Mike Dunford posted Entry 3271 on August 4, 2007 11:17 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3258

Denyse O’Leary notes some of the differences between creationists and Intelligent Design proponents:

Then the creationists in turn help the ID theorists by making clear what creationism is and what it is not. Creationism is about the BIBLE, see? It’s not about intelligent design theories like Behe’s* Edge of Evolution or Dembski’s design inference.

It’s extremely uncommon for me to find myself in agreement with Denyse on anything (and it’s not a comfortable feeling), but in this case I do think she’s got a good point. Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. In fact, that’s probably the Achilles’ Heel of the entire Intelligent Design movement.

Say what you will about the Young-Earth creationists, about Ken Ham and Kent “Prisoner #06452-017” Hovind, they are steadfast in their belief in the literal truth of the Bible, and steadfast in their refusal to lie about that belief. They believe that they are right, and they are not willing to publicly deny their faith. In that, they stand in stark contrast to Intelligent Design.

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Comment #192241

Posted by Paul Flocken on August 4, 2007 3:00 PM (e)

From the CSE linky,

“Spiritually, what happens next? We must continue to serve God day by day.
We really honestly believe that when we pray for a miracle in our case, we are not just praying for selfish reasons. We earnestly believe that the cause of Christ is at stake. We really believe that souls are hanging in the balance because of God’s continued choosing to use this ministry to bring others to Himself. We honestly believe that HIS name and HIS glory are at stake.”

WOW, the all-powerful, all-knowing, creator of life, the universe, and everything (including 42) and he is threatened because a two-bit, tax dodging, shyster is in jail. They really have an inflated opinion of their importance.

Sincerely,
Paul

Comment #192257

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on August 4, 2007 4:30 PM (e)

Great post Mike. You’re totally one of my favorite PT authors.

Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible,

That may have been true in the past but not uniformly true in the present.

There are some creationists who will argue from empirical evidence. For example, see Amino Acid evolution suggests Accelerated Radioactive Decay.

If the New YECs succeed in making a convincing case from Stochastic Electrodynamics that the speed of light has decayed and there was accelerated radioactive decay (as suggested in the above link), YECs will have a solid empirical footing.

I have pointed out some preliminary evidence the YEC view of Stochastic Electro Dynamics may be correct. I have invited reasoned and articulate dissent by scientists, so the question remains open, but I am cautiously optimistic in light of the following: Walter Brown’s Prediction about Binary Stars and CDK

Comment #192269

Posted by David Stanton on August 4, 2007 5:24 PM (e)

Sorry Sal. Not revealing your moitives is not the same as not having them. As for arguing from empirical evidence, to do that you have to explain all the evidence. Coming with some possible anomalies that are presently difficult to explain, or merely suggestive, isn’t enough. By the way, any scientific references for that stuff? You might want to check the Talk Origins archive before trying to peddle it around here.

Comment #192273

Posted by Zarquon on August 4, 2007 5:45 PM (e)

Sal’s nonsense is destroyed on a thread at After The Bar Closes http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/i…

Comment #192276

Posted by David Stanton on August 4, 2007 6:10 PM (e)

Thanks Zarquon, very enlightening. Also interesting that Sal says that “if” the YECs make a convincing case they will have a “solid empirical footing”. So I guess he admits that they don’t yet have one. What are they waiting for? They have been at this for hundreds of years. Why no empirical support yet? And apparently, the fact that they have not yet succeeded in “making a convincing case” has not stopped them from arguing from empirical evidence. Gee, wouldn’t most scientists wait until they had a case before they started arguing?

Comment #192301

Posted by realpc on August 4, 2007 7:36 PM (e)

Materialists enjoy arguing against Creationism because it’s so easy to win. Intelligent Design theory, on the other hand, is not nearly as much fun to argue against. The mathematical and scientific arguments are difficult, for everyone, and neither side can claim to have proof.

So of course you like Creationists better than ID theorists. The Creationists don’t care about truth or evidence or science. They are obviously harmless fools. You despise ID theorists, but it isn’t because they’re dishonest or devious. It’s because they, some of them, are highly educated experts who do care, very much, about science.

It is possible to be scientific without despising the idea of religious faith. It is possible to question materialist philosophy without being a gullible, unscientific, fool.

That’s what you’re really worried about. You know that, in the long run, scientific arguments are decided by evidence and logic, not politics. Right now, your victories are only political. You decide the truth about evolution by counting Steves, as if math and logic were irrelevant. All that counts, to you, is how many close-minded establishment experts you have on your side.

Comment #192302

Posted by Martial law on August 4, 2007 7:42 PM (e)

I have thought, that Creationism C Intelligent Design

That means, Intelligent Design is a group/big tent, in
which is many ideologies. And ONE of them is YEC. There is many “parts”.
(You can be YEC and support ID at the same part. ID did not tell that YEC with 6000-10 000 year old earth/life/universe is wrong. It jus not say is it old or not.)

And that makes it so soapy;
If you show that something in ID is wrong, you are not critizing ID, you jus debunk “one irrelevant part”. And there is nothing that is outside, if all of these “irrelevant parts” are removed. So everything you actually can do is debunkin those “irrelevant parts” and claims..

Comment #192308

Posted by Pastor Bentonit, FCD on August 4, 2007 7:55 PM (e)

a troll who gets it right for once wrote:

You know that, in the long run, scientific arguments are decided by evidence and logic, not politics.

...and immediately proceeds to place foot firmly in mouth, wrote:

Right now, your victories are only political.

Sadly for you, no!

Comment #192332

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on August 4, 2007 10:15 PM (e)

Getting soft in your old age? Denyse gets you with blatant falsehoods that Disco wants to spread.

Creationism is about the BIBLE, see?

Baloney. It doesn’t even have to be Christian.

ID is SciCre (scientific creationism) by another name. SciCre is not about the bible. It is explicitly a bunch of scientific sounding arguments that evolution must be wrong. These arguments are often about the impossibility of intermediates, or their prohibitive improbability. Sound familiar?

It’s not about intelligent design theories like Behe’s* Edge of Evolution or Dembski’s design inference.

Behe’s Edge is straight SciCre. Dembski’s method is a variation of the usual SciCre argument. His filter starts by assuming explicitly that something is not possible except by chance, and then argues that the chance is too small. But his starting assumption is implicit in the standard SciCre treatment which supposes that if something occurred other than by magic it must have happened by “random chance” or the like.

So ID is SciCre. But wait!

Dembski wrote:

Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.

In Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology Dembski explains the relation between ID and Logos in detail in chapter 8, “The Act of Creation”.

His design detector is evidently also a Logos detector.
So ID is Bible based. Even without that, ID is SciCre, a major type of creationism.

The moral of this story is “Never trust a naked creationist”. No, wait, what could I be thinking? The moral is plain old

Rule 1: Never take a creationist’s word for anything related to creationism.

Comment #192335

Posted by Raging Bee on August 4, 2007 10:40 PM (e)

RealUneducableNewAgePillock wrote:

Materialists enjoy arguing against Creationism because it’s so easy to win. Intelligent Design theory, on the other hand, is not nearly as much fun to argue against. The mathematical and scientific arguments are difficult, for everyone, and neither side can claim to have proof.

Still pretending no one knows nothin’ ‘bout nothin’? Sorry, Skippy, that fish don’t hunt. “Intelligent Design ‘Theory’” has been repeatedly proven to be vacuous at best, and (more often than not) blatantly dishonest at worst. Your attempt to pretend both sides are equally in the dark only shows how consistently uneducable you are. You’re the only one in the dark, because you’re the only one whose head is still firmly jammed up your bum.

The only difference between creationism and ID is that the latter desperately tries to pretend it’s something else. (BTW, Sal, care to explain the significance of the phrase “cdesign proponentsists?”)

Comment #192339

Posted by Hamlet on August 4, 2007 11:00 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #192347

Posted by Timcol on August 4, 2007 11:20 PM (e)

In the same blog, Denyse also wrote:

“Those who dissent respond by building - at their own expense - a museum to tell their side, do the public a service by making their religious agenda clear to all.”

This seems to be a typical response to creationism by IDers - they don’t want to outright admit that it is a falsehood, but instead want to dance around it, even to the point that, bizarrely, this is some kind of ‘public service’. So O’Leary thinks promoting pseudo-science developed on the basis of a very questionable set of scriptures, in which a tribal God heartlessly massacres millions of people - this is a public service.

I once tried to challenge O’Leary on her blog about how exactly old the Earth and the Universe are - but as usual, rather than getting into any real discussion, she just simply ignores the question. If you go to her blog, you will find very little comments, partly because O’Leary has no intention of getting into any actual debate with anybody. No, nobody is allowed to challenge the Queen of Snarkiness.

BTW, is it me, but do others find O’Leary the most irritating, and smug of the ID bloggers? She labels herself as a “journalist” but really all she does is mass-produce propaganda fodder to keep the faithful satiated with blind assertions and falsehoods.

Comment #192348

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 4, 2007 11:21 PM (e)

Salvador Cordova wrote:

Great post Mike. You’re totally one of my favorite PT authors.

Uh-oh. Salvador is greasing up the smarmy. Slippery comment to follow.

Salvador Cordova wrote:

from Stochastic Electrodynamics that the speed of light has decayed and there was accelerated radioactive decay (as suggested in the above link),

There are fundamental problems in suggesting Lorentz invariance breaking, even on non-local scales.

And indeed, the fine structure constant is easy to measure and shows that vacuum speed of light has covaried with other constants less than 10^-6 over the last 10 Gyr. New techniques are expected to improve the bounds 4 orders of magnitude.

But the link doesn’t discuss radioactive decays over long periods, but C-14 measurements. (Without actual measurements, I note.)

SED was an old idea originated by Planck in his unwillingness to embrace quantum mechanics. Again, it would need a fundamental rework of all of physics to replace QM, even for the EM part in isolation. But SED wouldn’t do it, the classical part of SED would imply local hidden variables which Bell test experiments have shown untenable. (30 standard deviations, when 3 would suffice.)

Comment #192365

Posted by stevaroni on August 5, 2007 1:08 AM (e)

RealPC blathers…

The mathematical and scientific arguments are difficult, for everyone, and neither side can claim to have proof.

No. you think the arguments are difficult, but there are many, many people who actually understand the complex math and science used in fields like information theory. It’s really not all that hard, if you just try.

And besides while ‘proof’ is a difficult standard, it’s much, much, much easier to disprove bad math, because it literally will not add up.

This is why the Newton of information theory, Wild Bill Dembski, is soundly derided by pretty much the whole of the professional mathematical community. It’s tough to argue your ground-breaking “proof” when it’s full of demonstrably incorrect equations and assumptions.

Comment #192391

Posted by GSLamb on August 5, 2007 5:01 AM (e)

Funny, I always thought that the main difference was spelling.

Comment #192410

Posted by meme on August 5, 2007 6:45 AM (e)

“Creationism is about the BIBLE, see?”

Creationism is certainly NOT about the Bible.

Christian Fundamentalist creationism is based on the Bible.

Islamic Fundamentalist creationism is based on the Quran.

Hindu Fundamentalist creationism is based on Hindu scriptures.

ID creationism is based on theistic presuppositions.

Etc.

One must be dumb not to understand such a simple point.

Comment #192422

Posted by Richard Simons on August 5, 2007 7:17 AM (e)

Realpc writes

The mathematical and scientific arguments are difficult …

Which arguments are you thinking about? You mean arguments like the misapplication of Bayes’ Theorem, one of the first things a statistics student learns?

You decide the truth about evolution by counting Steves, as if math and logic were irrelevant.

You know perfectly well that Project Steve was a tongue in cheek response to the creationist/IDer habit of producing lists of people who might agree with their views.

Why do you feel the need to lie about this? How does it advance your cause? Just what is your cause anyway? When you have sent off one of your lying posts do you lean back in your chair with a feeling of satisfaction and contentment? I just don’t understand what you get out of it.

Comment #192425

Posted by Frank J on August 5, 2007 7:28 AM (e)

Salvador,

I haven’t yet read your links or those refuting them, but if there’s anything other than the usual cherry picking or “reinterpretation”, the research will take off. If results are promising and independently verifiable, the proposals will be funded. There is no bias against those who believe that the Universe and its life are designed, and you know it.

Of course all that “research” could just as easily refute YEC as easily as confirm it. What if the origin of the Universe converges on 1955, for example? The ages are converging, aren’t they? No cover-up of disagreements, I hope. There’s no better indication that one is trying to pull a pseudoscientific fast one that that, you know.

And even in the remote chance that those lines of “research” do confirm YEC, they will only add to the evidence refuting several mutually contradictory OEC accounts. Including Behe’s version that includes common decent, which is, ironically the only position any major IDer ever admitted. If the “research” is successful, most IDers might mutter a pathetic “we suspected that all along,” but Behe will really have egg on his face. As will Ray Martinez, whose paper supporting an old-Earth-young-life “theory” is due any minute now.

In the meantime, can we finally expect some debating among IDers that favor Behe’s position, progressive OEC, and your YEC (or pseudo-YEC) position? Even if none of you are fully confident in your positions, debating can help your scientific credibility even if the research doesn’t pan out. That’s the way to put an end, once and for all, to the claims that your ideas are strictly motivated by religion. But I understand, like those Roswell people in the news lately, you don’t care much about impressing mainstream scientists.

BTW, do you have an idea when that “research” will be ready to be taught in high school science class? That would solve all the problems with the current “critical analysis” approach, not just the link to ID and creationism that gets it in legal trouble, but the fact that it exempts any potential competing hypothesis from “critical analysis.” IOW, do you have any idea when IDers, if not classic creationists, will truly be confident that evolution is not the only idea worth teaching (and misrepresenting)?

Comment #192590

Posted by realpc on August 5, 2007 6:02 PM (e)

Richard Simmons,

Dembski didn’t make any obvious math mistakes and you know it.

Pastor Bentonit,

You have not followed the evolution debate. ID theory accepts evolution and common descent. So evidence for evolution and common descent are not relevant to the debate.

The questions are not simple and no one has the answers.

Comment #192601

Posted by Cedric Katesby on August 5, 2007 6:38 PM (e)

Realpc,
You said in a previous thread…
“Yes Randi has debunked a lot of nonsense. There will never be a shortage of ridiculous paranormal claims. But he goes way beyond the data in saying no paranormal claims can possibly be valid.”

When and where did Randi say this?
Either quote your source or admit you just made it up!
This is about the fourth time (on this site) I’ve asked you this question, realpc.
What’s your problem?
Too ashamed to answer?

Comment #192619

Posted by Henry J on August 5, 2007 7:11 PM (e)

Re “ID theory accepts evolution and common descent.”

Then why is it that so many ID advocates don’t?

Besides, if ID really doesn’t conflict with evolution, then what the heck is the argument about?

AFAIK, common descent is the principle reason for the denial of evolution; accept it and the argument is only about the details.

Henry

Comment #192624

Posted by stevaroni on August 5, 2007 7:18 PM (e)

ID theory accepts evolution and common descent.

How odd. Because of the overwhelming weight of the demonstrable physical evidence, “ID theory” has to make room for evolution and common descent.

Too bad Ev & CD have absolutely no need whatsoever for Intelligent Design.

Rather rude of them to leave such an accommodating partner by the roadside, but hey - that’s survival of the fittest for ya.

Comment #192629

Posted by gwangung on August 5, 2007 7:26 PM (e)

Dembski didn’t make any obvious math mistakes and you know it.

Really?????? That mangling of Bayes sure looks pretty obvious….

Comment #192642

Posted by Richard Simons on August 5, 2007 7:56 PM (e)

Dembski didn’t make any obvious math mistakes and you know it.

Every time any creationist/IDer attempts to calculate the probability of a protein, a cell or anything else arising by chance they always assume that events are independent, always forget the effect of selection and always assume that only one possible outcome could represent a success.

Dembski writes about complex specified information. Specified information can be easily described, complex information can not be easily described. Besides, he has never proposed a method of measuring the amount of CSI in any system, or even what the units should be. Are you sure Dembski is on top of things?

Comment #192679

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on August 5, 2007 10:55 PM (e)

Dembski didn’t make any obvious math mistakes

Comment #192772

Posted by Nigel D on August 6, 2007 5:13 AM (e)

realpc wrote:

… Dembski didn’t make any obvious math mistakes and you know it.

But his axioms are wrong and you know it. He deliberately sets up his calcs so that they apply only to a deliberate misrepresentation of evolutionary theory. This is the straw-man logical fallacy, and he has never addressed this criticism.

… ID theory accepts evolution and common descent.

Quite the opposite, in fact. ID is nothing but a pseudoscientific attack on evolutionary theory, particularly NS and CD.

One of the biggest weaknesses of ID as expounded by Dembski, Wells, Behe et al. is that, if you take out the attacks on modern evolutionary theory (MET) you are left with nothing. ID is vacuous because it makes no positive assertions at all.

One big weakness of Dembski’s “Explanatory Filter” is that it is a purely eliminative argument. It assumes that one is able to consider all possible alternative hypotheses.

So evidence for evolution and common descent are not relevant to the debate.

This is just wrong and you know it.

The questions are not simple and no one has the answers.

Some of the questions are simple, and some of the answers are known.

ID claims to have answers, based on attacks on MET. But the “answers” ID claims are a dead end, because ID makes no official proposal about the nature of the designer(s), or what the designer may or may not be capable of.

MET supplies many answers, and it supplies a logical and consistent framework within which to seek other answers.

Where MET does not at present have answers, it proposes the hypothesis “we don’t know yet” as an interim, working proposal.

Given your previous behaviour in this forum, I do not expect you to address these points. But, here’s a challenge for you: how about you do just that (i.e. address the points I have raised) before you post anything else on this board? That way we can engage in an actual debate and have a rational discussion of the topic.

Ignoring arguments that oppose statements you make does not invalidate those arguments, and it is simply discourteous.

Comment #192774

Posted by ben on August 6, 2007 5:28 AM (e)

ID theory accepts evolution and common descent

OK. What, exactly, is the theory of ID to which you refer?

Comment #192782

Posted by realpc on August 6, 2007 6:24 AM (e)

I have explained this repeatedly at this blog. ID is a theory of evolution, it does not contradict evolution in any way. ID is an alternative to the currently accepted theory of evolution – neo-Darwinism.

Blogs like PT do their best to confuse the controversy, to make you think ID opposes evolution and agrees with Christian creationism.

Darwin’s theory was not the first theory of evolution. Neo-Darwinism is not the only theory of evolution NDE says random mutations acted on by natural selection are enough to explain the origin of new, and increasingly complex, species.

ID agrees that random mutations occur, it agrees that natural selection occurs, and it agrees that these together can cause species to adapt to changing environments. It does not agree, however, that macro-evolution works this way.

I’ll say it again – ID agrees that species evolved. I don’t think it expresses an opinion on common ancestry, but it would not deny it. Do we really know that life originated just once on earth and all species evolved from the same source? Anyway, ID has nothing to say about that.

The whole controversy involves information theory and the detection of design.

ID does not say a god person came down every once in a while to create a new species. It says nothing about god. In my opinion the universe is intelligent and intelligent machines, like ourselves, naturally evolve. It does not happen by chance. It is not a mechanistic, mindless, process.

Comment #192795

Posted by ben on August 6, 2007 7:17 AM (e)

ID is a theory of evolution

State the theory. Not what “ID says” or what “ID agrees” with, the theory itself. What is the scientific theory of ID, how does it explain all the available evidence, what yet-undiscovered evidence does it predict we might find, and how in principle could the theory be falsified? You seem to be able to tell us all kinds of stuff about “ID theory” except what the theory actually is.

Again, what is the theory of ID?

Comment #192817

Posted by Raging Bee on August 6, 2007 8:32 AM (e)

RealUneducableSelfImportantWanker blithered thusly:

I have explained this repeatedly at this blog…

And we have refuted it repeatedly. The fact that you continue to repeat the same old discredited crap only proves how complacent, self-important, uncaring, unengaged and uneducable you are. You thought you knew everything, and stopped learning, while the rest of us moved on and left you bloviating in the dust. Get your head out of your ass and face the facts: you’re just not equipped to contribute anything to this debate, or learn anything from it.

Comment #192819

Posted by David Stanton on August 6, 2007 8:34 AM (e)

realpc wrote:

“ID is a theory of evolution, it does not contradict evolution in any way. ID is an alternative to the currently accepted theory of evolution – neo-Darwinism.”

Well, if ID does not contradict evolution, how can it be an alternative? Logically it can’t be an “alternative” if it completely agrees with the accepted theory.

What this guy is probably trying to say is that ID is an add on to evolution. He seems to accept everything that evolution explains, presumably because he finds the evidence convincing. But he desperately needs to believe that the universe is too complicated for mere science to understand. So, if there is something that is difficult for him to understand, he simply claims that evolution cannot explain it, therefore there must be something more to it.

Of course, the problem with this approach is, as always, a complete lack of evidence. Believing that evolution cannot explain something is not the same as demonstrating a deficiency in the theory. Making up stuff about supposed constraints on evolution is not the same as demonstrating those constraints. And claiming that there is a guiding force that directs evolution for it’s own goals is not the same as demonstrating that force.

OK, so what is this guiding force? Is it the “intelligence of the universe”? Where did it come from? What are it’s goals? What will be the end result of evolution? Why? Of course, if you answer “increasing complexity” then you must realize that that is one of the possible outcomes of “mindless” evolution. So what predictions does this hypothesis make? How can we test this? Where is the evidence? How can it be distinguished from “natural causes”? What new things does it predict? How does it increase our understanding? Why do we need this addition? What good is it? Does it make you feel better to think that there is some intelligence behind everything that happens? Sounds more like religion than science to me.

Comment #192830

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 6, 2007 9:13 AM (e)

Realpc–
I read your post repeatedly. You seem to be saying that ID differs from modern evolutionary theory on the subject of macroevolution, by which you seem to mean speciation. Fine. All you have to do is present a testable alternative hypothesis of how macroevolution occurs. What are your variables? How do do measure them? What independent evidence can you present (beyond the obvious fact that speciation occurs) that a designer is at work? What test can you come up with that would falsify your theory? If you do that, you’ll be doing science. If you don’t, you’re not doing science. It’s as simple as that. You can repeat ‘yes, evolution occurred’ until you’re blue in the face. But if you’re only presenting vague, untestable claims, you have no right to expect those claims to be taught as science in America’s public schools.

Comment #192836

Posted by TomS on August 6, 2007 9:41 AM (e)

ID is a theory of evolution, it does not contradict evolution in any way. ID is an alternative to the currently accepted theory of evolution – neo-Darwinism.

ID is not a theory.

Let’s make that clear to begin with, before getting into more details.

ID does not propose any explanation of anything. “That’s the way it is”, or, equivalently, “Some unknown agents did something-or-other for inscrutable reasons” is not a theory.

ID is not a theory because, among other reasons, it is as consistent with a “young earth” as well as with an “old earth”. It is as consistent with evolution as well as with no evolution as well as with some-evolution-and-some-not-evolution. It is as consistent with “bad design” as much as with “good design”. To reach the status of “theory”, it has to make some decisions as to what it’s going to be consistent with, and what not.

There are other ways of seeing that ID is not a theory - such as that it doesn’t provide a program for investigation, for modification, for improvement, for expansion, for further thought, for experimentation. It is fixed forever as it is given. (Oh, maybe there is room for contraction, should anybody ever discover that there is something of substance to it that should be marked for elimination.) Such as that an “intelligent designer” is a unique entity, and there is no chain of causes or inferences from “intelligent designer” to “designed object”, or distinction between “designed object” and “undesigned object”.

Whether ID was constructed because conventional creationism, as it was popular in the 1960s, turned out to fail miserably whenever it made the mistake of saying something of substance. Whether ID was constructed because that way of approaching creationism ran into legal problems in the USA. Or whether it’s just good advertising and politics to avoid making commitments or substantive statements. Whatever the reason for ID, it remains that ID is not a theory. And therefore not an alternative to any scientific theory.

Comment #192845

Posted by realpc on August 6, 2007 10:08 AM (e)

“ All you have to do is present a testable alternative hypothesis of how macroevolution occurs.”

Neo-Darwinism does not present a testable theory. Experiments have not been done to support it. It’s only claim is that given long enough periods of time anything can happen, however improbable. No one can test or deny that claim.

You test the ID theory by finding some agreed on definition of information and you analyze living things to see if they in fact contain information. If we can manage to agree that information is the result of intelligence and purpose, and we find evidence of that in living things, maybe we can conclude that the evolution of life demonstrates the work of some (unknown) kind of intelligence and purpose.

The controversy is philosophical and the concepts are impossible to define perfectly. No one has the answer at this time. ID advocates merely want biology students to be aware that neo-Darwinism, the currently accepted theory, has not been proven scientifically, and that there is a controversy.

This controversy is not new, but has entered public awareness only recently. People are utterly confused, thanks in part to blogs like this one. The debate is over whether the universe is inherently purposeful and meaningful or not. Evolution is an accepted fact, but its cause is still unknown.

All the evidence you hear about that supposedly supports neo-Darwinism actually supports evolution in general, not any particular theory of evolution.

Comment #192867

Posted by Peter Henderson on August 6, 2007 10:36 AM (e)

Their mission is to destroy good science education for every child in the public schools of America, and they can’t do that if they are obviously driven by religious motives.

I thought that was the aim of the YEC’s as well Mike ?

AiG is devious in it’s attitude to the ID movement. They support it when it suits them, but are quite happy to heavily criticise it if anyone in the movement strays from YEC beliefs (like the age of the Earth for example), or when IDers are not forthcoming as to who they think the designer actually is.

Also, YEC’s often use language similar to IDer’s. For example :”It’s obvious we are intelligently designed” etc.:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/video/ondemand/

Comment #192873

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 6, 2007 10:51 AM (e)

ID is based on the Bible in the same sense that just about any form of Xianity or Judaism is based on the Bible. Which is to say that the Bible is a real and very important basis to ID. However, ID is not literalism as such.

If one simply cared to look at what UD, and DI “fellows”, actually say (remember the Wedge), there is virtually nothing to ID except the apologetics of Christianity. But there are Jews as well? O’Leary has certainly pointed to some, and the DI recently had one Israeli Jew pontificating on ID as well, employing the usual religious “arguments”. What is the connection?

What else? The most obvious (if not only) connection is the Bible. The Bible tells a logocentric tale of how humans were made as an object of care by a deity, and both Jewish and Xian critics of evolution attack science for just that reason. Perhaps one could say that it’s their view of God that causes them to oppose evolution? Well fine, but again it is the Biblical God that they are defending against science.

Why any blogger on PT would agree with O’Leary’s tawdry apologetics I’ll never know.

Pete Dunkelberg already mentioned Dembski and Logos, certainly a good counter to O’Leary’s apologetic. I’d like to add that one of the main theological bases of ID and creationism (they’re essentially the same thing, which is why they co-exist in the big tent) is Paul’s claim that anybody ought to be able to recognize God through creation:

Romans1:20 - “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they [“they” includes homosexuals] are without excuse:”

The idea that we ought to be able to discern God through creation is an old Xian idea, and it conveniently ties in with the religious right’s concerns about homosexuality (Romans 1:20 belongs to one of the favorite anti-gay chapters in the Bible). So not only is ID based in the Bible in that way and in other ways, it is specifically tied to one of the hot-button issues for the Bible bashers. Evolutionists may be given over to homosexuality as punishment for ignoring God’s marks in creation, according to the argument from Romans chapter 1.

I cannot think of a more damaging fiction for our side to adopt than the idea that ID actually is not based in the Bible, when creation happens to be a major “reason” for certain kinds of Xians to intrude their theologies not only into science, but into civil policies as well. And don’t get me wrong, I believe they have the right to push Bible-based beliefs, but we have need to oppose those (in many cases, anyhow), as well as to clearly note where their policies are based in the Bible, like in gay policy and in pushing ID/creationism.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #192884

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 6, 2007 11:09 AM (e)

Just one more point—how many Jewish or Christian theistic evolutionists would suggest that the “theistic” part of their position isn’t Biblically based? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that it would be a small, for both faiths.

As one theistic evolutionist physics teacher of mine told me, he doesn’t take the Bible literally, he takes it seriously. And by my experiences with theistic evolutionists, they really do take the Bible seriously, in part because it is not an easy fit to science.

So are we to the theistic evolutionists who state that they base their position on the Bible, as well as in science, and we are also to believe the IDists when they claim that their own beliefs about origins do not come from the Bible?

Surely Dunford needs to explain to us why we should believe that ID isn’t based on the Bible, when theistic evolutionists frequently admit that their beliefs (beyond the science) are Bible-based, even though they’re willing to let God tell of the “how” via “creation”.

Furthermore, why on earth would IDists be so concerned about atheists and “materialists” if ID were not an apologetic for a set of writings (which include the Bible) and beliefs that proclaim miracles that cannot be supported by the scientific method? If they were promoting science, even bad science, they wouldn’t oppose the scientific method. That they want an epistemology that is so loose as to include (at least the earlier form of) astrology, is precisely in order to exempt their religious claims (which are mostly, but not exclusively, based in the Bible) from the kinds of questions that science asks.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #192912

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 6, 2007 12:21 PM (e)

realpc–
Why don’t you read up on the controversy between Darwin and Fleeming Jenkins? That was a real, testable hypothesis that COULD have disproven evolution by natural selection. It just didn’t because Jenkins was wrong.
Come up with one hypothesis for ID that’s anywhere as good as Jenkins’s was, and you’ll be taken seriously. Even if you’re proven wrong you’ll have regained your honor.

Comment #192940

Posted by Martial law on August 6, 2007 1:23 PM (e)

realpc:

“ID advocates merely want biology students to be aware that neo-Darwinism, the currently accepted theory, has not been proven scientifically, and that there is a controversy.”

realpc:

“ID theory accepts evolution and common descent. So evidence for evolution and common descent are not relevant to the debate.”

WTF?

Comment #192955

Posted by realpc on August 6, 2007 2:02 PM (e)

“Why don’t you read up on the controversy between Darwin and Fleeming Jenkins?”

There is nothing in ID theory that opposes modern genetics, or natural selection. ID does not deny the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection and survival of the fittest. It just does not accept that this mechanism alone can account for the generation of new information.

Martial law:

“ID theory accepts evolution and common descent. So evidence for evolution and common descent are not relevant to the debate.”

“WTF?”

Maybe you are surprised to learn that ID does not in any way deny evolution. If you read PT and similar web sites you are told that ID rejects evolution, but that is false. When people use the word “evolution” as a synonym for “neo-Darwinian evolution” they create confusion. NDE is one of several theories of evolution, and ID is another. Actually, ID is mainly a criticism of NDE.

Comment #192963

Posted by martial law on August 6, 2007 2:20 PM (e)

Yes I am wery suprised;

Is ID nowadays something like:

“Evolution can not generate A!, so Intelligent Designer didit”

“But it can!,
we ‘accidentally’ made A in lab!”

“It was not ‘random evolution’, it was directed evolution! And there is not direction without ID!”

So how in hell we can empirically see which mutations are random and which are not?

What else “proof” you actually have but your model? And I am very curious to know what it is. (Now you jell that “X is irrelevant”, but you don’t actually tell what it is then”. And before you do so, there is not a “alternative model” -> NO controversy! It is just “ad hoc” (it’s may be something else = if we are talking about random mutations, off course “something else” on “not random”…)

And so, untill that, those your 2 sentences are contradictional..

Comment #192966

Posted by ben on August 6, 2007 2:30 PM (e)

Realpc: “ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….ID theory….”

There is no scientific theory of ID, so please either stop yammering about it or prove me wrong by telling us what it is or providing a link to where someone else does.

Some help: “Mainly a criticism of NDE” is not a scientific theory. “The controversy is philosophical and the concepts are impossible to define perfectly” is not a scientific theory. “It is possible to question materialist philosophy without being a gullible, unscientific, fool” is not a scientific theory. Whatever superstitious hocus-pocus you wish were demonstrably true, without providing any supporting evidence or coherent theoretical framework whatsoever, is not a scientific theory.

Please, tell us the theory or stop claiming there is one.

Comment #192968

Posted by martial law on August 6, 2007 2:41 PM (e)

Hey! I have a new theory, too! It is alternative theory about the origins of life… and everything!

It’s core is the idea;
Evolution is wrong, life… and everything is too “bizarre” and “fuzzy”, so behind can not be natural law nor random mutations. And it looks so bizarre, that any intelligent agent skillful enough can not have done anything so odd (becouse I say so in my unfalsifiable premises, which i made up + correct calculations which i build over them.) So there be “something else”. And it is not natural law nor random mutation nor direction. I have even en eliminative filter, which I build.
If not random, not law, not direction => bizarreness.

And I use many fine words + I have get a funny hat, so I must be almost a genius!

So, buy my book, and support me in my battle against darwinists and “direction believers”! They are too limited by their worldviews to understood my geniusses!!

Comment #192973

Posted by David Stanton on August 6, 2007 2:51 PM (e)

realpc wrote:

“Neo-Darwinism does not present a testable theory. Experiments have not been done to support it. It’s only claim is that given long enough periods of time anything can happen, however improbable. No one can test or deny that claim.”

This is absolutely wrong and you know it. Even if we were completely ignorant of any mechanism by which “macroevolution” could occur (which we decidely are not), that doesn’t mean that we could not determine if it in fact had occured. The nested hierarchy found in the tree of life is sufficient evidence that all life forms are related. That this hierarchy is in complete agreement with all of the anatomical, genetic, developmental and palentological data is confirmation that the hierarchy is real. Ignorance of this evidence is proof of nothing but the ignorance of those making the claim.

realpc also wrote:

“If we can manage to agree that information is the result of intelligence and purpose, and we find evidence of that in living things, maybe we can conclude that the evolution of life demonstrates the work of some (unknown) kind of intelligence and purpose.”

Well no one will never agree that information is the result of intelligence and purpose, since it demonstrably is not. So no one will ever grant your faulty assumptions. The generation of information does not require intelligence. The interpretation of information is what requires intelligence. Such intelligence is not indentifiable in your faulty assumptions.

Comment #192989

Posted by realpc on August 6, 2007 3:32 PM (e)

“Neo-Darwinism does not present a testable theory. Experiments have not been done to support it. It’s only claim is that given long enough periods of time anything can happen, however improbable. No one can test or deny that claim.”

This is absolutely wrong and you know it. Even if we were completely ignorant of any mechanism by which “macroevolution” could occur (which we decidely are not), that doesn’t mean that we could not determine if it in fact had occured. The nested hierarchy found in the tree of life is sufficient evidence that all life forms are related. That this hierarchy is in complete agreement with all of the anatomical, genetic, developmental and palentological data is confirmation that the hierarchy is real. Ignorance of this evidence is proof of nothing but the ignorance of those making the claim.

David Stanton,

Right, that is what I keep saying (over and over and over). Evolution has been proven. We all agree, if we care at all about science, that evolution has been proven.

EVOLUTION IS TRUE. IT IS A FACT. I BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION.

How could I express this any more emphatically?

I am at a loss. I keep saying it, but someone here is always trying to convince me that evolution has been proven. I get it, it’s proven, I have never doubted evolution.

If you actually read my statement, you will see that I said “Neo-Darwinism does not present a testable theory.” I did not say “Evolution does not present a testable theory.” They are not the same thing, as I keep explaining.

Comment #193015

Posted by George Cauldron on August 6, 2007 4:36 PM (e)

You know that, in the long run, scientific arguments are decided by evidence and logic, not politics.

Correct. And that’s why Creationism and ID have no future.

Gee. That was easy.

Comment #193017

Posted by George Cauldron on August 6, 2007 4:40 PM (e)

ID theory accepts evolution and common descent. So evidence for evolution and common descent are not relevant to the debate.

Oh really? I’ve seen plenty of IDers deny evolution and common descent. Are they not really IDers, even if they wave around Dembski & Behe’s books to bolster their cause?

Comment #193019

Posted by George Cauldron on August 6, 2007 4:45 PM (e)

There is no scientific theory of ID, so please either stop yammering about it or prove me wrong by telling us what it is or providing a link to where someone else does.

Why do people keep repeating this canard? OF COURSE there is a scientific theory of ID. It is:

a) some stuff looks designed
b) Darwinism sucks

Got that? Write it down!

Comment #193024

Posted by Jenkins on August 6, 2007 5:00 PM (e)

Intelligent Design is a form of creationism and you could say that creationism is an intelligent design hypothesis.

I say that creationism is any hypothesis that states that life was created by some intelligent being(s). Intelligent design is another way to say this.

Now most people think of creationism as “directly from the Bible” but there are Muslim creationist, Hindu creationists, etc.

They all have one thing in common. They believe that life was intelligently designed by some being.

Creationism = Intelligent Design = Creationism

Comment #193040

Posted by Raging Bee on August 6, 2007 5:33 PM (e)

[ID] does not agree, however, that macro-evolution works this way.

That’s like saying it’s physically possible to walk from Dallas to Ft. Worth, but not from Dallas to Toronto. And it’s crap: once we’ve described the process of walking, we understand that there’s no theoretical limit on distance covered. SAme goes for evolution.

It just does not accept that this mechanism alone can account for the generation of new information.

Has anyone proven that evolution alone, as described in the whole of modern evolutionary theory (not just your simpleminded and outdated opinions), cannot account for life on Earth today, including humans? No.

Has anyone actually described any specific mechanism that could account for any phenomenon for which evolution cannot account? No.

Has anyone even defined “information” or described how to quantify or measure it, a step that must be taken BEFORE anyone can say whether or not “new information” is being “created?” No. YOU YOURSELF admit that “information” has not been quantified; therefore your whole General Theory of Unspecified Complex Information and Stuff is nothing but brown air.

Maybe you are surprised to learn that ID does not in any way deny evolution. If you read PT and similar web sites you are told that ID rejects evolution, but that is false.

Actually, plenty of IDers do indeed deny evolution, and pretend they’ve come up with all manner of “proofs” and “explanatory filters” to try to pretend to have proven that evolution cannot have happened, or cannot have led to life on Earth today. So yes, IDers DO deny evolution, and when you say otherwise, you’re either incredibly stupid or lying. Or both.

NDE is one of several theories of evolution, and ID is another. Actually, ID is mainly a criticism of NDE.

You’re talking out of both ends of your ass, and both ends are shitting falsehoods. ID is not a “theory” of anything, and all its “criticisms” of “NDE” have been addressed and refuted long ago.

When people use the word “evolution” as a synonym for “neo-Darwinian evolution” they create confusion.

No, YOU are the one trying to create confusion, by pretending there’s a difference and not describing what it is. Once again, you have posted a lot of nonsense that we’ve painstakingly refuted several times, with no modification to accomodate the new information we’ve offered you. And once again, you’ve thus proven yourself both ignorant and uneducable, as well as a tiresome self-important bore. Now go back to bed.

Comment #193042

Posted by Herb Schaffler on August 6, 2007 5:34 PM (e)

First of all, I don’t believe in intelligent design, but a question that I have is how do animals develop instincts? For instance, how does an organism develop the habit of depositing semen on eggs? It seems that there should be preconceived knowledge of round objects to fertilize to begin with, otherwise the organism would deposit its semen anywhere and everywhere. The same thing goes for all instincts. How can an organism respond to a certain stimulus in a certain way without having a concept of that stimulus to begin with? Does anybody here grasp what I’m trying to say and does anybody have an answer?

Comment #193045

Posted by realpc on August 6, 2007 5:40 PM (e)

“I’ve seen plenty of IDers deny evolution and common descent. Are they not really IDers, even if they wave around Dembski & Behe’s books to bolster their cause?”

It is possible for people to believe more than one thing at the same time. You can believe in ID plus creationism, or ID plus atheism, or ID plus anything at all. It has no impact on what the theory says.

ID does not make any claims whatsoever that support Christian creationism.

Comment #193054

Posted by CJO on August 6, 2007 6:01 PM (e)

First of all, I don’t believe in intelligent design, but a question that I have is how do animals develop instincts? For instance, how does an organism develop the habit of depositing semen on eggs? It seems that there should be preconceived knowledge of round objects to fertilize to begin with, otherwise the organism would deposit its semen anywhere and everywhere. The same thing goes for all instincts. How can an organism respond to a certain stimulus in a certain way without having a concept of that stimulus to begin with? Does anybody here grasp what I’m trying to say and does anybody have an answer?

Reproduction and selection. Individual organisms that “deposit[ed] its semen anywhere and everywhere” may have existed at one time or another. It’s not hard to see why their genes are not well-represented in any extant lineages. Thinking about “concepts” when you’re talking about fairly primal instincts is putting the cart before the horse.

Comment #193080

Posted by Science Avenger on August 6, 2007 7:15 PM (e)

Herb said: How can an organism respond to a certain stimulus in a certain way without having a concept of that stimulus to begin with? Does anybody here grasp what I’m trying to say and does anybody have an answer?

Yes. The short answer is that those that dealt with the stimulus best produced more of themselves than those that didn’t. If that doesn’t help matters, try this mind experiment:

Imagine a robot in the center of simple right-angled two dimensional maze. Assume the robot does the following:

0)Follows a preexisting program if there is one, otherwise
1)Chooses a direction at random
2)Records that choice
3)Moves in that direction to the next intersection in the maze
4)Replicates itself twice
5)Repeat from 1)

Assume one thing about the maze:

1)If a robot lands on an intersection that does not lead to the exit, it is destroyed.

2)When a robot makes it out of the maze, the recorded sequence is made into a preexisting program, and the robot turns off.

Now, if this process is repeated enough times, one of the robots will make it out of the maze. Does the robot have any concept of a maze? No, it does not. And yet we could say the robot “knows” the maze, because if we replace it at the starting position and run the same program, it will make it out with no errors. This is a simplified, but reasonable, analogy with how evolution works.

Now the IDer/creationists look at something like this and respond with “But, but, but intelligence was required to write the program!”. True, but irrelevant. That criticism would only be valid if the program gave the solution to the maze, and it doesn’t. The IDer/creationist claim this sort of experiment addresses directly is the idea that complex solutions to complex problems can’t arise from simple unintelligent instruction.

This shows they can. “Walk at random and record that action” could hardly be called intelligent. Without the selection process of the maze destroying robots that choose the wrong path, it wouldn’t produce anything intelligent (and notice what it produces is different with different mazes). That’s the step the IDer/creationists always leave out. Yes, the 747 is constructed in the junkyard, but it replicates itself each time a correct piece is added, and the “planes” with incorrect parts crash and burn.

Comment #193099

Posted by Henry J on August 6, 2007 8:37 PM (e)

Re “For instance, how does an organism develop the habit of depositing semen on eggs?”

Seems like that would be part of the original evolution of sexual reproduction, and not something that an already sexually reproducing species would develop.

Henry

Comment #193150

Posted by George Cauldron on August 6, 2007 11:00 PM (e)

“I’ve seen plenty of IDers deny evolution and common descent. Are they not really IDers, even if they wave around Dembski & Behe’s books to bolster their cause?”

It is possible for people to believe more than one thing at the same time. You can believe in ID plus creationism, or ID plus atheism,

Can you name some atheist IDers, incidentally?

or ID plus anything at all. It has no impact on what the theory says.

ID does not make any claims whatsoever that support Christian creationism.

So it’s an accident that so many creationists regurgitate ID claims, and so few biologists do.

The courts didn’t buy this either.

Thanks for playing, though.

Comment #193154

Posted by Cedric Katesby on August 6, 2007 11:02 PM (e)

Realpc,
You said “Actually, ID is mainly a criticism of NDE.”
So, is ID a theory or not?
If it is a theory, then PRESENT YOUR EVIDENCE!
If you can’t, then shut up about ID being a theory when it’s clearly not!

Thanks for ignoring this post too and proving that you’re a predictable, stupid troll.

Comment #193174

Posted by Richard Simons on August 6, 2007 11:47 PM (e)

You can believe in ID plus creationism, or ID plus atheism, or ID plus anything at all. It has no impact on what the theory says.

Yes, yes. But what is the theory?

Comment #193213

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 7, 2007 1:53 AM (e)

realpc–
The basic premise of science is that it proceeds by disproof. So, of course, you’re technically quite correct that “neo-Darwinism has never been proven.”
But it does not follow that Neo-Darwinism is “not a testable theory.” In fact, it has been tested thousands upon thousands of times. The entire field of modern genetics is an implicit test of Neo-Darwinism. Although the theory has been repeatedly modified (the very term NEO-Darwinism should tell you that)it has never been disproven. That’s why Neo-Darwinism, and not ID, belongs in our public schools.
If you want ID in the schools, here’s the procedure;
1.) Come up with an hypothesis which would differentiate between ID and Neo-Darwinism.
2.) Test the hypothesis.
If the test favors ID, you’ll be doing science. If the test favors Neo-Darwinism –and you admit it– you’ll still be doing science. If you come up with anything interesting, it will eventually be put in the public school curriculum with any political pressure.
Until you’re willing to do that, stop trying to weasel into our public schools, and LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE.

Comment #193283

Posted by Frank J on August 7, 2007 5:52 AM (e)

realpc wrote:

ID does not make any claims whatsoever that support Christian creationism.

What you mean is that ID does not make any claims whatsoever that directly support any of the mutually contradictory YE or OE “literal” interpretations of Genesis.

There are 2 reasons for that, and I for one think that both apply: First, ID leaders don’t want to call attention to the contadictions, even if they do personally favor one of those interpretations. Second, they privately know that none of those interpretations hold up to the evidence.

Nevertheless, by promoting unreasonable doubt about evolution and exploiting common misconceptions, ID indirectly promotes all “creationist” accounts. Unlike “classic” YECs and OECs, IDers don’t care which position the audience takes, as long as it’s not their caricature of evolution.

Comment #193284

Posted by TomS on August 7, 2007 5:55 AM (e)

ID is not a theory.

Please note, that I did not restrict that by saying that ID is not a scientific theory.

There is an ongoing problem for philosophers of science to give a precise description of what makes a theory scientific, called the “demarkation problem”. We don’t have to get into those difficulties with ID, because ID is not a theory, scientific or otherwise. And ID is so far from being a theory that we don’t have to concern ourselves with a “demarkation problem” for “theory”. There are some very general characters of theories (scientific and otherwise) which show that ID is not a theory.

One of them I mentioned above is that a theory must be able to distinguish between things that are covered by the theory, and things that are not. If every conceivable state of affairs is just as much likely under the would-be theory, then it is not a theory. (This is a kind of generalization of the “falsifiability” criterion of Popper. But this generalization works also for historical theories, esthetic theories, legal theories, and so on.)

Another general character of all theories is that they have to have some structure to them. For example, there should be some kind of connection between the principles of the theory (explanatory factors, or whatever) and the things covered by the theory (the things being explained, or whatever). This connection may be logical, mathematical, causal, or whatever, but there has to be something like a chain from one part to the other, some kind of structure. ID deliberately excludes any such chain - there is no method by which things are “designed”. There is no structure to our description of the “designer(s)” - we don’t even know how many of them there were - or are.

There is no theory of ID.

Comment #193348

Posted by TomS on August 7, 2007 9:29 AM (e)

Just a note of appreciation to “hoary puccoon”.

How many of the complaints that we hear, supposedly about evolutionary biology, are more relevant (if they are relevant to anything at all) to reproductive biology.

“Intelligent Delivery” - that variation on Scientific Storkism which avoids naming the Stork - Intelligent Delivery is an “alternative theory of reproduction”.

Comment #193349

Posted by Admin on August 7, 2007 9:30 AM (e)

Troll post removed, responses moved to the Bathroom Wall.

Comment #193425

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 7, 2007 12:12 PM (e)

All these interactions with realpc end the same way. We will eventually determine that what he calls ID has nothing to do with ID as espoused by its primary proponents. When forced to state it, he’ll come up with “ID predicts increasing complexity-which-I-can’t-define-right-now over time.”

So stop feeding

Comment #193460

Posted by secondclass on August 7, 2007 1:52 PM (e)

Egnor responds to Dunford:

Egnor wrote:

Our “mission is to destroy good science education for every child in the public schools of America”? Dunford’s assertion is…well… paranoid. Most intelligent design advocates are teachers — science professors in universities — and it’s fair to say that most are parents with children in the public schools.

First of all, most ID advocates are science professors? Excuse me while I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes.

Secondly, Egnor might want to reread the Wedge before he makes accusations of paranoia.

And the icing on the cake is Egnore’s closing line, an irony meter buster if ever there was one:

Egnor wrote:

Darwinists will do anything to avoid debating the science.

Comment #193461

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 7, 2007 2:10 PM (e)

I cut out the intervening claptrap from these two statements by Egnor (this is not out of context, however):

On the other hand, Darwinists are almost all atheists, and are on the fringe of American religious belief….

In reply to Dunford’s allegation that I lie about my faith:

I don’t recall that Dunford said that Egnor lies about his faith, an egregious assertion. That he’d note that IDists collectively and in the main lie about the religion motivating them is appropriate.

But what’s really funny is that only one sentence separates his blatantly false claim that “Darwinists are almost all atheists” from his injured claims about how he’s being accused of lying about something else.

The man is an inveterate liar and a very ignorant buffoon. Even if Dunford had “lied” about him, which he didn’t (Dunford’s mistaken in claiming that ID isn’t based on the Bible, but I’d hardly call it a lie), Egnor continually writes half-truths and untruths about his opponents, and would hardly merit a podium to complain even if he had something legitimate to complain about.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #193475

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 7, 2007 2:35 PM (e)

A quote from Phillip E. Johnson, DI CRSC Senior Advisor:

Phillip E. Johnson, a law professor at University of California, Berkeley, and one of evolution’s most aggressive critics, spoke of a sweeping struggle at a Feb. 6 conference of religious broadcasters in California, one that goes far beyond biology lessons in public schools.

“Christians in the 20th century have been playing defense,” Johnson explained, framing his concerns in a good-versus-evil context. “They’ve been fighting a defensive war to defend what they have, to defend as much of it as they can…. It never turns the tide. What we’re trying to do is something entirely different. We’re trying to go into enemy territory, their very center, and blow up the ammunition dump. What is their ammunition dump in this metaphor? It is their version of creation.”

Comment #193556

Posted by Henry J on August 7, 2007 7:43 PM (e)

“Christians in the 20th century have been playing defense,” Johnson explained,

Against who - the 10 to 20 percent of the country who aren’t some variety of Christian?

Does he think his sect owns the whole religion? (Or is that a silly question?)

Henry

Comment #193572

Posted by raven on August 7, 2007 8:19 PM (e)

“Christians in the 20th century have been playing defense,” Johnson explained, framing his concerns in a good-versus-evil context. “They’ve been fighting a defensive war to defend what they have, to defend as much of it as they can….

That is another one of the death cults lies. Self identified Xians make up 82% of the population, according to the Gallup GSS survey. They controlled the US house and senate until 2006, republican party, almost 1/2 of the Supreme court, and own the president. Hardly a downtrodden minority here.

That is one of the lies the fundie cultists use to keep their membership engaged and paranoid. Reiterate over and over that there is a war on xians, they are in danger of being …..well, whatever dire fates they can dream up.

A trick used by totalitarians forever, the Goebbels Big Lie strategy.

A lot of mainstream protestants and catholics are rather uneasy about it as well. Look at the history of religions. When the protestants schismed off from the catholics, several centuries of bloody warfare ensued. Or the violence in Iraq between two sects of Moslems over an obscure theological point that happened 1400 years ago. A theocracy always presents problems. Which sect gets to rule, exploit the power of the government, rake off all the goodies, and oppress all the heretics and everyone else? This is why theocracy got a bad name.

Comment #193583

Posted by Herb Schaffler on August 7, 2007 8:38 PM (e)

An organism deposits its semen anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it gets lucky and happens to deposit it on eggs. It has an offspring that only deposits its semen on eggs. Naturally, this would have reproductive value and more offspring would inherit this habit. I understand this, but I still don’t understand what would lead the organism to only deposit its semen on eggs unless an intelligent force had a preconceived concept of depositing semen on eggs and planted that behavior on the organism’s genes. Another way around this problem would be Lamarkism where an organism develops a habit of depositing semen on eggs and the behavior somehow changes the organism’s genes to where the organism passes off this behavior to its offspring.

I know that intelligent design is no solution to this problem because it just opens more questions such as how does a spirit entity think without brain cells and how does it create without hands?

I’m not saying I believe in Lamarkism either. I’m just having a hard time grasping this matter.

Comment #193587

Posted by raven on August 7, 2007 8:49 PM (e)

It never turns the tide. What we’re trying to do is something entirely different. We’re trying to go into enemy territory, their very center, and blow up the ammunition dump. What is their ammunition dump in this metaphor? It is their version of creation.”

Rather foolish strategy, long term anyway.

1. Johnson seems to think the truth and reality are whatever someone says it is. The modern materialist view is that there is a real world out there, that objective reality concept he might have heard of.

2. Science is one of the main reasons why the USA is where it is today and why we don’t live in huts and plow with mules. We need science a lot more than we need a deluded lawyer at UC Berkeley.

Comment #193597

Posted by Henry J on August 7, 2007 9:11 PM (e)

Re “but I still don’t understand what would lead the organism to only deposit its semen on eggs”

It looks to me like your 3rd and 4th sentence answer the question: “It has an offspring that only deposits its semen on eggs. Naturally, this would have reproductive value and more offspring would inherit this habit.”

Presumably, the behavior of emitting semen is triggered by some sensory input, perhaps by smell (i.e., a chemical emitted by the eggs). Mutations that improve the efficiency of that behavior would tend to spread within the species.

Henry

Comment #193647

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 7, 2007 10:32 PM (e)

I understand this, but I still don’t understand what would lead the organism to only deposit its semen on eggs unless an intelligent force had a preconceived concept of depositing semen on eggs and planted that behavior on the organism’s genes.

Is this an inquiry about the origins of sexual reproduction? As in, how and why did critters start having sex in the first place?

In which case, consider that there are asexual critters as well, who don’t deposit their semen on eggs. Starting from there, the question of why sexual reproduction arose is a good one.

Comment #193672

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 7, 2007 11:38 PM (e)

There are also sexual creatures who don’t deposit semen on eggs. They squirt both into sea water and let them take their chances. To understand this, Herb, I’d look at marine invertebrates. I’ll bet if you get into the details you’ll find there are likely intermediates between setting the genetic material completely adrift and carefully placing sperm on eggs.
One of the reasons evolution is so hard to grasp is that the transformations are so gradual that you have to know a lot of detail about different organisms to see how plausible they are.

Comment #193704

Posted by Coin on August 8, 2007 1:51 AM (e)

hoary puccoon wrote:

I’ll bet if you get into the details you’ll find there are likely intermediates between setting the genetic material completely adrift and carefully placing sperm on eggs.

My wife, who is a fish hobbyist, offers the following:

Some types of fish basically… the males don’t release (milt, technically, not semen) ON eggs, specifically. They release the milt on the *nesting area they’ve spent hours or days preparing, and where they just saw their partner deposit reproductive material*.

Also, some mouthbrooding cichlids: the fish “shimmy” at each other. The female releases eggs, then picks her eggs up in her mouth. The male has been “leaking” milt most of this time–he has markings on his fins called “eyespots” right below his vent. The female goes to pick up the fake “eggs” off the male’s fins, and in doing so, grabs a mouthfull of milt which fertilise the eggs in her mouth.

Some fish, like bettas and other bubblenest builders, have a “spawning embrace”. The male wraps around the female so their vents line up. He squeezes her, squeezing eggs out of her, and that same movement causes him to release his milt as well. The eggs only get fertilised because they’re released right next to where the milt is being released. If the fish get lined up wrong–even a small amount–the eggs and milt don’t touch and don’t fertilise.

I’ve had a betta pair–small male with a large female–where he couldn’t squeeze around her quite properly. I tried the pair twice, totally infertile eggs, no hatching. But neither fish was infertile–I bred each, later, to a different, more similarly sized mate, with successful hatches. And after the male grew a bit, I spawned him to the original female again. The later hatch worked. But because they didn’t “line up” right, there was no fertilisation.

There’s no intentional “sperm on egg” there, just two animals releasing reproductive product at the same moment in the same vicintity.

Comment #193833

Posted by Science Avenger on August 8, 2007 8:11 AM (e)

Herb Schaffler said:

An organism … has an offspring that only deposits its semen on eggs. Naturally, this would have reproductive value and more offspring would inherit this habit. I understand this, but I still don’t understand what would lead the organism to only deposit its semen on eggs unless an intelligent force had a preconceived concept of depositing semen on eggs and planted that behavior on the organism’s genes.

Why can’t you believe an organism could get a random genetic variation that led to it depositing semen on eggs? Why do you think this has to come from some intelligent force? The robots in my example above had no intelligence telling them how to get out of the maze.

Comment #193906

Posted by Admin on August 8, 2007 11:40 AM (e)

Troll posts removed, responses moved to the Bathroom Wall.

People, please make things easier for keeping threads topical, and do not respond to troll comments. While it only takes a few clicks of the mouse to either remove or move comments, it would be best if this were kept to a minimum. If you feel that you must respond to a troll, go to the Bathroom Wall thread (linked prominently in the right sidebar) and enter your comment directly there. As the AtBC rules remind you,

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Comment #193991

Posted by Herb Schaffler on August 8, 2007 5:40 PM (e)

“The robots in my example above had no intelligence telling them how to get out of the maze.”

But somebody programmed them, somebody that had a preconcieved concept of left and right.

Comment #194233

Posted by Science Avenger on August 9, 2007 10:45 AM (e)

Herb Schaffler said:

But somebody programmed [the robots in the maze example], somebody that had a preconcieved concept of left and right.

OK, but that wasn’t part of the problem as you stated it. You said:

I still don’t understand what would lead the organism to only deposit its semen on eggs unless an intelligent force had a preconceived concept of depositing semen on eggs and planted that behavior on the organism’s genes.

You didn’t say “I don’t understand how an organism moves”. You said “I don’t understand how an organism knows to move to a particular spot sans intelligent guidance to do so.” That’s what my robot example illustrated. The robots had no preconceived concept of getting out of the maze, just like your hypthetical organism has no preconceived concept of depositing semen on eggs. Yet they do so anyway, leaving a lot of dead/destroyed ancestors in their wake.

The key to understanding this issue is the replication. That step by step process of eliminating the flawed, and keeping that which works, is what gives the illusion of preconceived conceptual guidance. This is also why analogies to 747’s or auto assembly lines are inappropriate. Unless the object in question imperfectly replicates itself, it will not do as an analogy to evolution.

Comment #194349

Posted by Frank J on August 9, 2007 8:32 PM (e)

My latest 2c on ID and Creationism

Comment #194497

Posted by Mike Dunford on August 10, 2007 10:04 AM (e)

Due to various factors, including JAD’s exploits and the difficulties in monitoring comments both here and at The Questionable Authority, I’m closing the comments here. The comments section on my own blog will remain open.