Intellectual laziness over intelligent design

| 70 Comments

Dr Matthew Chalmers from the Institute of Physics presents his comments in The Sunday Times of September 11

Dr Matthew Chalmers Wrote:

ROD LIDDLE does his best to knock scientists off their pedestals while taking care not to side with the “deadbeat” promoters of intelligent design (Comment, last week). But he goes one step too far. By suggesting that it is reasonable to discuss ID as a possible alternative to evolutionary theory in school science lessons he has sadly fallen into the same trap of so many others in this recent non-debate.

The reason why intelligent design should not be taught in science classes is blindingly simple: it isn’t science. Does Liddle also think that A-level biology should include a short module on the virgin birth as an alternative to sexual reproduction, or perhaps a homework assignment about life after death? After all, millions of people believe in those.

Not wasting any words he concludes

Intelligent design is at best religious-right extremism; at worst, intellectual laziness.

There you have it…

70 Comments

Ho, hum. Evolution schmevolution. Wake me when I’m evolved.

ROD LIDDLE does his best to knock scientists off their pedestals while taking care not to side with the “deadbeat” promoters of intelligent design (Comment, last week). But he goes one step too far.

He goes a lot more than one:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/articl[…]3688,00.html

Dawkins is supposedly a supremely rational human being. But there is another paradox here, because in his defence of theories to which he has affixed his flag and from which he has made his name, he betrays the distinctly irrational and human characteristic of possessing something called faith. “I believe but I cannot prove that all life, all intelligence and all design … is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection,” he has said. Faith is indeed a touching thing.

Uh, no, it’s not “faith”, it’s inference to the best explanation, just as we believe, but cannot prove, that the sun will come up tomorrow.

I suspect — note that word, suspect — that he is right, though. I suspect — note that word, suspect — that he is right, though. And I am about 99.99% convinced that intelligent design or creationism is an incorrect explanation for the development of life on earth.

He doesn’t just suspect it, he believes it, as the word is properly used. He’s using “suspect” in this weasely way to make a phony argument against Dawkins.

But that 0.01% of doubt is not allowed to intrude into Dawkins’s philosophy, for he has total faith. He is 100% certain that creationism is both wrong and indeed cretinous.

Apparently Liddle is 100% certain that Dawkins is 100% certain. In any case, his article is cretinous.

I don’t think about the religious consequences of ID. But lately I have pondered it a little. ID is a danger to christianity for a number of reasons. For instance, if HIV is intelligently designed, and our puny human brains one day figure out how to wipe it out, what does that say about the ethics or intelligence of the ‘mysterious’ designer?

Steve, for the answer to that just google Reverend Phelps.

Steve has touched on why ID is theologically risky. What if a Christian who is ‘convinced’ by the argument about ICness of the flagellum is confronted with the increased knowledge of science which suggests that it could have evolved? What does this say about the cornerstone example of ID? What would this do to the faith of Christians who now have to face the argument that intelligent design has been disproven. Or would disproving ICness of the flagellum present no risk to ID? In other words, it’s just a ruse? What would that do to the faith of those who were told otherwise?

Do we ever have anything on Panda’s thumb beyond ‘Living organisms can’t be designed because there is a book that claims they have been designed.’? Apparently not.

Ok, Creationist Troll, let’s take the cow. Pick any cow. Cow bones don’t appear with dinosaurs, or earlier, for that matter.

Creationist Troll, explain whence comes the cow?

Thanks. I await your reply.

Intellectual laziness - I love it!

PvM, I saw a similar comment a few days ago - can t remember where. It stated that ID implied that the Designer would gradually diminish in importance as more of the knowledge gaps were explained by science. The Incredible Shrinking God, indeed!

I ve got both of these stashed in my anti-ID armamentarium.

Bruce

A conversation between neodarwinian evolution and intelligent design:

NDE: How did that car get built?

ID: A designer designed it.

NDE: Okay, I know, but how did it actually get built? Did the designer build it himself, or did he get someone else to build it?

ID: Well, he designed the design of the car.

NDE: Yes, we know. But how did the car actually get built?

ID: Well, I don’t have any information on that.

NDE: Any ideas?

ID: I don’t need to come up with any ideas on that, because I can see that it was designed by a designer.

NDE: I’m not asking you about the design. I’m asking you how it got built.

ID: It was designed.

NDE: Never mind.

ts Wrote:

Apparently Liddle is 100% certain that Dawkins is 100% certain. In any case, his article is cretinous.

I fear there is cultural misunderstanding here, ts. This is a typical British response to a perceived over-strident piece by Dawkins. In the absence of any creationist (of the Southern Babtist variety) cabal of any significance in the UK mounting any response, Liddle feels he must support the underdog along the lines of “well, we can’t condemn something until we’ve given it a fair hearing.”

Having been on a sharp learning curve and now appreciating the essentially political nature of ID, I can understand your frustration.

That Dembski is a devious charlatan, I now have no doubt. But my English sense of fair play forced me to read up on the background. My thanks to Professor Perakh for the work he has put in. I commend his articles to anyone who hasn’t read them. www.talkreason.org is a good place to start.

Sorry, in the absence of the bathroom wall being available, could I just ask someone to check if they can see my comments on Dembski’s blog I’m Alan Fox. It’s just that I recall someone else posting here that their comments appeared on their own screen and appeared invisible when accessed on any other computer. I wonder if the same is happening to me.

I can see several Alan Fox comments on that linked page. I’m about as certain as anyone can be that I’m not you and not on the same computer as you. So any invisibility problem is likely to be your own - which would be the reverse of the previous report of invisibility.

Hi Alan - your comments are there, in the middle of Dave Scot’s sychophantc inane drivel.

Cheers

Thanks Kiwi

But just to be sure what number of comments shows in that thread, and do you see Alan Fox or Fox, Alan? Sorry to trouble you, we seem to be out of time sync. here. What time of day in Oz?

Thanks SEF (why so snotty about Dawkins?)

Well something’s going on because I can no longer log on there. I re-registered and these comments were shown as 11 and 13, but the top count shows 11 comments.

It’s Alan Fox, with 4 comments, and the last one at 4.41 AM. And it’s 8.45 PM here in Oz. I’m always amused to see my comments come in at some ungodly (unintelligently designed?) time of the morning of the day before!

KiwiInOz

Merci, m’sieur, t’est gentil.

Bugger, I thought I’d become difficult enough to get banned.

PvM Wrote:

What if a Christian who is ‘convinced’ by the argument about ICness of the flagellum is confronted with the increased knowledge of science which suggests that it could have evolved? What does this say about the cornerstone example of ID?

Haven’t we seen many examples of this? Very often, they ignore or deny the evidence, or question the credentials of the scientist. In the case of some Creationists, they even go so far as to say if the new evidence contradicts scripture, the new evidence is ipso facto wrong. The ID proponents are not likely to come out and say this, but they still often ignore and deny the evidence.

mark wrote:

PvM wrote:

What if a Christian who is ‘convinced’ by the argument about ICness of the flagellum is confronted with the increased knowledge of science which suggests that it could have evolved? What does this say about the cornerstone example of ID?

Haven’t we seen many examples of this? Very often, they ignore or deny the evidence, or question the credentials of the scientist. In the case of some Creationists, they even go so far as to say if the new evidence contradicts scripture, the new evidence is ipso facto wrong. The ID proponents are not likely to come out and say this, but they still often ignore and deny the evidence.

Honestly, given a concern similar to that of PvM, I wrote a paper some time ago. In large part, it was devoted to pointing out the problem identified by Mark to religious leaders who may authentically be concerned with morality. I certainly think that the majority of people in the Intelligent Design movement can’t be helped, but perhaps for others…, well, here is the article:

Religion and Science

The religion vs. evolution debate has broken out once again, and certain groups are trying to get their religious views into high school classrooms ? this time in the thinly-veiled form of “intelligent design,” a broad tent where young earth creationists, old earth creationists, and people who simply prefer to remain more abstract can join together in common cause. In an online discussion devoted to the issue, one individual said that he couldn’t really understand what the controversy was about. He argued that if God is omniscient, omnipotent, exists outside of the world He creates, and expects us to believe in Him through faith alone, then surely He would not have left any traces in His creation which would provide an empirical alternative to that faith. Viewed this way, the world discovered through science – including evolution and the big bang – is simply the divinely opaque means through which God created the world we now see.

I agreed. Properly understood, there is no conflict between religion and science: each deals with different human needs (and for some people, philosophy may satisfy the same needs that religion serves for others). The realm of empirical knowledge belongs to science, whereas religion ministers to the need for normative guidance. The question of whether or not God exists lies beyond the realm of empirical science, and properly belongs to religion and philosophy. Many scientists (including a good number of evolutionists) are in fact religious – they simply do not let their religious views interfere with the quest for empirical knowledge. (For one example, see the “Science and Religion” interview with Kenneth R. Miller, available at http://www.actionbioscience.org/evo[…]/miller.html.) Properly, scientists will respect these beliefs of their religious colleagues, realizing they may very well provide those colleagues with the moral guidance which makes them better scientists. The importance of moral guidance, and, more specifically, the moral courage to deal with the ever-present possibility of failure in both the existential and cognitive realms, is not to be underestimated.

In the existential realm, religion properly provides the individual with the moral courage to act despite the possibility of failure, where failure can sometimes mean the possibility of actual death, and the fear of failure itself can often be experienced as such. Likewise, the fear of being mistaken – where being mistaken may threaten our beliefs about who we are – is at times experienced as a threat much like death itself. Here, too, there is need for moral courage, although of a somewhat different kind. Properly, religion encourages in its own way the view that while recognizing one’s mistakes may be experienced prospectively as a form of death, the act itself brings a form of rebirth and self-transcendence, giving one the courage to revise one’s beliefs when confronted with new evidence.

However, when people attempt to mix the realms of religion and science ? attempting, for example, to use science to promote a given religious or philosophic view – in the long run, given the very nature of the relationship between religion and science, the results will be the reverse of what is intended, and may end up damaging what in fact they hold most dear. For example, a proponent of science who believes that faith in God is absurd in the age of Science may end up creating a religious backlash against science itself among those who take a different view. But properly, empirical science cannot speak of the metaphysics of that which lies beyond the empirical realm and the ontology required by its naturalistic explanations.

Alternatively, those who attempt to use science to prove the existence of God will end up with a God susceptible to empirical criticism, when belief in God should be a matter of faith. A religious view rooted in science will be grounded in the shifting sands of scientific discourse, placed in constant threat of being uprooted by the newest scientific discoveries. For the better among those who initially accept this substitute for true faith, such a view will at first seem intoxicating, but will soon prove poisonous to their religious beliefs.

For others, the proper religious stance becomes transformed, and the proper intellectual courage to revise one’s beliefs when confronted with new evidence is transmuted into its polar opposite. Intellectual “courage” becomes the will and the power to challenge, doubt and deny any body of empirical evidence or knowledge whenever it comes into conflict with their religious or political beliefs. At this point, one of the most fundamental ethical virtues ? honesty – has itself become undermined, and with it all the virtues which would normally be encouraged and taught through the moral guidance of religion. Properly, religious leaders who understand what is at stake will oppose “empirical” faith both for the contradiction which it embodies and as the antithesis of the true faith they seek to protect and nourish.

When properly understood, this unnecessary conflict between religion and science will be consigned to the oblivion it so richly deserves. Yet more could undoubtedly be done so as to avoid such misunderstandings and consequent conflicts in the future. Science has been and continues to be responsible for a great deal of humanity’s material and intellectual progress. Religion is responsible for humanity’s moral and spiritual guidance. The roles they serve are complementary and to a significant extent in today’s world, interdependent. Religion and science each have their own inner dynamic, but religious and scientific communities share a common concern for humanity as a whole. If religion and science are to perform their proper functions in human society, they must remain separate, with their fundamental natures respected. But still there can be dialogue.

Some time ago, Pope John Paul II visited with biologists to discuss evolution and then ended official Catholic Church opposition to evolutionary theory. This was a good beginning, but unfortunately there wasn’t much follow-up. If a dialogue were to begin between the religious and scientific communities, one born out of mutual understanding and respect, such a dialogue could serve the interests of both communities and perhaps even the interests of humanity as a whole. As one interesting possibility, a scientist of the same denomination as a given church might occasionally make a good guest speaker, particularly if he were to discuss the role that religious belief has played in his life and work, and he were to share a few of the more interesting, recent discoveries in his particular field.

In a sense, such religious scientists might serve as bidirectional ambassadors between the two communities, and would deserve honored places within both. If properly promoted, such guest speakers might help to boost church attendance, particularly if they are good speakers. And perhaps when church services are not being held, churches could make available rooms where scientists could discuss their work with the public, and even their concerns for some of the problems which currently face humanity. This could also serve as good public relations for the religious and scientific communities as a whole. I myself do not know where a dialogue between these communities would lead ? this would be up to the participants. But I have little doubt that it could become quite interesting and enlightening for everyone involved.

Alan Wrote:

I fear there is cultural misunderstanding here, ts. This is a typical British response to a perceived over-strident piece by Dawkins. In the absence of any creationist (of the Southern Babtist variety) cabal of any significance in the UK mounting any response, Liddle feels he must support the underdog along the lines of “well, we can’t condemn something until we’ve given it a fair hearing.”

I think that would be a fair sentiment if Liddle had been speaking off-the-cuff. But he wasn’t, he was writing for The Times:

Ron Liddle Wrote:

As Dawkins implies, the creationists are guided less by scientific rigour than by pure faith. But it is a view that has been popularly believed for at least 2,000 years: why not allow it to be analysed scientifically within the classroom? For an afternoon, at least.

Before one opines in print (in The Times, no less) that creationists deserve a fair hearing or an afternoon of scientific analysis in the classroom, I think one ought to investigate whether there’s anything fair to hear, anything scientific to analyze.

Sorry – there was a problem with the formatting. This will be more readable.

Religion and Science

The religion vs. evolution debate has broken out once again, and certain groups are trying to get their religious views into high school classrooms – this time in the thinly-veiled form of “intelligent design,” a broad tent where young earth creationists, old earth creationists, and people who simply prefer to remain more abstract can join together in common cause. In an online discussion devoted to the issue, one individual said that he couldn’t really understand what the controversy was about. He argued that if God is omniscient, omnipotent, exists outside of the world He creates, and expects us to believe in Him through faith alone, then surely He would not have left any traces in His creation which would provide an empirical alternative to that faith. Viewed this way, the world discovered through science – including evolution and the big bang – is simply the divinely opaque means through which God created the world we now see.

I agreed. Properly understood, there is no conflict between religion and science: each deals with different human needs (and for some people, philosophy may satisfy the same needs that religion serves for others). The realm of empirical knowledge belongs to science, whereas religion ministers to the need for normative guidance. The question of whether or not God exists lies beyond the realm of empirical science, and properly belongs to religion and philosophy. Many scientists (including a good number of evolutionists) are in fact religious – they simply do not let their religious views interfere with the quest for empirical knowledge. (For one example, see the “Science and Religion” interview with Kenneth R. Miller, available at http://www.actionbioscience.org/evo[…]/miller.html.) Properly, scientists will respect these beliefs of their religious colleagues, realizing they may very well provide those colleagues with the moral guidance which makes them better scientists. The importance of moral guidance, and, more specifically, the moral courage to deal with the ever-present possibility of failure in both the existential and cognitive realms, is not to be underestimated.

In the existential realm, religion properly provides the individual with the moral courage to act despite the possibility of failure, where failure can sometimes mean the possibility of actual death, and the fear of failure itself can often be experienced as such. Likewise, the fear of being mistaken – where being mistaken may threaten our beliefs about who we are – is at times experienced as a threat much like death itself. Here, too, there is need for moral courage, although of a somewhat different kind. Properly, religion encourages in its own way the view that while recognizing one’s mistakes may be experienced prospectively as a form of death, the act itself brings a form of rebirth and self-transcendence, giving one the courage to revise one’s beliefs when confronted with new evidence.

However, when people attempt to mix the realms of religion and science – attempting, for example, to use science to promote a given religious or philosophic view – in the long run, given the very nature of the relationship between religion and science, the results will be the reverse of what is intended, and may end up damaging what in fact they hold most dear. For example, a proponent of science who believes that faith in God is absurd in the age of Science may end up creating a religious backlash against science itself among those who take a different view. But properly, empirical science cannot speak of the metaphysics of that which lies beyond the empirical realm and the ontology required by its naturalistic explanations.

Alternatively, those who attempt to use science to prove the existence of God will end up with a God susceptible to empirical criticism, when belief in God should be a matter of faith. A religious view rooted in science will be grounded in the shifting sands of scientific discourse, placed in constant threat of being uprooted by the newest scientific discoveries. For the better among those who initially accept this substitute for true faith, such a view will at first seem intoxicating, but will soon prove poisonous to their religious beliefs.

For others, the proper religious stance becomes transformed, and the proper intellectual courage to revise one’s beliefs when confronted with new evidence is transmuted into its polar opposite. Intellectual “courage” becomes the will and the power to challenge, doubt and deny any body of empirical evidence or knowledge whenever it comes into conflict with their religious or political beliefs. At this point, one of the most fundamental ethical virtues – honesty – has itself become undermined, and with it all the virtues which would normally be encouraged and taught through the moral guidance of religion. Properly, religious leaders who understand what is at stake will oppose “empirical” faith both for the contradiction which it embodies and as the antithesis of the true faith they seek to protect and nourish.

When properly understood, this unnecessary conflict between religion and science will be consigned to the oblivion it so richly deserves. Yet more could undoubtedly be done so as to avoid such misunderstandings and consequent conflicts in the future. Science has been and continues to be responsible for a great deal of humanity’s material and intellectual progress. Religion is responsible for humanity’s moral and spiritual guidance. The roles they serve are complementary and to a significant extent in today’s world, interdependent. Religion and science each have their own inner dynamic, but religious and scientific communities share a common concern for humanity as a whole. If religion and science are to perform their proper functions in human society, they must remain separate, with their fundamental natures respected. But still there can be dialogue.

Some time ago, Pope John Paul II visited with biologists to discuss evolution and then ended official Catholic Church opposition to evolutionary theory. This was a good beginning, but unfortunately there wasn’t much follow-up. If a dialogue were to begin between the religious and scientific communities, one born out of mutual understanding and respect, such a dialogue could serve the interests of both communities and perhaps even the interests of humanity as a whole. As one interesting possibility, a scientist of the same denomination as a given church might occasionally make a good guest speaker, particularly if he were to discuss the role that religious belief has played in his life and work, and he were to share a few of the more interesting, recent discoveries in his particular field.

In a sense, such religious scientists might serve as bidirectional ambassadors between the two communities, and would deserve honored places within both. If properly promoted, such guest speakers might help to boost church attendance, particularly if they are good speakers. And perhaps when church services are not being held, churches could make available rooms where scientists could discuss their work with the public, and even their concerns for some of the problems which currently face humanity. This could also serve as good public relations for the religious and scientific communities as a whole. I myself do not know where a dialogue between these communities would lead – this would be up to the participants. But I have little doubt that it could become quite interesting and enlightening for everyone involved.

Have scientists comment to kids about the possibilities of living inside a whale for a few days, or stopping the sun from moving for a period of time, or how to get striped offspring by putting sticks near mating animals?

Oh, I think I could live with that.

Chalmers hits the nail on the head with the ‘L’ word. What IDists demand is a social policy that entitles them to all the benefits of a scientific theory: an objective hearing by scientists, equal opportunity to federal grants, a fair representation in school curricula, etc. They assert a right to claim these benefits without doing any of the work that is normally associated with a science. No preliminary results. No research plan. Nothing.

In fact, the belief of entitlement is so strong for IDists that it is reinforces their lazy behavior. We see this feedback mechanism in action in those IDists who make excuses for a lack of research, whether in the past, now, or into the future, because they have been denied the resources to which they are entitled. In other words, they believe that taxpayers should support IDists for having done and continuing to do nothing.

Laziness is absolutely the right word for IDist behavior.

Liddle Wrote:

Dawkins is supposedly a supremely rational human being. But there is another paradox here, because in his defence of theories to which he has affixed his flag and from which he has made his name, he betrays the distinctly irrational and human characteristic of possessing something called faith. “I believe but I cannot prove that all life, all intelligence and all design … is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection,” he has said. Faith is indeed a touching thing.

It appears he is skipping directly from “belief” to “faith”. I believe that belief may be faith-based or evidence-based, and Liddle is abusing the language to confound the two. Belief does not necessarily entail faith.

Liddle Wrote:

Dawkins and God do not get along: they have issues, to the extent that Dawkins has gone so far as to suggest that God doesn’t exist. God has never ventured to suggest the same of Dawkins.

If He did, it would rather clarify the matter.

Teach science in the science classroom, teach God in the God classroom (ie church, home, etc), the intelligent mind will come to its natural conclusion. It’s that simple. Apparently, the proponents of ID do not have much faith in their God, otherwise, they would already understand this logical, yet simple equation. No body of evidence, no debate, the science classroom is the inappropriate place for ID. These same people (ID proponents) are opposed to the distribution of condoms in public schools on the grounds that the public schools are the inappropriate place for such distribution (which I agree), yet fail to recognize the inappropriateness of imposing their view of creationism on others that don’t share their belief.

Apparently, the proponents of ID do not have much faith in their God,

Well I think this has something to do with it. If they had faith, they wouldn’t feel the need to try to scientifically prove their god’s existence. But I can’t figure it out totally. I would like to be able to simply say that they are scared of science, science is making them doubt their faith, so they want ID ‘science’ to certify their religion. But I can’t quite say that, because of Young Earth Creationists like Paul Nelson. If you believe in YEC, you are putting absolutely no trust in evidence or reason. So these things, in the form of science, wouldn’t threaten you.

PvM Wrote:

Steve has touched on why ID is theologically risky. What if a Christian who is ‘convinced’ by the argument about ICness of the flagellum is confronted with the increased knowledge of science which suggests that it could have evolved? What does this say about the cornerstone example of ID? What would this do to the faith of Christians who now have to face the argument that intelligent design has been disproven. Or would disproving ICness of the flagellum present no risk to ID? In other words, it’s just a ruse? What would that do to the faith of those who were told otherwise?

The idea of purpose and wholeness in natural substances has been around since Aristotle at least. Proving ID would be neither here nor there regarding any specific Christian doctrine. For the average Christian, the most he/she could glean from a successful ID argument is that materialist reductionism is false. But that doesn’t get you to faith in God, much less belief in the truth of Christianity.

So the stakes a Christian may or may not have in a particular ID argument would be signifigant, sure, but their faith as such would not be at risk either way.

And that doesn’t touch on the difference between intellectual acknowledgement of the truth of Christianity and trust in Christ for one’s whole life. Augustine goes to great lengths to make this distinction in his Confessions.

A bit of a theological digression, but PvM brought up an interesting point that I’ve been thinking about for a while.

I wonder why I rarely see anyone mention what would be of the intelligent designer if ID were correct. Ever try to explain to a little 5 year old why the gator ate his dog and that God made it that way intentionally? If we were to adopt ID as a scientific method (assuming it was possible) it would be short before people start to wonder about the intentions of the designer. IDists answer these: What was the designer intending when he designed mother birds that kick out their runt youngins? he designed male lions that kill cubs of other male lions when taking over their territory? he designed praying mantises that eat their mates? he designed baby sharks that eat their mothers from the inside out?

If ID is correct, the designer is rather merciless and gives no value to individual life.

steve Wrote:

If they had faith, they wouldn’t feel the need to try to scientifically prove their god’s existence.

Untrue. Even if they had faith, they’d still try to scientifically prove God’s existance.

They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Most scientists will simply say that the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven by science. But what if the scientists were all wrong and scientific proof of God was found? It would be an absolutely amazing coup. Think of how many atheist or agnostic souls that would save. At the worst, they end up looking a little foolish for not finding the proof they seek. At best, absolute, undeniable proof that their religion is right.

They simply must save the heathen souls. If only scientific proof will convince the heathens that God exists, then it is a moral imperative that Christians find scientific proof God exists. If they can’t find scientific proof, they must lie and say they did. Lying for Jesus would be a good idea even if, as my mother always said, you go to Hell for lying. If they can convince even just two people to believe in God via their lies, then that’s two souls for their one. This has the usual problems of the lies being exposed and people having their faith permanently shattered.

Think of how soundly someone like Kent Hovind or William Dembski must sleep at night knowing that even if they do go to Hell, hundreds, maybe even thousands of people have been saved because of them.

ts

you Wrote:

I wrote “Apparently Liddle is 100% certain that Dawkins is 100% certain. In any case, his article is cretinous.” This is what you took issue with…

No. Cretinous was a fair description, which I don’t take issue with. Motive has relevance.

And yet you responded to my statement that it was cretinous by claiming that I suffered from a cultural misunderstanding – even though you agreed with what I had written, and I hadn’t made any claims one way or the other about Liddle’s motivations or any other aspect of his article within some greater cultural context. Pardon me, but I think that your original charge smacks of being cretinous, and I feel a bit of a cretin to have engaged in this silly exchange.

ts

You can be So prickly. I wasn’t making a charge in my original point, just a suggestion. Save your bullets for the enemy.

And you can be such a hypocrite. It was your bullet, which was indeed a “charge”, that I responded to.

Jim Harrison wrote: I have lots of faith in the potential of science, but I’m aware that it isn’t magic and will never solve all human problems. Waiting for the electrician (or somebody like him) is likely to be as futile as waiting for the Second Coming.

I do believe you are starting to get it Jim!! Congratulations! Man must have faith in science and man must have faith in his fellow man. That is the key. Believe it or not, some Christian denominations have come out forcefully in FAVOR of evolutionary theory, almost to the point of calling ID wizardry! It merely takes the open mind of the scientist to figure it out for him/herself.

(ts) not tim Wrote:

No, he doesn’t, and even if he did, that would be nothing like the claim that evolution proves atheism. What Dawkins has said is that, without evolution, it would be difficult to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

Well, you’re just spliting hairs so you can argue. Clearly IDer’s believe scientists like Dawkins are promoting the idea that evolution proves atheism. It may be arguable whether Dawkins actually does that. It is not arguable that what drives many into the arms of ID proponents such as Demski, Behe, et al. is the belief that Dawkins and others are using evolution to promote atheism.

It would seem to me that the ID movement would lose some of its allure if the perception were different. Dawkins and other contribute to this perception. Dawkins is the institutionalization of atheism at Oxford. One might be an intellectually fulfilled atheist without being so evangelical about it, it seems to me. Especially if you are one of the most widely known and read popularizers of science, to the point of having anthropomorphized your ideas [The Selfish Gene].

Maybe you don’t accept the goals of this website which I thought was to promote evolution and persuade as many people as possible away from ID. Trying to understand why people find ID attractive might be a step in that direction. But perhaps not to a couple of real scrappers like you and the reverent doctor.

Ken Willis Wrote:

But perhaps not to a couple of real scrappers like you and the reverent doctor.

I’m not sure ts and Lennie will appreciate being in the same sentence with the word like interposed, Ken. :)

Ken Willis Wrote:

One might be an intellectually fulfilled atheist without being so evangelical about it, it seems to me.

Ken, I don’t see Dawkins proselytizing. He just states his position; he doesn’t ask you to follow him. Not to speak for Dawkins, but I suspect he would advocate secularism. All beliefs are equally-non enforceable and free to be held.

It would seem to me that the ID movement would lose some of its allure if the perception were different. Dawkins and other contribute to this perception. Dawkins is the institutionalization of atheism at Oxford. One might be an intellectually fulfilled atheist without being so evangelical about it, it seems to me. Especially if you are one of the most widely known and read popularizers of science, to the point of having anthropomorphized your ideas [The Selfish Gene].

Maybe you don’t accept the goals of this website which I thought was to promote evolution and persuade as many people as possible away from ID. Trying to understand why people find ID attractive might be a step in that direction. But perhaps not to a couple of real scrappers like you and the reverent doctor.

Dude, you have no idea at all how hysterically funny that is.

We just had a religious war here a few weeks ago. I suggest you go back and read it.

The problem with ID is that as has been pointed out elsewhere, it makes no sense unless the creator is supernatural, that is, outside of nature. Well, once you say that a natural phenomenon has a supernatural explanation, that is is exactly equivalent to saying “This problem is too difficult, we’re going to stop looking at this point, we give up. “ Because at that point, you can’t go any further. And this should be taught in science classes??? In Darwin’s time, a legitimate objection to evolution could have been taught to students. It could have been taught that the Earth could be no more than 10 million years old, not nearly old enought for evolution to have occurred. This is because there was no known energy source for the sun that could have powered it for longer than this. The evidence for evolution was compelling enough that the theory remained strong, and sure enough, a completely unexpected energy source, the strong force inside atomic nuclei, was eventually discovered. ID is a just a way of saying “We give up.” Why should we stop trying to understand the universe that we live in?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on September 10, 2005 8:46 PM.

Dembski quote mining Dawkins was the previous entry in this blog.

Fred Barton: Intelligent design group is just a religious front is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter