Does the intelligent design movement need to be demolished and rebuilt?

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[Republished from Homologous Legs]

The intelligent design (ID) movement has been around for over 20 years, and few (if any) of its stated and implied goals and plans have thus far come to fruition. While contributing factors to this lack of success are certainly the hard work of the scientific community and its friends, as well as the fact that ID has never been adequately formulated as a scientific idea, a significant proportion of the responsibility for the outcome should be laid upon the ID movement itself. It has, in arguably many respects, acted in the exact opposite way that it should have acted if it wanted to be taken seriously - only one example of which is bringing up religion whilst simultaneously claiming that they weren’t and then chastising critics who pointed out what they were doing.

It’s hard to find an ID proponent who will admit this. Like many movements, the one constructed around ID is insular, mistrusting and lacks introspection, and it spends most of its time on attacking “the Darwinist enemy” in academia instead of really thinking about what it’s doing. This is understandable, considering it’s been relentlessly criticised by the scientific community ever since it poked its head up out of the carcass of creation science, rendering it in a somewhat-perpetual state of defensiveness. Those few proponents who can somehow forget the fact that nearly every biologist in the world would laugh about their ideas to their face given the chance still attack evolutionary biology with unparalleled confidence, which bolsters the morale of those in the Internet trenches: and thus the movement continues. Even with its “Darwinist conspiracy” mindset, it still thinks it’s winning. But it’s not. Not by a long shot.

On the How To Debate Evolution blog, the pro-intelligent design author, EvoGuide, has written what they think is a solution to many of these problems, in a post titled “Towards a Better Version of ID - A Manifesto”. While I think it still has its flaws, the bigger ID blogs, such as Evolution News & Views and Uncommon Descent, would do well to listen to this advice:

Somewhat more recently, among creationists, the realization emerged that what was needed was a more “scientific” version of creationism. So as a result, they came up with “Intelligent Design” or ID. To bystanders like myself, those were exciting times. At last, creationism would finally become an actual scientific theory that would go toe to toe with evolution. We even had our champion, Michael Behe, who had already baffled evolutionists with his concept of “Irreducible Complexity.” The sky was the limit to what would be accomplished.

But instead IDers devoted themselves to loosing [sic] silly and embarrassing court cases (endorsing textbooks where the word “God” was search and replaced with “id”). And Michal [sic] Behe? Well, he seems to have resigned himself to authoring books and collecting royalties.

To all my fellow evolution skeptics out there, I’m sad to tell you that creationism and ID are dead. And it’s not even as if ID entered the ring with evolution and got its butt kicked all over the canvas. Then at least, it would have died in honor. Instead, its more as if, for all these years, it has not yet even been able to figure out how to climb into the ring.

I believe that if there is any hope for “Design” as a concept to survive the next century, we need a whole new version of Intelligent Design altogether. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it Intelligent Design anymore for all the bad memories.

This is what honesty looks like, everyone. The Discovery Institute isn’t about to admit to any of this though, of course - it would be a PR nightmare. But then again: if ID is to be rebuilt, don’t the old edifices need to be demolished before that can happen?

EvoGuide then goes through a list of eight things the new ID should endeavour to do, in order to change its image and scientific prospects. Some are good, some are iffy and some are just plain common sense:

This new ID should:

1) Sever all ties with any religious or political organization, any religious or political agenda.

I doubt it will ever happen, but in a perfect world, ID’s leading organisation wouldn’t be a conservative Christian think tank.

2) Cease all efforts to gain influence through court trials and legislation.

The proper process of science isn’t to legislate your ideas into the classroom: be they your hypotheses or your arguments against rival theories.

3) Stop trying to make changes to the public school curriculum.

Curricula change in response to legitimate revisions in the opinions of the scientific community. It doesn’t work the other way around.

4) This new ID will need to find a way to do one of two things:

  1. Either invent a new scientific method, one that is at least as effective as the current one at studying the natural world but which can also allow for and has ways to study the supernatural (highly unlikely) or,
  2. b) Find a way to work within the confines of the current scientific method.

What this means is that for something to qualify as science within the current system, it must not allow for supernatural elements. So if ID believes that the Intelligent Designer is a supernatural being, it must find a way to study this concept “naturally”.

The only way this can be done, as far as I can see, is to postulate the design process as if accomplished by a scientifically advanced bio-engineer extra terrestrial (SABEET) that would go about the process the same way a human scientist would once we became advanced enough to create new life forms and populate new planets. Using such a concept would allow us to develop a model based on which to make testable predictions.

This point is questionable. Once you start hypothesising a specific type of Designer (which is exactly what the ID movement needs to start doing in order to be anywhere remotely close to having a scientific hypothesis), the predictions and tests are valid only for that particular hypothesis. Predictions based on alien bioengineering, if fulfilled, only support the alien bioengineering hypothesis: ID proponents can’t then take those positive results and claim that a supernatural Designer hypothesis has also been supported. If that was the case, why do you even need to posit a non-supernatural Designer in the first place, if a supernatural one can benefit from positive predictive outcomes?

In my opinion, for ID to move up and out of the pit it is currently trapped in, it needs to leave the concept of supernatural design behind.

5) Once a basic framework for scientific study is agreed upon, effort should be made to gain consensus for this new framework among as many IDers and Creationists as possible. We are already more than a century behind and need all the help we can get. But more importantly, it will be very difficult for a theory of ID to gain ground if every little group of IDers has its own private version of the theory.

This is what the Discovery Institute has been trying to do, albeit slightly half-heartedly, for 20 years. But their reason for doing so wasn’t a practical, scientific one, but a theological and political one: if you’ve got Catholics, Protestants and Jews all together in one tent, you’ve got to find the lowest common denominator, an idea that everyone can agree to, so the coalition doesn’t splinter into shards before any meaningful work can be done. It’s still sound advice, however.

6) Not just this, but this new ID should seriously invest in bright young people who have an interest in the subject and sponsor their education and advanced studies at the best possible schools in order to develop a new generation of scientists that are highly skilled in their fields.

I think I’m probably correct when I say that this is the dream of every new branch of science: and it’s easier said than done. Sponsorship requires money and the recruitment of new talent requires preliminary results and excellent communication skills on the part of the core group trying to get their ideas out there. A new ID without an entity such as the Discovery Institute is unlikely to have any of these things. Perhaps this “rebuilding ID” thing is trickier than it looks.

7) Then, such ID should first focus on contributing to science. A theory of ID as described above would overlap in many instances with the theory of evolution. ID scientists should choose first, areas of study where they share a common interest with evolutionary scientists and publish scientific papers that contribute to the overall advancement of science. They should thus develop a good reputation and respect within the scientific community.

Sound advice. I’m not sure anyone could predict ahead of time how much ID will (hypothetically) overlap with evolutionary biology, though. It would most likely depend on the form of ID being put forward.

8) Lastly, ID scientists should not be focused on competing with or defeating Darwinism. Even when their work might take them in direct opposition to what is commonly agreed upon in evolutionary circles, the focus should not be to disprove evolution but rather to do good science.

The thing is, critiquing competing ideas is an invaluable part of science. No serious ID critic should claim that attacking evolutionary theory is a bad strategy for ID proponents, provided they also give positive evidence for their own ideas, especially in cases where their ideas would supplant those that they are attacking. The key here is balance: clear the way for your own ideas with legitimate criticism, but make sure you have developed and justified your own ideas enough so that they are able to fill the explanatory holes you create.

EvoGuide goes on to describe a possible hypothetical scenario that a new form of ID could be based upon, but I won’t go into any detail on it. It’s a reasonably interesting scenario, but, of course, various aspects of it need to be independently supported before it can count as a scientific hypothesis, lest it succumb to the fate of its old-ID ancestor.

In short, what I want to get across in this post is that the ID movement at the moment is a scientific joke - and I’m not saying that to make a rhetorical point or to bolster my case, I’m saying it because it’s true. It’s filled with sneaky and not-so-sneaky appeals to theology, politics and law, while it neglects to engage with science or the scientific community in any meaningful way. It’s defensive, not inquisitive; it attempts to change textbooks before it has any justification to do so; and it’s hung up on a concept of design that is untestable and flawed, in order to appease a wide, religious base of supporters who hang together due to the vagueness of the concept of ID.

To all the ID proponents out there: do you want to be taken seriously? Consider what EvoGuide and I have to say. While your ideas may be proven incorrect in the long run, if you truly believe you’re onto something, make the most of it and stick to the proper method of conducting science.

315 Comments

Is it just me, or is this missing the point? The basic goal of creationists is to get their religious agenda implemented in schools, legislatures, school boards, courts, and any aspect of public authority. They have no interest in science whatsoever; ID is really no more than vaguely scientistical whitewash. It exists in the hopes of lending a fig leaf of plausible deniability to the intended creationist public officials and institutions. It is a pure PR effort. The underlying ideas are both irreconcilably unscientific, and intentionally anti-scientific.

Judge Jones was entirely correct in observing that ID cannot be decoupled from its religious nature.

I agree that ID is complete utter BS. Since it canot be any different it canot and deffinitely will not change to some kind of science. ID’s underlying ideas just completely prevent this. Thus, I don’t actually see the point of your post. ID has been, is and will be a dead horse. Still, you may keep beating it.

Well, there are three types of ID proponents:

1) The con-men. These are the ring leaders. They know ID is crap and doesn’t (never did) have a prayer (pun intended) of becoming what they claimed. It’s a tool to attempt to gain power, notoriety, and money by fleecing the flock.

2) The Troo Believer. This person is religious to the core and sees ID as a viable way to get religion into the classroom and that evil Darwin out. It’s all about the religion. They directly feed the con-men. Most of the PT regulars are of this variety.

3) The true believer. This person actually thinks that ID is science and has a chance (pun intended) of being the greatest revolution in scientific thinking in the last 160 odd years. This person sounds like this version of the true believer. As are a few other AtBC regulars.

All of them have the same problem as listed in the above article. ID is functionally useless. It is internally inconsistent and (as Behe put it at Kitzmiller) it depends on how much of a Christian one is.

To even talk about intelligent design, the pro-ID people must do the one thing that they have run away from so far… that is actually be able to tell the difference between intelligent design and any other kind of design. IF they can ever do that, consistently and correctly, then and only then will they ever make headway in science.

To answer the titular questions, yes and no, respectively.

What clearly emerges from that “Manifesto” is its author’s complete lack of understanding of scientific processes and scientific concepts.

The author wants to make a pseudo-science into a science; but he doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know why ID is a pseudo-science, and he doesn’t know what science is either.

He doesn’t know the history; and, as Flint reminds us, it all started as a tattered and moldy sheepskin thrown over sectarian religion in order to sneak it into the public schools to crowd out evolution.

Then ID simply put a tattered and moldy lab coat over the sheepskin.

There never was any science in ID/creationism to begin with; it was never intended to be, and history has left the rubes dangling with an empty poke, feeling embarassed, and wishing they could make it appear that they had something in the bag.

Flint said:

Judge Jones was entirely correct in observing that ID cannot be decoupled from its religious nature.

Well, it is possible to decouple Intelligent Design from its religious nature, but, then all you have left is impotent mewling about how evolution is impossible “just because”

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]qkUreczsKrmk said:

To answer the titular questions, yes and no, respectively.

Harr harr. :p But that’s pretty much my opinion too, though. ID doesn’t really need a research program - since, until the moment we actually find independent evidence for the existence of a potential Designer, ID can’t conduct anything close to resembling science.

I wrote the post to challenge the ID community: don’t think that I actually think ID could ever become a part of the scientific community. But they’ve got to put their money where their many mouths are and start doing something, if they want to try to be taken seriously.

Creationism and ID famously are powerful and doing very well in shaping millions of peoples basic impressions or origin issues. I understand republican contenders for Prez ae always asked about Creationism and attacked for it. i think Dawkins did this recently. Id and YEC are very important and popular and gaining ground. Am I wrong?

We take on conclusions from some fields of study dealing with origins. We do very well and many ID folks are famous writers. More to come surely.

Once again some critic says the “scientific community” opposes creationism(s). If the operative word is “scientific’ to give credibility to the criticisms then it could only be that percentage that understand/study/get paid about these specific fields of study. Its not the whole tribe or relevant about the mass of them any more then anyone else. Just the few that deal with origin subjects have credibility to criticize. Very few get paid for these things. Its a small world relative to the “science” world.

Creationism is convinced in reasonable analysis and observation that events and processes never witnessed but where their are results are professionally well investigated by us and better then our opponents. For many reasons.

ID is simply more sensitive to throwing a killer punch. YEC is content with slow progress. In short the thread here is plain wrong and wishful thinking to see any hope of ID/YEC in any way slowing down from its great rise in Anglo-American thought on origins. Pandas Thumb exists because of this movement and its threat to the old ideas.

Sorry to break EvoGuide’s bubble, but from where I sit, the ID movement has succeeded both powerfully and deeply. It has forever altered the way millions of Americans think about both science and religion.

Think about it: ID has already been publicly endorsed at the national level, by a sitting President (President Bush). And even now, one of the 2012 presidential candidates (Gov. Perry) has publicly endorsed it again.

Meanwhile, the well-known atheist professor and debater, Antony Flew, sent Richter-9.0 shock waves all over the place, when he publicly credited Intelligent Design for his decision to abandon atheism in favor of deism.

(It was at this point that people started realizing that Intelligent Design was capable of wrecking atheism at the highest levels, with or WITHOUT any help from courthouses or schoolhouses.)

And what have we here? Even now, atheist professor Bradley Monton has written a recent book, a most interesting book, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (2009). I’ve read it–if anybody out there thinks ID hasn’t succeeded in deep and meaningful ways, maybe they better read it too.

***

“What about the Kitzmiller decision? you ask. Simple. Kitzmiller has been fisked by now. Judge Jones has been fisked by now. We know specifically where, and specifically how, ole Mr. Jones messed it up. The necessary information can be put on the table, front and center, anytime anyplace, as needed.

But that’s ancient courtroom history. What has become clear, the ID hypothesis is NOT dependent on courts or schools to create massive Paradigm Shifts in the lives of multitudes. And it can cross religious lines and even appeal to non-religious people. Just that quickly.

***

So if you’ve ever wondered why evolutionists so desperately fear and hate ID so much, far more than they ever hated “Creationism”, well now you know.

And if you’ve ever wondered why atheist Michael Zimmermann focusses almost all his efforts on deceiving and blinding and hoodwinking the Christian clergy, instead of focussing efforts on science or law, well now you know.

(Imagine what might happen if the people who are SUPPOSED to believe in Intelligent Design, actually did so? That’s what evolutionists fear more than anything.)

***

Anyway, Robert Byers is correct:

:”Creationism and ID famously are powerful and doing very well in shaping millions of peoples basic impressions or origin issues.”

Quite true.

FL

ID doesn’t really need a research program

ID actually has a vibrant research program. It sifts through hundreds, nay thousands of papers to find appropriate quotes that appear to prove that they’re right. Those quotes don’t just mine themselves, you know.

Nice…adjacent attacks by Byers and FL early in the morning - wonder if there’s a connection?

This really is strange. Believing that ID’s problem is that it just got off to a bad start, and then trying to rehabilitate ID by repairing a few minor flaws – wow! That approach might work if the launch of a new laundry detergent didn’t go well, but in the case of a new scientific paradigm, things just don’t work that way. Re-launching ID is about as hopeless as trying to do the same for Time Cube theory. There’s nothing to rehabilitate.

Even if one were to ignore the unfortunate circumstances of ID’s birth – it’s a primitive search-and-replace attempt to cloak creationism so it can sneak past the First Amendment – there’s nothing to it but a bunch of slogans. Stripped of Genesis, what’s left? The essence of ID consists of claims that it’s really great science because: (1) evolution is impossible; (2) evolution is atheistic; (3) evolution leads to evil; and (4) I don’t believe evolution anyway.

Paul Burnett said:

Nice…adjacent attacks by Byers and FL early in the morning - wonder if there’s a connection?

Do I detect a design inference?

Ironically I have to agree with both both FL and Byers, in that the ID movement has been successful in keeping the “masses” mislead. Their strategy is to spread anti-“Darwinism” sound bites that trickle down to millions that never heard of the DI and its Fellows (other than Medved). I’m not worried about people like FL and Byers - they’ll always have old-style pseudoscience peddlers (e.g. AiG) to feed their fantasies. What I worry about is the larger group (~1/2 if the population, compared to the ~1/4 that are committed Biblical literalists) that say things like “I hear the jury’s still out about evolution,” or if they don’t personally buy creationism/ID say things like “what’s the harm, let them learn it in public schools.”

While the movement probably could benefit from a new strategy, I think we need to be the ones to give it to them. By constantly demanding them to state what they think the designer did, when and how. When they try to evade the questions remind them that YECs and OECs have no problem answering the whats and whens (if not the hows). Then, when they claim that ID is not creationism, instead of the usual “is too!,” just ask if they ever challenged YEC and OEC with the same passion that they “challenge” “Darwinism.” Of course this will only work if there’s an audience present to watch them evade, backpedal and whine that it’s not their job to “connect dots.” And even then it will likely take years to make measurable progress. Doing what we have been doing for 20 years guarantees no progress at best.

Intelligent Design cretinism IS mendacious intellectual pornography; nothing more and nothing less. It’s time for it to REST IN PEACE. The Dishonesty Institute should listen to the likes of Republican Presidential Candidates Newt Gingrich (who said back in 2006 that Intelligent Design should never be taught in science classes), Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney who recognize the scientific validity of biological evolution and contemporary evolutionary theory.

@Frank J: except that both FL and Byers measure ID’s success mainly in terms of politics and PR, not in terms of scientific progress. Pretty telling, isn’t it?

FL said:

Meanwhile, the well-known atheist professor and debater, Antony Flew, sent Richter-9.0 shock waves all over the place, when he publicly credited Intelligent Design for his decision to abandon atheism in favor of deism.

Actually Flew went senile, and was taken immediately advantage of by dishonest, unscrupulous Christian con-artists.

And the fact that President Bush gave his approval to Intelligent Design helps to cement the stereotype of America and American Christians being malicious idiots.

I really don’t see how Governor Perry’s approval of Intelligent Design is worth boasting about, given as how the Texas Educational System is one of the worst performing educational systems in the nation.

Jack Scanlan said: I wrote the post to challenge the ID community: don’t think that I actually think ID could ever become a part of the scientific community. But they’ve got to put their money where their many mouths are and start doing something, if they want to try to be taken seriously.

Don’t hold your breath, Jack. The Dishonesty Institute will never “start doing something” that should be viewed as scientifically credible. They’ve had more than twenty years to do exactly that but have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It’s time that they accept Philip Johnson’s recognition that Inteilligent Design is not yet a scientific theory, but also go much further by acknowledging that it is - to use Philp Kitcher’s term - dead science, since it was once considered and then rejected by early 19th Century scientists.

They should thus develop a good reputation and respect within the scientific community.

Does anyone else consider this rather weaselly? “First, win their trust, and then hit them with your ID”?

Besides, what happened about just following the evidence where it leads? I’m also missing another important piece of advise: admit it when you are wrong. Stop using arguments after they have been discredited.

Of course, that could mean that they’d have to stop doing ID altogether…

apokryltaros said: I really don’t see how Governor Perry’s approval of Intelligent Design is worth boasting about, given as how the Texas Educational System is one of the worst performing educational systems in the nation.

Am in full agreement with all of your comments here, but I am citing only these to note that Perry needs to wise up and follow in the lead of Gingrich, Romney, and especially, Huntsman, who said recently that the Republican Party should not been seen as the “anti-science” political party if it wishes to win the 2012 Presidential Election here in the United States.

Deen said:

@Frank J: except that both FL and Byers measure ID’s success mainly in terms of politics and PR, not in terms of scientific progress. Pretty telling, isn’t it?

Yes, it is telling. Neither of them care that Intelligent Design was never intended to be science, or even a replacement explanation (Philip Johnson realized this, even). FL even denies the fact that Intelligent Design has failed every time it gets pulled into the courts. In fact, in Dover, the Discovery Institute was hoping that they’d win on the grounds of croneyism and party loyalty, and not justice or scientific merit or even competence.

”…wonder if there’s a connection?”

It’s called “sock puppetry”.

Deen said:

They should thus develop a good reputation and respect within the scientific community.

Does anyone else consider this rather weaselly? “First, win their trust, and then hit them with your ID”?

Besides, what happened about just following the evidence where it leads? I’m also missing another important piece of advise: admit it when you are wrong. Stop using arguments after they have been discredited.

I’m thinking that the author is implying that, by “developing a good reputation (in science),” Intelligent Design proponents would stop behaving like typical science-deniers, and, instead, do actual scientific research.

Of course, that could mean that they’d have to stop doing ID altogether…

That is true. The core of Intelligent Design is “We can’t hope to understand this, therefore, GODDIDIT: let’s stop doing science now.”

John said:

apokryltaros said: I really don’t see how Governor Perry’s approval of Intelligent Design is worth boasting about, given as how the Texas Educational System is one of the worst performing educational systems in the nation.

Am in full agreement with all of your comments here, but I am citing only these to note that Perry needs to wise up and follow in the lead of Gingrich, Romney, and especially, Huntsman, who said recently that the Republican Party should not been seen as the “anti-science” political party if it wishes to win the 2012 Presidential Election here in the United States.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that other Republicans haven’t tried to crucify Huntsman as a slimy traitor to the nation for his harsh words against Governor Perry. You know, like how other Republicans crucified Senator McCain when he went against President Bush for the presidential nomination.

The NEW ID Should: #9. Be carefully flushed down the drain, and treated just like the OLD ID.

So ID proponents know that what they have been doing isn’t science and isn’t being taken seriously by scientists, regardless of whatever success they may have had in fooling J. Q. Public. They also know exactly what they must do to transform ID into some kind of real science and be taken seriously by the scientific community. So why haven’t they done so already? Why have they failed so miserably? WHy have they not even tried? Why do they insist on continuing to run a con game, insisting that what they are doing is science and not religion?

Perhaps this is all they have. Perhaps this is all they ever will have. Perhaps they know, deep down inside, that if they ever actually do any real science, it will prove that they were completely wrong all along. After all that quote mining, something from all those papers must have sunk in. They must realize that others have had the courage to honestly seek the truth and have already found it. If you haven’t even got the guts to look for a real answer, you aren’t even emotionally capable of doing any real science. Nothing has ever stopped them from doing real science, except themselves.

ID, as it currently exists, is a great source of entertainment and amusement.

Yes, there could be ID as science, though it is unlikely that such a scientific study would satisfy the current ID advocates. How to do this is often pointed out. But the ID folk are not interested. They may deny their program is religious and political, but they don’t even try to conceal it. They are probably blind as to how obvious this is.

In the meantime, they are doing a great job of documenting the religious nature of the movement, which could be useful if there are future court cases.

Robert Byers said:

… Once again some critic says the “scientific community” opposes creationism(s). If the operative word is “scientific’ to give credibility to the criticisms then it could only be that percentage that understand/study/get paid about these specific fields of study. Its not the whole tribe or relevant about the mass of them any more then anyone else. Just the few that deal with origin subjects have credibility to criticize. Very few get paid for these things. Its a small world relative to the “science” world.

Creationism is convinced in reasonable analysis and observation that events and processes never witnessed but where their are results are professionally well investigated by us and better then our opponents. For many reasons. …

Now who can argue with that? I think we’re all indebted to Gabby Johnson for stating what needed to be said. I am particularly glad that these lovely children are here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed the courage little seen in this day and age.

Here’s the only way forward for ID: massively fund research in abiogenesis. The only testable hypothesis is natural origins, and the only way to falsify it is to try every possible natural route to abiogenesis and show that none of them work. A creationist billionaire or two could massively stimulate the field since 99% of biology research is on how life works now, not on origins. No ID youngsters need learn biology, there are lots of trained biologists who would hit the ground running if given funding. Of course it would take a long time and lots of money to exhaust the possibilities, but with faith all things are possible. Of course there is the nightmare possibility that a viable model for abiogensis might be found, but no True Believer would give that a moment’s credence. Put your money where your mouth is creationists: fund the enemy and watch them fail!

Provocative post, Jack – but plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Have you read this 2002 essay by Bill Dembski?

http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_[…]dscience.htm

Here’s another perspective to consider. 20 years after the publication of the Origin of Species, Darwinian theory began to enter what historian Peter Bowler calls its “eclipse,” such that at the 50-year anniversary of the book (1909), the theory was widely pronounced to be moribund. Yet…you know the rest.

The worst thing that could happen to ID would be for someone like you to stop thinking about it. Don’t visit Uncommon Descent or other ID sites, don’t read books such as Signature in the Cell, don’t write blog posts like this one – just become indifferent.

Could that happen? Sure. Will it? Only you know.

Steve P. the delusional evolution denialist from Taiwan barfed:

Jack Scanlan,

Unfortunately, you are suffering from the same misconception Elsberry, Shallit, Felsenstein, el all suffer from. That is, you mislabel ID as subordinate to creationism.

In fact, as has been pointed out previously, ID is an ancient concept and has been incorporated into scientific thinking for centuries. But for the past century or so, ID has given way to secular incursions which ‘over time’ transitioned into homesteading rights.

Creationism, seeing the cultural and political implications of this unwelcome secular/atheist resident, sought redress by countering its growing influence in mainstream education (especially in the area of evolution, the preferred soil on which to nurture converts).

ID, seeing a strategic opening, has engages the public and scientific community in an attempt to redirect the spotlight away from cultural and political considerations to the conceptual advantage theistic ideas have in the scientific marketplace.

To be sure, ID is all about showing theistic conceptualizations as being positive and productive in contrast to secular approaches that start out hamstrung by keeping certain ideas off the table, presumably for philosophical reasons; certainly not for scientific reasons IMO.

Case in point is Dembski’s work approaching the concept of information from a theistic framework of information as having a separate identity, real and quantifiable, yet immaterial.

PT contributors’ unprofessional ridicule aside, Dembski/Marks’ work blazes a different conceptual trail in contrast to what is currently offered by their ‘theistically challenged’ detractors (in the guise of information as ‘merely’ being an emergent property of matter).

Whether Dembski/Marks’ efforts succeed or fail is uncertain. However, it is the fact that they are making the attempt that is commendable and should be encouraged from a scientific POV.

Steve P. just stick to your textile business, please. Intelligent Design was not formally recognized as such until William Paley wrote his treatise. That treatise ironically inspired Darwin’s interest in natural history and he brought along his copy when he boarded HMS Beagle. However, leading - and true - “scientific” creationists rejected it because it ran counter to their understanding of methodological naturalism and their view of GOD as an entity much closer to a Deistic conception, not the Jehovah of the Old Testament.

Steve P. the scientific illiterate declared: Case in point is Dembski’s work approaching the concept of information from a theistic framework of information as having a separate identity, real and quantifiable, yet immaterial.

PT contributors’ unprofessional ridicule aside, Dembski/Marks’ work blazes a different conceptual trail in contrast to what is currently offered by their ‘theistically challenged’ detractors (in the guise of information as ‘merely’ being an emergent property of matter).

Whether Dembski/Marks’ efforts succeed or fail is uncertain. However, it is the fact that they are making the attempt that is commendable and should be encouraged from a scientific POV.

As our resident “expert” on Dembski and Marks’ “research”, maybe you enlighten all of us, especially Mike Elzinga, in explaining just how “brilliant” it is. Maybe you can explain why Jeffrey Shallit and Wesley Elsberry - and others - have demonstrated that it is nothing more than pseudoscientific rubbish. Like Mike, I eagerly await your response.

Steve P, what scientific work has Dembski done with Intelligent Design?

As far as I’ve heard and read, Dembski has done nothing with Intelligent Design. He’s also freely confessed that one is not supposed to do anything with Intelligent Design, either, other than as an excuse to bash good science for Jesus.

Stanton, you know perfectly well SP is never at a loss for a dumb answer to any question – and not one of them has ever failed to live up to the level of credibility established by all the others.

mrg has reading comprehension skill so prefers playing PT’s resident jester.

But this just in, Apo(or is it Stanton) has been spotted at PT’ HR desk, and was overheard seeking a position as jester. Seems the coveted postion of PT jester competition is heating up.

To help mrg enhance his game, I offer inspiration from Return to Forever’s ‘The duel of the Jester and the Tyrant”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3sT5Ucyw_0.

that should read ‘ reading comprehension issues.

yes, an edit button would be nice, obviously.

Steve P. the clueless scientific illiterate babbled:

that should read ‘ reading comprehension issues.

yes, an edit button would be nice, obviously.

Your comments are always worthy of “an edit button” O WORTHY ONE. When will you address Mike Elzinga’s request (as well as mine and several others here) to explain the “brilliance” behind Dembski and Mark’s “research”? We eagerly await your response, O WORTHY ONE.

Sometimes the idea pops into my mind that there are cases where an edit button would only have a deleterious effect.

Steve P. said:

mrg has reading comprehension skill so prefers playing PT’s resident jester.

But this just in, Apo(or is it Stanton) has been spotted at PT’ HR desk, and was overheard seeking a position as jester. Seems the coveted postion of PT jester competition is heating up.

To help mrg enhance his game, I offer inspiration from Return to Forever’s ‘The duel of the Jester and the Tyrant”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3sT5Ucyw_0.

So what science has Dembski done with Intelligent Design? Your inane insults have once again failed to answer my question.

BTW, it’s blatantly hypocritical of you to implore us that you just want to discuss stuff like adults in one thread, and then mock us for being idiots in this one.

I mean, are you saying that I’m an idiot because I’m asking you a question that you have no ability on top of no desire to answer? Or, is it because I’m not mindlessly bobbing my head up and down in response to your inane Intelligent Design cheerleading?

apokryltaros, I think the answer to that is “yes”.

Henry J said:

apokryltaros, I think the answer to that is “yes”.

It serves me right for assuming a smarmy bobblehead like Steve P would be capable of conversing like a sane adult in the first place.

apokryltaros said: It serves me right for assuming a smarmy bobblehead like Steve P would be capable of conversing like a sane adult in the first place.

Aw c’mon Stanton, you just like to argue – you knew all along that he’d just go right on baring his arse at you.

mrg said:

apokryltaros said: It serves me right for assuming a smarmy bobblehead like Steve P would be capable of conversing like a sane adult in the first place.

Aw c’mon Stanton, you just like to argue – you knew all along that he’d just go right on baring his arse at you.

Then why does he also whine about wanting to converse like adults when he can’t actually converse like an adult?

apokryltaros said: Then why does he also whine about wanting to converse like adults when he can’t actually converse like an adult?

It’s part of the mooning act.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Scanlan published on August 25, 2011 9:29 PM.

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