licentiousness vs. moral purity. Science is useful vs. useless. The “detection of design” by finding the purpose of complex structures is scientifically useless even if it explains everything. It must predict the outcome of observations/experiments not yet done. For this one must propose a “mechanism of action” that is testable using the scientific method. This would apply to a supernatural agent if and when its mechanism of action could be demonstrated in a prospectively testable fashion. Science isn’t something you believe in. It is something that you do. Ususally you do it for a living. You can believe that all that exists in the universe is matter under the influence of the blind and uncaring forces of nature but there is nothing in the scientific method that requires or even suggests this. Evolution isn’t the triumph of athiesm over Jesus, it isn’t in the same ballpark, country, planet, or universe. It is possible given the tools we have now to put serious dents in the theory of common descent, What do we have for Intelligent Design? Remember all scientific theories must stand or fail on their own merits. One does not succeed because another fails.

Comment #86143

Posted by SThornton on March 12, 2006 9:50 PM (e)

Didn’t you know you’re dealing with a celebrity?

“Joe G” is none other than the (in)famous Joe Gallien, a well known Creto/IDiot nutjob who’s been posting the same (and I do mean the exact same, identical, verbatim C&P words) steaming piles on various C/E boards since the late nineties. He has posted as “John Paul”, and “Ark Guy”, and a dozen other handles, but the content and result is always the same. On every board his vacuous nonsense get soundly thrashed, and on every board he blows a gasket and starts insulting and crying like a little girl. He’s been permanently banned from multiple BBs; even pro-ID havens like TelecThoughts have given him the boot.

Looks like he’s finally found a home with DaveTard and Dumbski wankers. It’s the only place on the web where those who can easily make him look like a fool aren’t allowed to post.

Comment #86144

Posted by Ed Darrell on March 12, 2006 10:52 PM (e)

JoeG said:

It is obvious the judge had his mind made up before the trial began.

Wow! That’s the perfect example of sour grapes from a sore loser, isn’t it?

Comment #86145

Posted by Kevin from nyc on March 12, 2006 11:00 PM (e)

“It is possible given the tools we have now to put serious dents in the theory of common descent”

and those tools and dents would be what exactly?

Are you claiming that life arose several times on earth and that we have stands of differently descended creatures alive today?

Well ok I guess cells with a nucleus and those without…but you mean like some mammals are descended from one strand of life and some are from another? That’s a stretch. and not the simplest solution.

Comment #86149

Posted by Freelurker on March 13, 2006 12:00 AM (e)

Watch two videos- “The Privileged Planet” and “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”, and then, if you can without lying, tell us why ID is not based on observation and scientific research, but is based on religious doctrines and faith.

As best I could tell, the argument presented in Privileged Planet video did not cite any religious doctrines. They were not needed; it’s an Argument from Gratitude.

Comment #86151

Posted by Air Bear on March 13, 2006 12:37 AM (e)

The otherwise-unidentified Freelurker writes:

As best I could tell, the argument presented in Privileged Planet video did not cite any religious doctrines. They were not needed; it’s an Argument from Gratitude.

With a link to an article on Gratitude.

Umm … The article you link to directly contradicts your implication that the PP argument does not rely on religion.

The whole point of the linked article is that if we are grateful for our existence, we are by definition grateful to God.

If you’re going to link to a citation in support of your argument, you’d better read the citation with the eyes of reason rather than the eyes of Faith. Otherwise, you’ll miss the fact that you’re citing articles that contradict what you’re arguing.

Comment #86158

Posted by buddha on March 13, 2006 5:37 AM (e)

Air Bear wrote:

(BTW, “integrity” doesn’t mean intellectual honesty or even sanity, merely that Rev. Graham has never been associated with any scandal.

Falsified.

Comment #86161

Posted by the pro from dover on March 13, 2006 6:32 AM (e)

This is how you put a dent in common descent using currently available tools. The TofE predicts that organisms will be more closely genetically similar to those with which they share a more recent common ancestor than those which merely share the same niche in the econnomy of nature, where the fossil record shows the last common ancestor to be more remote. Let’s take 2 groups of mammals. No tricks here. They all secrete milk and have hair on some part of their bodies at some point in their lives. Their putative fossililzed ancestors all have a mandible formed from the dentary bone and 3 ossicles. In short they all meet the criteria for “mammal”. In group 1 we’ll place the spiny anteater, the banded anteater, the scaly anteater, the giant anteater and the aardvark. In group 2 the arctic fox, the giant panda, the walrus, the mink and the tiger. The TofE would have to predict that group 2 would be more closely genetically similar to each other than those in group 1. I havent a clue what ID would predict other than any finding is copatible with supernatural intervention. To test this all you need are fossils, living specimens, and a DNA sequencing machine. All of these things are currently readily available. So tell me Kevin from NYC what would ID predict as the outcome of this not yet done experiment and why? TPFD.

Comment #86163

Posted by Popper's Ghost on March 13, 2006 6:50 AM (e)

Considering the alternative to ID is multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes, who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

Given any possible state of affairs, one could argue that it is more likely intentional than coincidental. The universal applicability of this argument is a sure indication of its vacuity. It is akin to arguing that anyone who wins the lottery must have cheated, because it’s ridiculously unlikely for them to have won by chance. This fallacy is discussed in depth at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosecutor’s_fallacy

Of course, quite aside from the fact that that particular argument offered in favor of ID is fallacious, ID is demonstrably a politico-religious movement and is not scientific.

Comment #86164

Posted by Freelurker on March 13, 2006 6:55 AM (e)

Umm … The article you link to directly contradicts your implication that the PP argument does not rely on religion.

You almost got it. The PP argument seeks to promote religion but does not rely on religious doctrine as a premise. Both the Argument from Ignorance and the Argument from Gratitude are like that and both of them are employed in the videos.

Comment #86165

Posted by Popper's Ghost on March 13, 2006 7:06 AM (e)

Hmm, it seems to be a reading comprehension problem. Air Bear wrote “The article you link to directly contradicts your implication that the PP argument does not rely on religion”, but of course FreeLurker implied no such thing … in fact, s/he implied the contrary.

Comment #86166

Posted by Popper's Ghost on March 13, 2006 7:18 AM (e)

The PP argument seeks to promote religion but does not rely on religious doctrine as a premise.

To be precise, it relies on religious reasoning, not doctrine. It’s the religious reasoning of human chauvinism that seeks to establish our special, higher, “privileged” status, the religious reasoning that resulted in setting flame to Giordano Bruno. Even Joe G’s negative characterization of evolution as involving “lucky” events is religious, not scientific, in nature.

Comment #86177

Posted by Popper's Ghost on March 13, 2006 8:34 AM (e)

Unfortunately for you, you failed to even bother to read the article. The poll was about religious alternatives.

Not only that, but the poll is characterized as about “the option of three explanations of the origin of life”. Sadly, such polls and such articles about them reinforce people’s ignorance about evolution.

parliamentarian Pietro Cerullo linked Darwin’s theory to leftist thought

Much as relativity was viewed by the Nazis as “Jewish physics”.

Comment #86181

Posted by Raging Bee on March 13, 2006 8:55 AM (e)

Brave Sir JoeG ran away
Bravely ran away, away
When knowledge reared it’s fright’ning head
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir JoeG…

Comment #86187

Posted by Apesnake on March 13, 2006 9:42 AM (e)

Is the “Three Hour Challenge” modeled on that Kellogg’s All-Bran “Two Week Challenge”? Is William Shatner going to come over and watch it with me. Will I finally become regular?

I am still working up the intestinal fortitude to take Carol’s “In the Beginning of - Elephants in the room challenge”. It is hard to find:

A) A library that carries it (I would donate it so that no one else needs to buy it but even religious bookstores don’t carry it).

B) Time to waste on what I have no reason to believe is not a load.

But I still intend to read the book that promises to show me how negligent scientists are in not promoting biblical literalism as compatible with science, even if they do not personally believe in biblical literalism. But while all these challenges are being leveled how about the “Get a Freakin’ Education” challenge where IDers are encouraged to actually study biology and geology at the university level and include in their education things like genetics, microbiology, parasitology and actually include learning about the experiments that were used to convince other scientists of what is currently accepted.

Part of the challenge should be that, while being skeptical and asking questions, they attend as students of the subject and not spend all their time debating the professor.

Comment #86189

Posted by guthrie on March 13, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

To sum it up:
There is no scientific controversy over ID in the UK.
There is not really a controversy over its position in schools, more some concern that pseudoscience will get a toehold in the curriculum. Any school that attempts to teach ID or creationism in the classroom is defacto teaching pseudoscience, and as such aught to get shrredded by the school inspectors. Whether they do or not is another matter, we probably need to make this clearer for the inspectors.

Comment #86191

Posted by Ginger Yellow on March 13, 2006 10:29 AM (e)

“The main objection to having ID in UK science classes seems to be that it is allegedly bad science, not that it appears to be a government endorsement of religion — the government has already made its endorsement of religion quite clear.”

Very true. This is hardly surprising when you consider that many parents lie about their and their children’s faith (or more usually lack of it) to get their children into the best faith schools. There’s a growing backlash against government sponsored faith schools, unfortunately driven more by Islamophobia than by Dawkins-style principles, but Britain really doesn’t have the same hangups about religion in schools that the US does. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it does mean, for instance, that you can have a good comparative religion course without worrying about on the one hand ACLU/AUSCS challenges and on the other hand fundamentalist/insecure parents upset about the “relativity” of the curriculum.

The only traction ID has in this country as a pseudo-theory (as opposed to simply the metaphysical belief that life was designed by an intelligence) is among the evangelicals, who are filling the void left by the decline of the Church of England. They are heavily influenced by US evangelicals, although full on fundamentalism is less prevalent, and churches are often run by Americans. They’ve been particularly vocal in the last few years, for example engineering a controversy when the BBC screened Jerry Springer - The Opera.

Comment #86193

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on March 13, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

Moronic statement by JoeG
BTW design IS a mechanism
.
Let’s see, those paragons of the ID movement Dembski and Behe have repeatedly stated that ID does not have and does not propose any mechanism. I guess everything is just POOF, GOD-DID-IT and that is supposed to be scientific. HA!

Comment #86197

Posted by Louis on March 13, 2006 12:07 PM (e)

When I heard this on my commute home on Friday I was shocked to say the least. I resolved to find out more, so at home I went to the OCR site and printed off the standards for general science, chemistry, biology and physics. Some ~600 pages of A4 in all. I then read them, highlighting as I went along.

I found the relevant passages mentioned above, but I was intrigued by the disclaimer and other comments in the press. I am also not convinced this is as innocuous as it is being presented. Nowhere in the physics course was mention of luminiferous aether or perpetual motion machines. Nowehere in the chemistry course was mentioned phlogiston or homeopathic ideas about potency and dilution. The question arose in my mind “why THIS pseudoscience?”.

I’m preparing a letter to the OCR and the QCA as well as the education secretary because I am totally unconvinced by the weasel words of the disclaimer. This is back door introduction of religious pseudoscience, nothing more nothing less. I do not and will not support the introduction of a “teach the “controversy”” type addition to the biology curriculum because there IS NO CONTROVERSY. Weasel words about “creationist interpretations” of the fossil record don’t cut it. There is no “creationist interpretation” of the fossil record that even warrants mention in a science class. Unless total denial of the facts uncovered by multiple lines of evidence is a valid scientific interpretation, which it fucking well is not.

People seem to have forgotten that the teleological proof of god/gods and the creationist interpretation of the bible were untenable before Darwin for a variety of reasons. I intend to remind them.

Comment #86199

Posted by PvM on March 13, 2006 12:44 PM (e)

Thanks for the update. Back to our regular program :-)

Comment #86202

Posted by Mike Z on March 13, 2006 1:37 PM (e)

Apesnake –
What came to my mind was “The Pepsi Challenge” commercials from, I believe, the 1980s.

Comment #86204

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 13, 2006 1:46 PM (e)

JoeG asserts: BTW design IS a mechanism

In light of JoeG’s bold statement I reread both Dembskis’ and Matzkes’ articles on the bacterial flagellum for comparison, looking for evidence of mechanisms. Dembskis’ arguments are philosophical while Matzke argues from the data. Dembski uses analogies, Matzke uses data. Dembski argues against evolutionary mechanisms while providing no positive ID mechanistic explanations. Matzke provides several mechanisms and critiques those mechanisms. Dembski references Matzke but dismisses the article without addressing any of the issues. In short Dembski hand waves in generalities, Nick addresses specifics using data.

Dembski had the opportunity to apply his mathematical skills to the flagellum but chose not to. The inability to demonstrate any rigorous support for ID in a paper devoted to the flagellum suggests that
1. There is no functional method for detecting design in nature.
2. Dembski’s methods can not detect design.
3. Dembski is not prepared to test his methods.

All of these possibilities have been repeatedly suggested by others.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #86211

Posted by Albion on March 13, 2006 3:59 PM (e)

I disagree - done properly, it can be fairly effective. For example, back when I was being taught in a UK science class, I remember our teacher giving us a run-down on the conflict between the shrinking Earth and plate tectonics hypotheses of landscape formation. It was impressively thorough and gave a good demonstration of how the scientific method works and why alternative hypotheses like that are discarded.

However, the conflict between plate tectonics and the shrinking earth is an example of a genuine scientific controversy. The way that evidence-based explanations of the age of the planet took over from scripture-based explanations at the beginning of the 19th century and the way that evolution-based explanations took over from special creation during the 19th century as the explanation for the diversity of life are appropriate illustrations of the scientific method at work.

The current controversy between creationism and evolution is not. Modern-day creationism is an attempt to turn the scientific clock back while using science as the entry point to enact far broader social changes in the name of religion. It may be an interesting example for social studies or comparative religion, but it has no place whatever in a science class. It brings nothing to the understanding of science.

It can, however, be profitably used by teachers sympathetic to creationism (whether YEC, ID, or whatever they teach in the Islamic faith schools) to promote their propaganda while claiming to simply be teaching about why there’s a controversy. Tony Blair, that - ahem - great promoter of science, has ducked a couple of clear opportunities to condemn the teaching of creationism in the Vardy schools in particular and in schools in general, so I think it’s reasonable to assume that he doesn’t have a problem with it.

Comment #86214

Posted by J. Biggs on March 13, 2006 4:32 PM (e)

Modern-day creationism is an attempt to turn the scientific clock back while using science as the entry point to enact far broader social changes in the name of religion.

If they succeed does it mean we get to revisit the dark ages? Goody!

Comment #86215

Posted by J. Biggs on March 13, 2006 4:43 PM (e)

It can, however, be profitably used by teachers sympathetic to creationism (whether YEC, ID, or whatever they teach in the Islamic faith schools) to promote their propaganda while claiming to simply be teaching about why there’s a controversy.

DI is obviously trying to use ID and “teach the controversy” to appeal to “teachers sympathetic to creationism”. Regardless of how ID is formulated or presented, DI’s primary objective is to get persons of authority to present creationist arguments as legitimate scientific assertions against evolution and other science they disagree with. Never mind that their arguments have all been refuted in all their various insidious forms. It is very sad in my opinion that DI advocates (overtly or covertly) that educators should abuse their authority to promote a particular ideology and present it as science.

Comment #86218

Posted by harold on March 13, 2006 4:58 PM (e)

Apesnake wrote -

“Is the “Three Hour (ID) Challenge” modeled on that Kellogg’s All-Bran “Two Week Challenge”?”

ID and Kellogs All-Bram provoke similar output, but from opposite ends of the digestive tract.

Comment #86219

Posted by Apesnake on March 13, 2006 5:08 PM (e)

Mike Z wrote:

Apesnake —
What came to my mind was “The Pepsi Challenge” commercials from, I believe, the 1980s.

Warm flat coke verses cool fresh Pepsi. Sounds like the 3 Hour Challenge with Coke as science and Pepsi as…

no, for the analogy to hold the science cup would be a warm glass of goat crap labeled Coke and the Pepsi would need to melt your brain.

J. Biggs wrote:

It is obvious that Johncabbreck is Andy H./Larry Farflungdung and debating him is an utter waste of time as he will constantly change his mind about the meaning of what he writes.

Playing whack-a-mole with your head can be fun for a few minutes. Seriously though, do you ever get the feeling that this is a tactic so that people will start ignoring their comments and several days or months later they can link to the comment page and say: “Look! See how ‘Darwinists’ are so baffled that they can not respond to my comments.” Kind of like the general anti-evolution strategy, just keep trying the same thing elsewhere, again and again. Wear them down.

Comment #86220

Posted by David B. Benson on March 13, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

Yes, there are many illustrations of the scientific method at work. All the ones mentioned so far, in my considered opinion, belong in lectures devoted to the history of science or the history of ideas. Using plate tectonics as an example, a typical series of lectures on geology will include this, illustrate this, explain why this fits the data, but it does not help the students to see the older, now discarded hypotheses. What is needed is plenty of illustrations of uniformitarianism, and the slow evolution of the earth’s surface, evident from the picture show. I could go on and on, but won’t. The point is that the subject is geology, not the scientific method per se, and not the history of geological thought. Muddling these three together just produces muddled minds, unable to understand what is geology and what is something else.

Comment #86227

Posted by Peter Henderson on March 13, 2006 6:01 PM (e)

I seem to remember in my geology class, the late Herbie Black (my geology teacher) telling us the different theories about the formation of fold mountains and how at one time geologists thought that they were formed by the crust cooling and how this resulted in a wrinkling effect. But he was able to demonstrate why and how this was wrong. As I said in my post on the other thread I’m sure he would have been horrified at the thought of “Flood geology” even being mentioned as an alternative to uniformitarianism although he may have talked about it in the history of geology, rather like Professor Ian Stewart did in the excellent BBC series “Journeys to the centre of the Earth” which was all about the geology of the “Med”. As far as I know he’s planning another one about the “Pacific ring of fire” in the near future. Hopefully educational programmes like these will counter-act the aggressive YEC propaganda that AIG UK is promoting in churches up and down the country.

By the way, if any of the folks here ever get a chance to come to Belfast, you can see Herbie Black’s mineral and fossil collection on display in the Ulster museum, which is well worth a visit as it has a very good natural history section !

Comment #86228

Posted by Torbjorn Larsson on March 13, 2006 6:14 PM (e)

“I found the relevant passages mentioned above, but I was intrigued by the disclaimer and other comments in the press. I am also not convinced this is as innocuous as it is being presented. Nowhere in the physics course was mention of luminiferous aether or perpetual motion machines. Nowehere in the chemistry course was mentioned phlogiston or homeopathic ideas about potency and dilution. The question arose in my mind “why THIS pseudoscience?”.”

I was presuming as much, and now I don’t have to check. (Seems like a major task.)

“I’m preparing a letter to the OCR and the QCA as well as the education secretary because I am totally unconvinced by the weasel words of the disclaimer. This is back door introduction of religious pseudoscience, nothing more nothing less.”

Bravo!

Comment #86230

Posted by Jim Harrison on March 13, 2006 6:20 PM (e)

The sad fact is that error always has a headstart on the truth because error is simple while the truth is complicated. If you have a class full of motivated students or you can figure out how to motivate a class full of students, it makes perfectly good sense to discuss the various alternative explanations that have been proposed for, say, mountain building or the origin of species. That’s a very rare state of affairs, however. Under the circumstances, whatever gets taught in high school will be largely hogwash. The trick is to come up with a somewhat less deplorable variety of hogwash. In this respect, bringing up exploded theories like intelligent design in classrooms is a bad form of hogwash. It simply makes kids think that there may be something in them.

Comment #86231

Posted by KiwiInOz on March 13, 2006 6:30 PM (e)

Harold - I would posit that the output of both ID and All Bran is sh*t.

Comment #86233

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 13, 2006 6:43 PM (e)

I guess Joey has already tucked tail and scampered back to his burrow.

Why oh why why why don’t fundies ever answer any of my simple questions … ?

(sigh)

Comment #86241

Posted by the pro from dover on March 13, 2006 7:57 PM (e)

Oh Kevin where are you? What is your response to the proposed experiment? You’ve got no less than the 2nd greatest natural history museum (London may be 1st) in the observable universe at your disposal. Here I am in Centennial Co. freezing my testes waiting for I-70 to clear so’s I can get to Vail while you’re in NYC where its sunny and warm. Check out the AMNH on central park west. Lenny sez it’s out of date, but I think it is as great a treasure as MOMA or the Met. TPFD.

Comment #86243

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 13, 2006 8:16 PM (e)

“ Seriously though, do you ever get the feeling that this is a tactic so that people will start ignoring their comments and several days or months later they can link to the comment page and say: “Look! See how ‘Darwinists’ are so baffled that they can not respond to my comments.” Kind of like the general anti-evolution strategy,” you’re giving larry too much credit. the sole thing he needs is reaction-that’s why he posts ignorant trash. in the weird, lonely emptiness of his mind, all that matters is that someone answers. it’s quite sad, really

Comment #86244

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on March 13, 2006 8:23 PM (e)

Creationists remind me of the following exchange from Invader Zim:

Dib appears on a viewscreen next to the alien Zim.

Dib: Hi Zim, it’s me Dib and in case you are wondering I am using your base to project this image of me.

Zim: What? How? Is that Taks ship? That’s taks ship, ISN’T IT?

Dib: Why yes it is and -

Zim: ISN’T IT!

Dib: I already said that

Zim: ISN’T IT!!

Dib: I ALREADY SAID IT WAS. Man, do you have a listening problem.

Zim: ISN’T IT!!!

You can guess, which side is which ;)

Comment #86256

Posted by snaxalotl on March 14, 2006 2:08 AM (e)

As for the data- it was the data that afforded A. Flew to change from being an atheist to one who understands ID is scientific.

- JoeG

I now realize that I have made a fool of myself by believing that there were no presentable theories of the development of inanimate matter up to the first living creature capable of reproduction.

- A. Flew
www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action=viewAsset&id=369

Comment #86292

Posted by Satori on March 14, 2006 7:55 AM (e)

Stupid question: why can’t I post on Uncommon Descent any longer after simply asking why we should teach ID to high school kids when there was no scientific literature on the subject? I read the original post there that started this thread on PT and later left what I thought was an innocuous question on the thread relating to some poll that indicates 77% of Americans want ID to be taught alongside evolution (questionable!). Now it seems I am banned from the forum. Is this what “teach the controversy” means? Or should it be “agree with us or be censored”?

Comment #86294

Posted by Torbjorn Larsson on March 14, 2006 8:10 AM (e)

I see Flew also makes a fool of himself by believing in the kalam cosmological argument, which is thorougly incompatible with, and refuted by, modern cosmologies. Or more basically a physicists unfalsified view of the time parameter (but not necessarily spacetime) as a continous real, or even basic set theory before that. It should be called the calamity argument. ;-)

Comment #86297

Posted by Renier on March 14, 2006 8:24 AM (e)

Satori. Because the people at UD does not like being reminded that they have NOTHING scientific to show. It’s like a poor person being reminded just how poor he is. It’s cruel! Shame on you ;p

Comment #86299

Posted by guthrie on March 14, 2006 8:37 AM (e)

Satori- there is an entire thread about uncommon descent, logging the people it bans, poking holes in its argments, and generally taking the mickey, over at:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=441680510d8f66b4;act=ST;f=14;t=1274;st=1380

Now, before you read it, you have to understand that the people on there have been watching UD and DAve Scott for a while, so their a little jaded, and somewhat rude.

Comment #86308

Posted by Louis on March 14, 2006 9:48 AM (e)

All,

Here is a link to where to find the OCR documents:

OCR Gateway Science Documents

The “Approved Specifications” are what you are looking for. They are of course PDF files for the acrobatically challenged.

The relevant bits of the biology document are pages 34 and 35. Have a read through the lot, most of it is sound. So sound that I am suspicious of the tiny piece of the biology document that isn’t.

Enjoy!

Louis

P.S. If my attempt at a hotlink fails (likely!) try copy and pasting this:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/OCR/WebSite/docroot/qualifications/qualificationhome/showQualification.do?qual_oid=22714&site=OCR&oid=22714&server=PRODUKTION

Comment #86325

Posted by Ethyl on March 14, 2006 11:28 AM (e)

Let’s review a few things. Science isn’t truth vs. falsehood, nor purpose vs. meaninglessness, nor athiesm vs. divine guidance, nor licentiousness vs. moral purity. Science is useful vs. useless….

Science isn’t something you believe in. It is something that you do. Ususally you do it for a living. You can believe that all that exists in the universe is matter under the influence of the blind and uncaring forces of nature but there is nothing in the scientific method that requires or even suggests this. Evolution isn’t the triumph of athiesm over Jesus, it isn’t in the same ballpark, country, planet, or universe.

TPFD, you’re absolutely correct. The problem is that the other side can’t, or won’t, or doesn’t, understand this. Scientists are framing the debate as science, but the fundies are framing the debate as belief, as morality, as all this stuff that it patently isn’t. Is the problem that fundamentalists have a worldview that is so wrapped up in belief that they really do not understand the difference between facts and knowledge and blind faith? Or is the problem more fundamental (excuse the pun) – that their religion requires a belief in the literal truth of their mythology such that if any part of that mythology is proven to be literally untrue, the whole thing unravels? I don’t know. I’ll occasionally read about ex-fundies, but there doesn’t seem to be any explanation for this lack of understanding about the difference between fact and belief.

In a related topic, regarding getting students engaged in classroom lectures on the history of science and how the scientific method works…. I have an undergrad degree in geology and once did a whole lot of grad work towards a master’s. The only place I ever heard anything interesting about the history of geology were brief blurbs in upper-level classes, and in extracirricular materials (lectures, books, PBS, etc.). The problem is that as an undergrad, you’re busy getting the fundamentals down and don’t find the history of your field that engaging. But when you’re more advanced, you’ve already specialized, so as a geochemist, learning the history of plate tectonics can seem like a waste. Seems like the answer might be to try to foster curiosity and an understanding of how everything fits together. Should be easy in geology, really, because everything is like a big puzzle.

Comment #86339

Posted by PvM on March 14, 2006 12:26 PM (e)

JoeG wrote:

Geez Lenny Judge Jones has been refuted so many times it is amazing that anyone would call on him.

Ah the smell of wishful thinking in the morning, love it…

Comment #86343

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 14, 2006 12:51 PM (e)

Is the problem that fundamentalists have a worldview that is so wrapped up in belief that they really do not understand the difference between facts and knowledge and blind faith?

I have heard the claim (probably apocryphal) that most Native American languages had no word for “religion,” not because they were not spiritual, but because they drew no distinction between belief and knowledge; everything was spiritual. I suspect that the fundamentalist worldview is very much like this. In short, I really do strongly suspect that the answer to the above question is “yes.”

God help us.

Comment #86345

Posted by Heinz Kiosk on March 14, 2006 1:05 PM (e)

Some fool wrote:

ID did fine in Dover.

That’ll be “did fine” as in, “The defendant’s star scientific witness admitted that ID doesn’t have what it takes to be considered science, and the Dover School Board Members blamed their repeated lying on their drug habits.” That kind of “doing fine” I suspect ID can do without.

Comment #86354

Posted by k.e. on March 14, 2006 2:20 PM (e)

Bill Said:
….most Native American languages had no word for “religion,”
Yes Comparative Mythology reveals a great deal about how different groups of Humans socially constructed their world view. Such interesting tit-bits as one Native American language (this is from memory) had the same word for ‘red’ and ‘green’ thus saving color blind members of the tribe a cognitive dissonance with their brethren.
Another (again from memory) which is even more interesting, the whole tribe lived by “the word” (OK now “The word” was their native word for WORD…got that?), the word provided everything, protected them, gave them life after death (or so it was said, I suppose). The word would protect them in battles with any invaders and the belief in the word was such that anyone trying to take them on was met with fanatical resistance, after all the word was true! and had been proven to be true for all of the tribes living memory.

Now the parallel with the motivation and success of past religious wars and present day Fundies is interesting in that the whole consensual reality of the tribe is rigidly set and absolutely no dissent tolerated at pain of death in the old days or banishment nowadays. One gives ones mind over to the Tribal social realism and in return one is guaranteed mutual fanaticism in the fight for survival against intruders. A true soldiers mentality.

That particular NA tribe tried to use that belief against the white mans guns, needless to say “the word” came off second best, however there is a striking parallel with the Afghan Taliban routing of the post Russian regime in Kabul. There is a grainy video of Mullah Ohmar showing his faithful fighters the shroud of some famous Islamic saint at a compound in southern Afghanistan and raising the assembled soldiers to an ecstatic, dare I say it, rapturous fury. Legend has it, that the Taliban marched onto the outskirts of Kabul with their weapons shouldered,tapping their foreheads with the Koran. There was no resistance. Such is the power of the “word”, well actually the power of the human mind to be manipulated by whoever has control of the social reality. Keep in mind the Taliban closed schools, banned TV or any social activity that would reduce their authority. They effectively, in short order, refashioned their social reality into a marshal state. Outsiders were reduced to godless heathens and thus an unworthy enemy. Simple when you know how.

Comment #86365

Posted by steve s on March 14, 2006 3:57 PM (e)

JoeG wrote:

Geez Lenny Judge Jones has been refuted so many times it is amazing that anyone would call on him.

To paraphrase someone else, that’s not refuting, that’s typing.

Comment #86366

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 14, 2006 4:14 PM (e)

To paraphrase someone else

Truman Capote, FYI.

Comment #86375

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 14, 2006 5:27 PM (e)

k.e. said: “Legend has it, that the Taliban marched onto the outskirts of Kabul with their weapons shouldered, tapping their foreheads with the Koran. There was no resistance. Such is the power of the “word”“(emphasis added)

Well, that and the holy hand grenade of Antioch.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #86408

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 14, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

I have heard the claim (probably apocryphal) that most Native American languages had no word for “religion,” not because they were not spiritual, but because they drew no distinction between belief and knowledge; everything was spiritual.

In Lakota (the Plains natives that are usually referred to by the French name “Sioux”), the word usually used is “wakan”. This is sometimes translated as “holy”, but it more correctly has the meaning of “mysterious, unknowable, cannot be understood”. In the Lakota shamanistic religious view, the spirit that guided everything was known as “Wakan Tanka” – “tanka” meaning “great” or “powerful”, thus “The Great Mystery” or “The Unknowable Power”. Wakan Tanka was not a person, and to refer to it as “God” is not really correct. It’s more akin to the Chinese idea of “Tao” or the Japanese idea of “Kami”.

The same word “wakan” could be applied to mundane things, too. Before the Spanish invasion of North America, the Lakota had no horses. They did have domesticated dogs, however, which were called “shunka”. When they first saw horses (feral descendants of Spanish escapees), they were completely baffled by them and had no idea what they were or where they had come from, and subsequently referred to them as “Shunka Wakan”, or “The Mysterious Dog”.

As an aside for the curious, the word most often used by Lakota to refer to white people is “wasichu”, which means literally “takes the fat”. The word comes from the Lakota practice of dividing the meat from a hunt amongst all the members of the tribe so that no one went hungry – each got their share, and the waste fat that was left over was tossed into the fire. The whites, then, not only wanted to take more than their fair share of the meat, but were also greedy enough to want the waste fat that no one else wanted. I.e., they wanted to take EVERYTHING.

Comment #86421

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 14, 2006 8:56 PM (e)

Hence Wakan Tonka: the mysterious toy truck.

This usage* also appears in the popular idiomatic phrase, “That creationist can’t wakan tonk at the same time.” I.e., creationists have a mysterious neurological disorder, named for the observation that it usually manifests in early childhood, about the time that most children are outgrowing their toys.

*(Not related to the Osage.)

Comment #86430

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 14, 2006 9:41 PM (e)

Hence Wakan Tonka: the mysterious toy truck.

Or Wakan Wonka, the mysterious keeper of the Oompa Loompas.

Comment #86443

Posted by KiwiInOz on March 14, 2006 10:21 PM (e)

Or Wakan hell*, where all evilutionists will go and burn, and over which upstanding true believers will warm their hands.

* May lose something in translation if you good ole boys in the US of A don’t use the same idiom as we from down under.

Comment #86501

Posted by Popper's Ghost on March 15, 2006 5:02 AM (e)

Such interesting tit-bits as one Native American language (this is from memory) had the same word for ‘red’ and ‘green’ thus saving color blind members of the tribe a cognitive dissonance with their brethren.

Apparently you are reshaping your memory to support a thesis that has no basis in actual fact. Rather than lacking terms that discriminate terms for opposite colors, many languages lack terms that discriminate between similar colors, such as green and blue. The Dani of New Guinea only have two words, ‘mola’ for white/red/yellow and ‘mili’ for black/blue/green.

Comment #86507

Posted by Ginger Yellow on March 15, 2006 7:45 AM (e)

“Another (again from memory) which is even more interesting, the whole tribe lived by “the word” (OK now “The word” was their native word for WORD…got that?), the word provided everything, protected them, gave them life after death (or so it was said, I suppose).”

This phenomen is fairly common. Slavs are “people of the word” - “slovo” being “word” in modern Russian. Conversely the Russsian word for “German” is derived from the word for “mute”.

Comment #86570

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 15, 2006 1:03 PM (e)

I have heard the claim (probably apocryphal) that most Native American languages had no word for “religion,” not because they were not spiritual, but because they drew no distinction between belief and knowledge; everything was spiritual.

Well, originally English didn’t have a word for ‘religion’ either, and had to borrow the word from Latin, from a word that originally meant ‘binding together’.

Yes Comparative Mythology reveals a great deal about how different groups of Humans socially constructed their world view. Such interesting tit-bits as one Native American language (this is from memory) had the same word for ‘red’ and ‘green’ thus saving color blind members of the tribe a cognitive dissonance with their brethren.

We know enough about Native American languages that we don’t have to mythologize them. No Native American language fails to differentiate between green and red. Some do, however, merge ‘yellow’ and ‘brown’, or ‘green’ and ‘blue’. There’s nothing mystical about this – languages across the world make strikingly different distinctions among different colors. There’s a whole anthropological and linguistic literature about this.

Another (again from memory) which is even more interesting, the whole tribe lived by “the word” (OK now “The word” was their native word for WORD…got that?), the word provided everything, protected them, gave them life after death (or so it was said, I suppose).

‘The tribe’?? There is no ‘the tribe’. There are hundreds of Native American groups with a huge variety of languages and belief systems. One cannot make generalizations like this with any validity. It’s the same as a Chinese person talking about “the religion of the White People”.

Comment #86576

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 15, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

Hence Wakan Tonka: the mysterious toy truck.

Actually, ‘tonka’ (really thanka) is merely the Lakota word for ‘big’ or ‘great’. The company that first marketed Tonka Trucks liked the sound of the word and ‘borrowed’ it. Much like all the Indian tribe names that get used to name trucks and RV’s.

Comment #86585

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 15, 2006 1:52 PM (e)

Accurate information is always appreciated, Arden, even in reply to plainly non-serious comments! The emission of laughter should never interfere with the reception of righteous input.

Comment #86587

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 15, 2006 1:56 PM (e)

Actually, I knew full well you were just joking around, but I thought the other comments needed ‘correcting’ pretty urgently… :-)

Comment #86588

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 15, 2006 2:07 PM (e)

‘Nuff said.

Comment #86639

Posted by Peter Henderson on March 15, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

I was just wondering, do the native Americans have a flood myth ? I’ve often heard YECers tell us that the various flood stories from around the world is evidence that the flood was global and not local. What’s the native American version of this ?

Comment #86640

Posted by big kahuna on March 15, 2006 7:09 PM (e)

To Joe Blow as regards his Privilege Planet challenge: “This planet is spinning at 24 thousand revolutions a year with a fly on it. Religion is the proposition that the whole shebang was put in motion so the fly could take a dizzing ride on it.” H.L. Mencken

Moron, you are bringing a knife to a gunfight!!!

Comment #86644

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 15, 2006 7:33 PM (e)

Peter Henderson:

I was just wondering, do the native Americans have a flood myth ? I’ve often heard YECers tell us that the various flood stories from around the world is evidence that the flood was global and not local. What’s the native American version of this ?

Peter, meet Arden Chatfield, from post #86570 above:

There are hundreds of Native American groups with a huge variety of languages and belief systems. One cannot make generalizations like this with any validity.

Um, so which particular group’s flood myth would you like to learn about?

In regard to your larger global-local question, I might also refer you to my recent post on this Pharnygula thread (and to several other posts on the same topic along the same lines–mine on this topic is about the fifth or sixth post up from the bottom):
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/03/ark_inanity_yet_again.php#commentsArea.

Comment #86646

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 15, 2006 7:42 PM (e)

There are hundreds of Native American groups with a huge variety of languages and belief systems.

The Federal Government recognizes 563 Native American tribes.

IIRC, it signed treaties with 372 of those.

It broke every single one.

Comment #86648

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 15, 2006 7:51 PM (e)

And, with that in mind, it’s probably the “flood” that started rolling over Native America in 1492 that probably matters the most.

Comment #86686

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 15, 2006 10:31 PM (e)

Back when I was a kid living in South Dakota, there is one newspaper cartoon I remember seeing tacked up on the wall in every house of my friends on the reservation. It had a flying saucer landing with two little green men waving from the hatch, and two natives standing by, with one saying to the other, “Oh no – not again”.