‘Intelligent Design’ Is a Placeholder for any Religion

| 30 Comments

Jozsef Ludvig in the Baltimore Sentinel writes

But in reality, by leaving the name and identity of the designer unknown, ID becomes a placeholder for any religion while narrowly escaping the definition of a religion itself. But it can still not pose for science because it starts with the premise that a supernatural force had to be involved in the creation of life from inorganic matter. In order to prove this premise it then invents the non-empirical device of irreducible complexity which is just a typical God-Of-The-Gaps and cannot explain anything by itself. The resulting negative inference of a supernatural force from empirical ignorance is, by definition, neither a scientific subject nor consistent with the scientific method. Thus ID is not science.

Then he addresses the common confusion amongst creationists that evolutionary theory is atheistic or that Darwin was an atheist. A better term would be agnostic.

After having set up such a transparent deception, he continues with with an obvious lie:

“Darwinism begins with a premise of atheism.…Darwin began his concept of naturalistic explanations in order to refute religion with atheism.”

There is absolutely no hint of a proof in Darwin’s work or biography for the idea that Darwin used an atheist premise. Maybe Mr. Plyler could point us to his historical evidence?

30 Comments

The most common refrain I’ve heard from scientists is “well, I’ll just ignore the intelligent design stuff because it’s all rubbish.”

True indeed, but by ignoring the “rubbish” the rubbish has had time to build up as seen in school board debates around the country and remarks by George Bush. It’s a very expensive mess to clean up.

So, now it’s time for scientists to take a stand, be heard and push the Discovery Institute and its minions back into the primordial ooze whence they came.

Where do ID’s luminaries stand today?

Dembski teaching at a Bible college. Behe disavowed by his own department at Lehigh. Gonzalez marginalized at Iowa State. Wells doing no research at a Bible college.

And that’s it on the “science” front for ID. Oh, and don’t forget, regardless of all the Bible colleges, ID has “nothing” to do with religion.

bill Wrote:

The most common refrain I’ve heard from scientists is “well, I’ll just ignore the intelligent design stuff because it’s all rubbish.”

Good point and more and more scientists are standing up against ID proponents, whether at local universities, or in the media or in scientific journals. ID had a major struggle without much of the science and media world on their case. Bush’s statements combined with the ill-timed attempts to get a vacuous theory of ID taught have turned tide.

Don’t forget Stephen Meyer, a faculty member at Palm Beach Atlantic University, which asserets

To assure the perpetuation of these basic concepts of its founders, it is resolved that all those who become associated with Palm Beach Atlantic as trustees, officers, members of the faculty or of the staff, must believe…that man was directly created by God.

RBH

And that’s it on the “science” front for ID. Oh, and don’t forget, regardless of all the Bible colleges, ID has “nothing” to do with religion.

true dat, Bill. The fact that you can’t be an IDEA officer unless you’re christian is totally irrelevant. There’s certainly no link between ID and christianity. I want Casey flown out for the Dover trial. I want him to explain to a judge why you have to be a christian to be an officer in their purely scientific club.

I wish I still had those emails wherein Casey asked me why on earth I imagined his IDEA club had anything to do with religion. They still exist, but I think they’re on a CD backup in an abandoned office at NCSU. Which basically is the same as they don’t exist.

So, now it’s time for scientists to take a stand

Well, the time was ten years ago.

But better late than never.

:>

It seems to me that teaching ID in high school biology classes is akin to teaching kabbalah and Bible code in math classes. It is a waste of precious learning time for students who are thinking of going into biology or medicine, not to mention everyone else.

There is much talk about the lagging skills of american schoolchildren in math and sciences when compared with kids in other industrialized countries, with a concerted effort going on to rectify this situation. Yet in teaching biology we are moving in the opposite direction. I guess in the future we will just export the jobs in biomedical research to countries that take their high school biology seriously.

Viva Lysenkoism!

You can substitute “magic” for “intelligent design” with no loss of insight.

Creationists are stupid. Let’s throw rocks at them!

Let’s not. That’s their shtick. Let’s sell them shares in non-existent or unobtainable rocks instead.

No rocks, they just love to be persecuted. Since IDists have a cartoon version of science and are bad actors, the best solution is just like the fate of bad actors in old Disney cartoons - rotten tomatoes.

Besides, “…everybody must get stoned …” Bob Dylan

As I read in Newsweek today “Creationists and even some of their thinly disguised counterparts, the Intelligent Designers” I noticed that I’ve seen the IDers described like that countless times in the media. Looks like journalists see through the charade. I am confident judges will too.

re: 46902 Steve - Save me some of that kool-aid!

But I am afraid that we will also need some of Les’s “magic” to overcome the ingrained, seemingly hard-wired stupidity of the IDrs, UFOrs, christian right-wingers and other kooks

I am confident judges will too.

I have confidence in most judges, but there are a few Roy Moores and Antonin Scalias around.

I am a charter member of the creationist persecutors country club. We stand them up and hurl flagellum at them.

oops…actually I think it’s “flagella”?

keep in mind: intelligent design is not an attack on evolution, it is an attack on the scientific method. No “Theory” of ID can exist without total invasion of all basic science. This can disrupt more than just biology classes. Why does our government encourage this to happen? They see scientists as being just another special interest group that is not part of the ruling coalition and thus not deserving of any special treatment. The future for American hegemony in technology?????

keep in mind: intelligent design is not an attack on evolution, it is an attack on the scientific method. No “Theory” of ID can exist without total invasion of all basic science.

There is no Design theory, and it’s still an attack on all science. Read the Wedge.

Then he addresses the common confusion amongst creationists that evolutionary theory is atheistic or that Darwin was an atheist. A better term would be agnostic.

There is no confusion involved, at least among the leading creationists. Instead, it is a deliberate equivocation which is part of a strategy to create in the minds of the religious the false alternative whereby the religious must choose between fundamentalism and atheism.

Along these lines, here is an article which may be of interest:

“Religion and Science” http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.[…];t=4&m=1

steve Wrote:

There’s certainly no link between ID and christianity.

Undoubtedly there is. But is it a necessary or accidental link? There is a link between carpenters and Buddhists because some carpenters are also Buddhists. The link is accidental, of course. More than mere association, however strong, is needed to identify one group with another.

But is it a necessary or accidental link?

They say it is a necessary one. Indeed, a carefully deliberately planned one. And they state this explicitly in the Wedge Document:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/wedge.html

And what if a carpenters’ guild (most of which happens to be Buddhist), after careful and deliberate planning, asserts a necessary link between carpentry and Buddhism?

the pro from dover Wrote:

keep in mind: intelligent design is not an attack on evolution, it is an attack on the scientific method.

I’m torn about whether to agree with that or not. Yes, ID is an attack on the scientific method. But they do specifically attack biological evolution, and in defending that there is a tremendous opportunity for education about the ToE. Not among the fundies, no doubt, but among more middle-of-the-road types who might be attracted to ID out of ignorance rather than philosophy.

I’m pretty ignorant about most of evolution theory, but I probably wouldn’t know what little I do if I weren’t curious about the attack on it. If there were no evolution, there would be no ID.

But is it a necessary or accidental link?

Neither. It’s an intentional link.

Whether it is intentional or not is irrelevant.

The point in “linking” ID and religion is to identify ID and religion, and thereby, to conclude that ID is not science but rather religion.

Whether the link between ID and religion is intentional or not, it is accidental. And therefore, the above argument is fallacious.

ID may not be science, but it certainly is not excluded from science because the majority of its advocates are Christian.

a “gap” is closing - “Chimpanzee fossils fill gap in ancient primate record”: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/merc[…]12532195.htm

- free registration require, use http://www.bugmenot.com/

Mythos, my point is that it’s the IDers who are linking ID and religion.

I’m not arguing that ID is unscientific simply because its proponents are religious. I agree that would be fallacious. That’s why I said the link is not necessary. I’m sure one can formulate versions of ID that are not religious.

But the link is not accidental either. It’s purposeful on the part of ID’s proponents. Their explicitly stated aim is to use ID as a wedge to supplant real science with christian theism.

The point of the link is that ID is not science and it’s an attempt to force teaching of specific religious views.

The point of the link is that ID is not science and it’s an attempt to force teaching of specific religious views.

Just ask the IDers.

Even if IDers did not themselves admit their hidden agenda of forcing literalist Christianity down the throats of our nation’s children (which in fact they surreptitiously do admit, as already pointed out), there is still a logical reason for believing that such is their intent … a reason which is hinted at in the statement that there is no proof of an atheist premise in Darwin’s idea: the theory of evolution itself does not inherantly deny the possibility of a “divine intelligence” responsible for putting the system of evolution in place. If “Intelligent Design” were not specific to literalist Christianity, if it were simply the belief that an abstract “divine intelligence” were responsible for all creation, then there would be no inherant conflict between ID “theory” and evolution: one could conceivably believe both - that a divine intelligence thought up evolution as it’s system to create, put the elements together, and let the system of evolution take over from there … kind of like Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, where the natural law of gravity, and its’ chance expressions, share in the artist’s role of creation. Pollock chose paint color, where to move his arm &/or flick his wrist, and once the paint left the brush, physics took over. The only real reason for promoting ID as an “alternative” to evolution, therefore, would be if evolution actually contradicted one’s religious beliefs - and just about the only type of religion which is contradicted by evolution is fundamentalism; specifically, denominations which insist on literalist interpretation of all doctrine, including creation myths … and most such denominations in this country are Christian. Basically what we are looking at here is the American version of the Taliban in action.

Mythos Wrote:

ID may not be science, but it certainly is not excluded from science because the majority of its advocates are Christian.

ID is excluded from science because there is no scientific theory. There are no hypotheses, no testable predictions, and no experiments proposed or underway. There is no scientific content, therefore it is not science.

Re “We stand them up and hurl flagellum at them.”

Hurl microscopic bits of organic material? Sounds rather ineffective, that. ;)

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on August 31, 2005 8:04 PM.

Acts Have Consequences was the previous entry in this blog.

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