Why scientists dismiss ‘intelligent design’

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With the recent Amicus Brief, it has become even more relevant to address claims that there is a scientific controversy or discussion about intelligent design. I argue that from a scientific perspective the discussion is already over. ID has shown itself to be scientifically vacuous, based on flawed premises.

I am not alone.

It would ‘become the death of science’. Ker Than reports on the ‘controversy’ surrounding intelligent design, pointing out that a new scientific theory must offer something compelling.

But in order to attract converts and win over critics, a new scientific theory must be enticing. It must offer something that its competitors lack. That something may be simplicity, which was one of the main reasons the Sun-centered model of the solar system was adopted over the Earth-centered one centuries. Or it could be sheer explanatory power, which was what allowed evolution to become a widely accepted theory with no serious detractors among reputable scientists.

So what does ID offer? What can it explain that evolution can’t?

To answer this, it is necessary to examine the two main arguments — irreducible complexity and specified complexity — that ID proponents use to support their claim that a Supreme Being is responsible for many or all aspects of life.

Based on an evaluation of the two main arguments, the author comes to a conclusion similar to that of various others who have asked very similar questions.

After examining ID’s two main arguments, the answers to the original questions — what does ID offer? And what can ID explain that evolution can’t? — is not much and nothing, leading scientists say.

Many others have come to this conclusion:

Ryan Nichols Wrote:

In my argument against Intelligent Design Theory I will not contend that it is not falsifiable or that it implies contradictions. I’ll argue that Intelligent Design Theory doesn’t imply anything at all, i.e. it has no content. By ‘content’ I refer to a body of determinate principles and propositions entailed by those principles. By ‘principle’ I refer to a proposition of central importance to the theory at issue. By ‘determinate principle’ I refer to a proposition of central importance to the theory at issue in which the extensions of its terms are clearly defined. I’ll evaluate the work of William Dembski because he specifies his methodology in detail, thinks Intelligent Design Theory is contentful and thinks Intelligent Design Theory (hereafter ‘IDT’) grounds an empirical research program.1 Later in the paper I assess a recent trend in which IDT is allegedly found a better home as a metascientific hypothesis, which serves as a paradigm that catalyzes research. I’ll conclude that, whether IDT is construed as a scientific or metascientific hypothesis, IDT lacks content.

Source: Ryan Nichols, Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design theory The American Catholic philosophical quarterly, 2003 ,vol. 77 ,no 4 ,pp. 591 - 611

Patrick Frank in On the Assumption of Design concludes that

Abstract: The assumption of design of the universe is examined from a scientific perspective. The claims of William Dembski and of Michael Behe are unscientific because they are a-theoretic. The argument from order or from utility are shown to be indeterminate, circular, to rest on psychological as opposed to factual certainty, or to be insupportable as regards humans but possibly not bacteria, respectively. The argument from the special intelligibility of the universe specifically to human science does not survive comparison with the capacities of other organisms. Finally, the argument from the unlikelihood of physical constants is vitiated by modern cosmogonic theory and recrudesces the God-of-the-gaps.

Scientists, predictably consider ID to be ‘boring’, scientifically speaking

“The most basic problem [with ID] is that it’s utterly boring,” said William Provine, a science historian at Cornell University in New York. “Everything that’s complicated or interesting about biology has a very simple explanation: ID did it.”

Evolution was and still is the only scientific theory for life that can explain how we get complexity from simplicity and diversity from uniformity.

ID offers nothing comparable. It begins with complexity — a Supreme Being — and also ends there. The explanations offered by ID are not really explanations at all, scientists say. They’re more like last resorts. And, scientists argue, there is a danger in pretending that ID belongs next to evolution in textbooks.

“It doesn’t add anything to science to introduce the idea that God did it,” Provine told LiveScience. Intelligent design “would become the death of science if it became a part of science.”

Indeed, when Dembski was asked to present plausible pathways for intelligent design, he responded

Dembski Wrote:

As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.

AndyG correctly observed that such a position seems untenable

AndyG Wrote:

This seems to me to be a very odd position to take. Bill seems to be saying that the onus is on the biologists to describe in minute detail every step in the evolution of a biochemical system - ideally documenting every DNA mutation that led to such changes - despite the absence of a biochemical fossil record. ID proponents, on the other hand, can dispense with such grunt work, because if a supernatural designer is responsible for the biochemical system in question, then “it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots”. This seems a tad unfair and rather lazy on the part of the ID camp, since they see no need to work out how the thing was designed in the first place. It also serves to shut down research rather effectively - if one concludes something was designed, then Bill seems to be saying that nothing further needs to be done (other than to pass on the conclusions to eager young minds).

If ID is not a mechanistic theory, then how can scientists make use of it? Is Bill really proposing that an ID research program should be devoted exclusively to labeling an object as being intelligently designed and then moving on to the next one?

As far as I can tell, AndyG’s question has been met with an almost predictable level of silence.

But even ID proponents seem to admit that a theory of intelligent design may have a long road ahead of it. Already in 1995, Paul Nelson was looking for a theory of design with positive content

Paul Nelson Wrote:

That’s how the problem looks if we presuppose naturalistic evolution. The tiles won’t go into place. From the perspective of design, however, this research problem would very likely never arise. Complex systems with interdependent components, exhibiting specification and small probability, are – according to the theory of design – the products of an intelligent cause.

It seems somewhat strange to me that Paul uses this example, of a gap in our knowledge, to argue that a theory of ID is more than a gap argument.

Paul Nelson Wrote:

Once we see that “gaps” are theory-dependent, and that design does not propose to fill the gaps left unsolved by naturalistic evolution, but rather to project its own pattern of explanation and research problems, all that remains of the formidable God-of-the-gaps objection is the problem of induction.

And a formidable problem it really is. If Paul wants to argue that there is a positive theory of design then he has to address how ID resolves the problem of induction. Or, otherwise, ID should not lay claim to having positive content.

Paul ends his article with

Paul Nelson Wrote:

And that’s an interesting question, well worth asking and trying to answer. The task is to find a good theory of design and to test it.

Almost a decade later, Paul Nelson is quoted as follows

Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.

Paul Nelson, Touchstone Magazine 7/8 (2004): pp 64 – 65.

Paul’s explanation can be found here. I find his ‘response’ far from enlightening. Especially, given the problems of the main concepts (notions) such as “irreducible complexity” and “specified complexity” which basically re-capture the gap argument.

The requirements for a positive theory of design seem to be well outside its present reach.

Paul Nelson Wrote:

To do so, of course, we carpenters (or scientific mosaic-builders) must have a theory of design that projects its own patterns into the space established by the question, “How did living things come to be?” It would then not be evolutionary theory telling us what to expect observationally and theoretically, but design (see Figure 6). Some of the so-called “unsolved problems” of evolutionary theory might then become design-based predictions, perhaps framed as proscriptions, that is, as propositions of the form “event or phenomenon x will not occur.”

Unless one considers a gap to be a pattern…

387 Comments

One has to give Mr. Nelson a tiny bit of credit, as he claims to grasp the concepts of predictive value, which would lead us to falsifiability. “To do so, of course, we carpenters (or scientific mosaic-builders) must have a theory of design that projects its own patterns into the space established by the question, “How did living things come to be?” It would then not be evolutionary theory telling us what to expect observationally and theoretically, but design (see Figure 6).” He goes on to say, in a sense, that a gap is a prediction, which in some ways it is. I think we should welcome this, if this is the path the IDists take. Let them make as specific of predictions as they dare, because evolutionary biologists fill in gaps all the time.

However, they still need to give their own more complete explanations for some important questions, in the form of testable hypothesis. In fact, when publishing, it is customary to go ahead and show rigorous testing of a hypothesis at the time of publication. Here are some possible areas of research they can take:

Who is/was the designer(s)? Can they say anything about him/her/it?

What did the designer(s) design? Is there some reliable and tested method for determining this? Is it just the flagellum, or do they have something else to support their claims that humans didn’t evolve from apes, with which we coincidentally share the vast majority of our genes?

Where… ok I don’t have a where.

When were designed artifacts designed? How can we tell? Was it during the “Cambrian explosion” (which still doesn’t include human evolution from apes)?

Why…this one I’m hesitant to ask. Sceintists require testable hypotheses which survive testing to take ID seriously. I’m afraid the IDists, misunderstanding this concept, would take a “why” question as an excuse to ramble on about their religious speculations.

How did the designer(s) act on the tree of life, and how can we see this? This would be, in my mind, the most significant and investigable question, scientifically speaking.

Now, usually on the PT people would ask the IDists to answer all of these questions. I don’t think that is very fair to them. I think, if they can even provide a testable hypothesis for just one of these, we should listen. However, in return, any ID supporter who reads this should ask him or herself; if ID can’t form a testable hypothesis to answer any of those questions, why should we call it a science?

The nylonase bit was very interesting, I definitely didn’t know that :)

This said, is it me or Dembski breaks his own theory every time he strings more than 50 words together?

“We don’t connect the dots, we don’t have to”. Wow. “We don’t do investigative science, we don’t have to” either.

sanjait Wrote:

When were designed artifacts designed? How can we tell? Was it during the “Cambrian explosion” (which still doesn’t include human evolution from apes)?

That’s the one question I would ask all IDers, and often. If they evade that one, and most of them do these days, there’s really no need to ask the others.

We must keep reminding ourselves that our biggest challenge is not to get snake oil salesman to stop selling, but to get the public to stop buying. And most will stop when they see what a scam ID is. The other questions, particularly the “who,” tend to make the public more sympathetic to ID.

sanjait wrote: “Who is/was the designer(s)? Can they say anything about him/her/it?”

For most IDers, it’s the Christian God. You’re asking them to predict God.

sanjait wrote: “What did the designer(s) design?”

The computer that you are running on that we call the universe. If there is a God then our world would be a virtual simulation and the program changed at any time.

sanjait wrote: “Is there some reliable and tested method for determining this?”

Yes. Just take the red pill and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole really goes…

sanjait wrote: “When were designed artifacts designed?”

Five minutes ago. Your fake memories were programmed into you to provide “back-story.”

sanjait wrote: “How can we tell?”

You can’t.

sanjait wrote: “… if they can even provide a testable hypothesis for just one of these,…”

They did. Behe assumed that an “irreducibly complex” system as he described it could not evolve. This was testable and someone tested it. It was tested with an evolutionary computer program and both irreducibe and specified complexity were falsified. There’s a thread on this about Avidia(?)

sanjait wrote: “…if ID can’t form a testable hypothesis to answer any of those questions, why should we call it a science?”

It was a scientific theory, of a sort, and it got tested and failed the test. There’s still some argument about it, but that’s how I see it.

Dembski calls the “it’s not science” argument a ‘gatekeeper’ objection. And I suppose it is. But we need that gate to keep the trash out. I myself don’t care about Karl Popper or other philosophical arguments because they’re too much trouble to argue. It reminds me of theologians arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

So, I have my own intuitive “science detector” I offer to share. It works this way: Real science engages the real world when ever it can. Miller and Urey engage the chemicals of life, fossil hunters engage fossils, programmers write genetic algorithms… After all the arguments are made about how small an agel can get, someone has got to go out and find an angel to measure.

Dembski’s ideas might be used to engage the real world in other ways, but they are not being used to do so. I think using design inferences and detecting specified complexity might find a use, for example, measuring the amount of specified complexity in, perhaps, animal communications. There is a controversy about whether dolphins have a language:

Engage that controversy, do dolphins have a language? Shouldn’t Dembski’s concepts have a value there? http://www.dauphinlibre.be/langintro.htm

Compare the specified complexity of dolphin language, bird songs, whales, octopi, etc.. Make it at least a real scalar value, (if not a multidimensional one), by testing the concept against the real world.

Oh wait – if we do that we might end up giving God an IQ test when we test his designs…

The real world will challenge our ideas with its reality, just like any good theory can get shot down by one little fact.

One result of all the willingness of scientists to engage the ID community in “angels on pins” arguments is to make me wonder how much science is really science already.

As a linguist, I say no to dolphins having language for a variety of reasons. At least, I would not admit to them having human-like language that can communicate an infinite amount of ideas in a meaningful way. Ironically, the closest to human speech is actually the bee.

Of course the definition of language can be rather wide and can subsume these.

ID as the “death of science” is pure, unadulterated, chicken-little, crap. Every physicist I know who supports cosmological ID still does physics the same way as his colleagues. (Scientists who do science differently from their colleagues are those, on both sides of the debate, who have made a cottage industry out of ID, including some PT contributors.) I have never heard one of my ID buddies say—why bother doing that experiment? That can only be explained by God. For us, ID is framework about which most (but not all) subsequent experimentation will most likely be agnostic. If I do an accelerator experiment to map out a cross section, it’s good science but not likely to affect my ID one way or the other. And my ID has no effect on whether I choose to propose or participate in the experiment. Furthermore, ID makes some of us more excited about science (and hence to carry out experimentation), not less. It is a nonsensical statement to say that scientists find ID boring, when so many obviously do not.

You don’t have to get fancy to claim that ID is pretty lame science, just point to any textbook and ask where is the ID in this textbook? Even Pandas and People don’t have any verfiable ID examples to put forward. ID never made it past the speculation stage, it has a 100% failure rate in science. We haven’t been able to test things like flagellum enough to make the guys give up, but we have the germ theory of disease. We don’t have to worry about some god going on vacation and screwing up the seasons, and babies result from natural developmental processes. If they had a single example to point to I couldn’t say that there has been a 100% failure rate upon testing. The plain fact is that there is nothing to teach about ID except failure and wishful thinking.

That is the reason that every major science organization can claim that ID isn’t science. They can do that because if we drop ID from consideration not a single thing that we have learned about nature has to change. We don’t lose anything, and we gain nothing by putting it in. The IDiots know that or they would have a list of ID successes in science. They only have lame lists of scientists that may have been creationists, but the science that they are remembered for has nothing to do with ID. In fact, guys like Pasteur were responsible for tossing some ID notions into the trash heap.

To sign a statement opposing the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools go to shovelbums.org. It would be most useful if signatures were from real scientists with real degrees in Biology. The list is already much larger than the DI list and perhaps more persuasive than the Project Steve list.

“If I do an accelerator experiment to map out a cross section, it’s good science but not likely to affect my ID one way or the other. And my ID has no effect on whether I choose to propose or participate in the experiment.”

David, don’t you see the disconnect between your science and your conjectures about ID? ID is your religion and like so many other scientists who also believe in God, your practice in the laboratory or observatory is not affected by nor likely to effect your theological beliefs. The only difference is that you, like other ID/C proponents, insist on trying to do both science and religion at once.

Although I am sure others have pointed this out, should not we as scientists avoid using the word, theory, when referring to ID? At best it is a hypothesis. We complain that people do not understand the scientific definition of theory, but then we sloppily refer to ID as the Intelligent Design Theory in our own communications. I know not everyone does this, but should we not all get on the same page and stop giving ID more scientific status than it deserves? For that matter, if ID is not science, why do we use the scientific terms, theory and hypothesis, at all? Should it not be called the ID Concept or Conjecture?

Every physicist I know who supports cosmological ID still does physics the same way as his colleagues.

Then, uh, what difference does ID make?

Every biologist I know who supports theism still does biology the same way as his atheist colleagues. So, uh, what difference does it make? What difference does it make, scientifically, if scientists do or don’t accept your ID religious opinions? What good to any of your religious opinions do for science? Why should science pay attention to any of them?

David Heddle Wrote:

ID as the “death of science” is pure, unadulterated, chicken-little, crap.

More like chicken pox. It will not kill science but is very annoying nevertheless.

Every physicist I know who supports cosmological ID still does physics the same way as his colleagues.

Do you mean your cosmological ID mates do not do experiment to prove their ID hypothesis, but instead carry on exactly the same way to their non-ID colleagues who do only non-ID related experiments? THAT is chicken. How is this something worth bragging about?

I have never heard one of my ID buddies say—why bother doing that experiment? That can only be explained by God. For us, ID is framework about which most (but not all) subsequent experimentation will most likely be agnostic.

Neither have I. In the ID world of experimentations, mum is the word. Until they see someone else do the hardwork, then they just jump in and claim that the the results “support” ID also.

If I do an accelerator experiment to map out a cross section, it’s good science but not likely to affect my ID one way or the other. And my ID has no effect on whether I choose to propose or participate in the experiment.

“Your” ID? And you are the same guy who 48 hours ago bagged Dawkins for calling that 4-year-old kid’s question his own? (btw Dawkins never said that)

Nice use on the word “if”. No one here is holding his breath for you to do any science experiments.

Furthermore, ID makes some of us more excited about science (and hence to carry out experimentation), not less.

Of course. You are excited whenever anything can be explained by 2 letters. Or three words.

Just what experimentation are you talking about? Can you name just 10 ID inspired experiments performed by inspired IDers? What about 5? 2? 1?

It is a nonsensical statement to say that scientists find ID boring, when so many obviously do not.

When Paul Nelson says there is no ID theory and Dembski says that he does not need to join the dots, I don’t know what is actually there to make it interesting.

If you have better ideas, you’d better let them know too. They have been twiddling their thumbs for 10 years, and would need some exciting new things to do.

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Thats a nice CV, Dr Heddle. What has it got to do with ID?

Guthrie,

Nothing, nothing at all. I just provided it in response to Eugene’s “no one is holding their breath” comment. My cv is just a run-of-the-mill garden variety cv of an average scientist. The fact that nothing on my cv (except my novel) has anything to do with ID is exactly the point: ID is not the death of science.

But David, it does point to the utter vacuity of ID notions. If there is no effect with or without ID, then Occam (at least) would claim that ID, as a superfluity, is totally disposable without impact. Thanks for sharing that noble insight.

hugs, Shirley Knott

Shirley,

In terms of day-to-day science, to me, ID has no effect. And the results of the experiments I have participated in, as I stated, have no ID ramifications. Of course, some experiments, such as the accelerating expansion of the universe, have great bearing on the ID debate. However, even those experiments, as proposed and carried out, are ID agnostic. You cannot look at the super nova surveys and decide, on the basis of the experiment or the methods, whether or not the experimenters had a pro or con view on cosmological ID. It would be impossible.

What is it your view? Is it that (a) ID is a meaningless, impotent concept or (b) ID is an all-powerful killer of science? It cannot be both.

Looks like Shirley beat me to it.

As an aside, it is fairly obvious that good science can still be done by religious believers, people with fixed ideas, etc etc. However as soon as you get onto their bugbear.…..

As you have repeatedly shown us, Mr. Heddle, there’s no such beast as “ID” per se.

There are several different “IDs”: Heddle’s Ownâ„¢ Cosmological ID (which would be falsified by finding different universes with different constants, or maybe by finding different universes with the SAME constants, or maybe never); Cosmological ID as commonly understood, which can never be falsified; Biological ID (several different strains, actually); and the Intelligent Designer only knows how many more.

Asking your question is not unlike asking “What is your view of religion? Is it science-neutral, or is it an all-powerful killer of science?”

The answer is: it can be either, depending on how its practitioners behave.

Concerning ID, insofar as it is inane it should be ignored (and certainly not invoked as an “explanation”, which it isn’t); and insofar as it is a science-killer, it should be actively fought against.

Mr Heddle:

Just what does ID have to offer science then?

Name one documented example of some observed phenomenon that is explained better by ID than by evolution.

Or provide an example of where ID can give an explanation for something where evolution cannot.

Or provide an example of an observed phenomenon that was predicted by ID but not anticipated by evolutionary theory.

I’ve asked this of several other ID supporters and have yet to get an answer - perhaps you can shed some light here.

Since we’re using Physcis analogies, I’m sure you can appreciated that General Relativity was able to predict the precession of Mercury’s perihelion, where Newtonian mechanics failed to do so. Does ID offer anything comparable?

David Heddle Wrote:

Every physicist I know who supports cosmological ID still does physics the same way as his colleagues.

Whose definition of physics? Guillermo Gonzalez seems convinced his cosmological ID apologetics is physics.

Edin Najetovic “… human-like language that can communicate an infinite amount of ideas in a meaningful way.”

Infinite? You mean that metaphorically, don’t you? Human language is finite if it has to communicate to another person.

Did you bother to look at this: http://www.dauphinlibre.be/markovhtm.pdf

The dolphin sounds looked more complex than human speech.

David Heddle wrote: “If I do an accelerator experiment to map out a cross section, it’s good science but not likely to affect my ID one way or the other.”

Scientific theories that have no effect are meaningless. What exactly would ID change? What does it mean except “I think God exists and somehow designed us.”

“Every physicist I know who supports cosmological ID still does physics the same way as his colleagues.”

Yeah, but Hoyle did biology like an hack. I find it odd that IDers tend to be scientifically conservative within their own field of work but take radical approaches to areas outside their immediate expertise.

What is interesting is that Phil Johnson calls for the development of “theistic science” which is essentially natural theology, repackaged. Phil seems to think that theistic science is capable of different things than the more run of the mill “science” we practice everyday. This would suggest that someone who supports Johnson’s vision of ID would do science in a distinctly different way.

The real problem with the concept of “irreducible complexity,” on which ID relies, is that it is entirely subjective…dependent both on how smart the person is who is using the term (or how hard they are trying), as well as the overall state of knowledge at that particular moment in time.

I wonder if Behe and friends ever stopped to consider what would have been deemed “irreducibly complex” in 1900, 1800…1500? Pretty much everything. Which is, I suppose, the reason why even “scientists” (call them philosophers) in the Middle Ages needed to invoke a deity at every turn.

May I suggest a new term that we all use instead: “I-can’t-reduce-it complexity”?

rdog29,

I am not a biological ID proponent, so you have to ask someone who is. As to the GR experiment on the precession of Mercury’s perihelion, cosmological ID has nothing comparable. If it did, I’d be arguing that it was science and should be taught in schools. Instead I argue that it is interesting and stimulating (is was for me) and should not be banned (even just “effectively” banned) from the classroom.

Of course, neither does evolution offer anything comparable to the Mercury experiment. There is no (sensible) falsification experiment for evolution– that I’ve been told of– that is anywhere near the caliber or conclusiveness of the Mercury experiment.

BB and/or Aureola, I am not going to field your question on whose definition of physics, but I have an unrelated question–what does FCD stand for?

ND:

Scientific theories that have no effect are meaningless. What exactly would ID change? What does it mean except “I think God exists and somehow designed us.”

Well I don’t think ID is a scientific theory so I guess, by your statement, ID might not be meaningless. As for your comment about God, it represents a prevalent misunderstanding about ID. ID is not a scientific attempt to prove God (I believe in God independent of ID). ID is the hypothesis that God left behind evidence of his creation. If all the evidence I believe points to design was refuted, then I’d no longer believe in ID, but I’d still believe in God.

whatever: Hoyle was not an IDer, so whether or not he did biology as a hack has nothing to do with the statement of mine that you quoted. (He commented on fine-tuning–but not in the sense that he saw God, but out of dismay that fine tuning was showing up all over the place.)

Is it possible to get back on topic? About ID “killing” science?

David, can you think of a more powerful science killer than the enshrinement of a meaningless, impotent concept as a core principle or notion? So it is trivial to hold the view that ID is a meaningless, impotent concept that is a powerful science killer.

hugs, Shirley Knott

Mr. Heddle:

as I said, you should not try to conflate everything and the kitchen sink into a big fuzzy ball called “ID”. If you are capable of doing science despite ID (because you don’t use ID as blinders to dismiss possible explanations out of hand) more power to you.

Please note: as ID is a religious interpretation superimposed over scientific data, it should not be taught as if it were science.

As to the meaning of FCD, it stands for “Friend of Charles Darwin”.

http://www.gruts.com/darwin/join-form.php

David Heddle wrote: “…neither does evolution offer anything comparable to the Mercury experiment. There is no (sensible) falsification experiment for evolution…”

What about Richard Lenski’s long-term evolution experiment with the bacterium E. coli? The experiment continues to this day, and is by now probably the largest controlled evolution experiment ever undertaken.

It’s demonstrating a few narrow theories of evolution, but demonstrating the narrow also supports the broader theory.

Lenski and colleagues regularly publish updates on the status of the experiments: http://myxo.css.msu.edu/lenski/home.shtml

The Sun was “irreducible complexity” complex to smelly pre-humanids Ugg and Ogg. So they made it a God.

Yes… Wayne you have been transported into the insult room and you thought you were in the argument room.

This is the link to a primordial Monty Python sketch http://www.mindspring.com/~mfpatton/sketch.htm

Heddle is is old enough to have seen the original he didn’t get it then and is unlikely to get it now but then he is a contrairian.

and for those who haven’t the time to read it… here’s the best bit (And note the difference between argument and and contradiction) M=PT A=Heddle M: (Knock) A: Come in. M: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument? A: I told you once. M: No you haven’t. A: Yes I have. M: When? A: Just now. M: No you didn’t. A: Yes I did. M: You didn’t A: I did! M: You didn’t! A: I’m telling you I did! M: You did not!! A: Oh, I’m sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour? M: Oh, just the five minutes. A: Ah, thank you. Anyway, I did. M: You most certainly did not. A: Look, let’s get this thing clear; I quite definitely told you. M: No you did not. A: Yes I did. M: No you didn’t. A: Yes I did. M: No you didn’t. A: Yes I did. M: No you didn’t. A: Yes I did. M: You didn’t. A: Did. M: Oh look, this isn’t an argument. A: Yes it is. M: No it isn’t. It’s just contradiction. A: No it isn’t. M: It is! A: It is not. M: Look, you just contradicted me. A: I did not. M: Oh you did!! A: No, no, no. M: You did just then. A: Nonsense! M: Oh, this is futile! A: No it isn’t. M: I came here for a good argument. A: No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument. M: An argument isn’t just contradiction. A: It can be. M: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. A: No it isn’t. M: Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction. A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position. M: Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’ A: Yes it is! M: No it isn’t!

A: Yes it is! M: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes. (short pause) A: No it isn’t. M: It is. A: Not at all. M: Now look. A: (Rings bell) Good Morning. M: What? A: That’s it. Good morning. M: I was just getting interested. A: Sorry, the five minutes is up. M: That was never five minutes! A: I’m afraid it was. M: It wasn’t. Pause A: I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to argue anymore. M: What?! A: If you want me to go on arguing, you’ll have to pay for another five minutes. M: Yes, but that was never five minutes, just now. Oh come on! A: (Hums) M: Look, this is ridiculous. A: I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid! M: Oh, all right. (pays money) A: Thank you. short pause M: Well? A: Well what? M: That wasn’t really five minutes, just now. A: I told you, I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid. M: I just paid! A: No you didn’t. M: I DID! A: No you didn’t. M: Look, I don’t want to argue about that. A: Well, you didn’t pay. M: Aha. If I didn’t pay, why are you arguing? I Got you! A: No you haven’t. M: Yes I have. If you’re arguing, I must have paid. A: Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time. M: Oh I’ve had enough of this. A: No you haven’t. M: Oh Shut up.

Mr. Heddle, until you understand that the fine-tuning problem is in the theory and not the value, I’m afraid that your understanding of cosmology will always remain pretty much vacuuous. Your inability to understand the difference between the two issues is characteristic of your entire approach to the non-problem. But since you continue to support your position by citing scientific descriptions, rather than by addressing the actual logic, you will always perceive a problem that is not there.

Rather sad, actually.

Heddle Wrote:

To answer your question, the CC is a constant. Once fine tuned, always fine tuned.

You must be a very influential person to be able to circumscribe the powers of the designer and limit its/His/her fine tuning opportunities. Heddle intones, “Don’t touch that dial” and that’s that.

RGD,

Fine tuning a theory means making small adjustments. If what you say:

the fine-tuning problem is in the theory and not the value

is true, then Stengerwould be making small adjustments to the theory. He is not, he is working on a new theory with a zero CC. That is not, by any measure, fine tuning the theory. It is a radical step to avoid the fine tuning of the present, non-zero CC theory. In no possible stretch of the meaning of “fine tuning” could what Stenger proposed be called “fine tuning the theory.”

Or do you mean “fine tuning a theory” as a synonym for introducing a new theory?

I keep asking myself ‘what is Heddle up to here?’ besides the nutty running around in circles engaging in ‘you said, he said’ until everyone gives up.

Is it that he is willfully and pathologically incapable of understanding the other mans point?

OK here is the proof I’ve been looking for.

On his own postmodernist (unable to acknowledge reality) interpretation of some hideous version of Christianity of a website. He says with regard to PZ Myers

I find it very interesting, this insistence of atheist evolutionists that an inerrant bible is incompatible with science.

For example, popular evolution blogger and anti-Christian bigot PZ Myers wrote:

A religion that declares the bible inerrant is not compatible with science, because its followers would have to be idiots.

Now, this statement is not constructed in a way that is logical. It states nothing more that Myers’s belief that anyone who believes in an inerrant bible is an idiot. Even if that were true, one could not conclude, as Myers does, that the bible was incompatible with science.

Setting aside Myers’s failure to construct rational, self-consistent statements, the more relevant point for today’s discussion is that he is willing to call the Roman Catholic Church and all right-of-center Protestants “idiots” rather than admit that an inerrant bible is compatible with science

Its obvious that you can not look at what the other person wrote, as if you were that person, you see everything from inside your own point of reference.

Meyers said that the followers would have to admit they are idiots because the inerrant bible is not compatible with science. Even more simply, it is such a huge challenge for followers to admit they have been spun a line, hooked, taken for ride, spammed, hacked, let down, done in, neurologically discombobulated they would have to admit they were idiots. It must be worse for rational people such as yourself.

Heddle if you don’t get this see a deprogrammer now ! The Bible even with the most generous interpretation is pseudo-science. You are promoting it as science while your rational mind is permanently out to lunch.

Re: comment 51743 by James Taylor. While I do not intend to support Carol Clouser’s asseverations in any way, I feel it is in order to rebut the assertions of James Taylor as well. The recent data accumulated by Israeli archaeologists show beyond doubt that the entire biblical story of Hebrew tribes invading Canaan and destroying the indigenous tribes has no foundation in facts. There are no traces whatsoever on the ground of the events described in the Bible - no exodus of 2.5 million people from Egypt, no wandering in Sinai, no destruction of Jericho walls, no massacres of Canaanites, etc. There are though unmistakable archaeological signs pointing to the Hebrews being indigenous inhabitants of Canaan, along with several other tribes, most of them ethnically related to the Hebrews, from the very ancient times. The hatred of the Jews, so common among the modern Arabs, has nothing to do with the events described in the Bible. It started in serious only in the 7th century with the advent of Islam when the Jews refused to accept Mohamed as a prophet. Still, it was relatively mild compared with the atrocities by the crusaders, who killed thousands of the Jews of Europe, on their way to the “Holy land.” After the appearance of the state of Israel, the overwhelming hatred of “Zionists=Jews” permeated the Islamic world as a relatively new phenomenon. James Taylor seems to take uncritically the biblical legends. This creates (I hope a false)impression that he may be somehow emotionally inclined to justify his visceral antipathies with allegedly historical data.

Why would I write Stenger and Krauss? It’s you who won’t accept that it’s the theory that needs fine tuning. They get it.

Everyone has noticed, Dave, that you continue to fail to produce the “fractional, i.e., percentage changes (duh).” of the CC.

You come here and say that a fraction, a percentage, called Sensitivity, proves ID, and then don’t know what the fraction is, and call it irrelevant? I think this statement applies better to yourself:

“I can only assume you are joking—nobody should make such statements in sincerity.”

If you want to come up with a new name for the same old broken crap, forget Sensitivity and go help the Discovery Institute. They’re going to need a new name for Intelligent Design when Dover gets out in a few months.

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I believe Mr. Heddle, though I days ago decided to forgo trawling through the mud he dumps here in hpoes of finding the corpse of his honesty and so cannot say whatever the hell he’s been up to without boring my briefs off, is attempting a “scientific” variation of the creative techniques displayed in “The Troggs Tapes.”

Arne,

the reason is not that the ‘standard’ calculations based on current QM/gravitation/relativity understanding is completely whacked and obviously needs some more work;

And you this to be a fact? You have checked over the quantum gravity calculations and found them lacking in some manner? Have you published?

I see you still have no “fractional, i.e., percentage changes (duh).” of the CC. Talk all you want David. Appeal to misinterpretations of scientists and speculative theory all you want. Your Sensitivity is crap. What’s Sensitivity? it is nor fraction, nor percentage, Nor units, nor known, nor any other part Belonging to an argument. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? that which we call ID By any other name would smell as foul; So Sensitivity would, were it not Sensitivity call’d, Retain that dear imperfection which it owes Without that title.

Over and out.

(Shakespearean aside:)

As an atheist I couldn’t be happier with these nuts like Heddle. They unwittingly suggest to their christian peers that faith isn’t enough, that in order to believe, you need to have some scientific evidence. IDers want evidence for god to be put on trial in the court of science. This surreptitiously undermines the value of faith better than anything we atheists could do.

A man should remind himself that an object of faith is not scientifically demonstrable, lest presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, he should produce inconclusive reasons and offer occasion for unbelievers to scoff at a faith based on such ground.

–Thomas Aquinas, who has about 200 IQ points on William Dembski, and 250 on Heddle

[exit stage left]

David Heddle Wrote:

Wayne,

At one time, you were capable of interesting and substantive dialogue. That was kind of fun.

To answer your question, the CC is a constant. Once fine tuned, always fine tuned.

As for the rapture, I assume you mean in the sense of the “Left Behind” books. I often write against that eschatology on my own site, so you’ve got me pegged wrong.

Allow me to speak for Wayne; I think you misunderstand him. No one is suggesting that the CC is anything but a constant. But if we are to believe that the CC and many other things were fine tuned, then we must wonder what goal of the “fine tuner” was. Was the CC chosen so that the universe would give birth to elements? Galaxies? Stars? Worlds? Life? Mind? The creator must have been creating something.

It is worth noting that all of these things exist as mere specks on the timeline of the universe. Regardless of what cosmological models turn out to be accurate, one thing is certain. Our world of specified complexity is merely one stage on the road to a cosmos devoid of energy, heat, life, intelligence, and complexity. Our universe is doomed to be reduced to cold, motionless globs of matter. The “perfectly tuned” universe will be a lifeless hell, and any other state will not even be a memory.

There is a bit of problem in trying to imagine what an architect of the universe might have been trying to achieve. Was it us? If so, it is odd that our existence will be so fleeting.

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Comment # 52037

David Heddle Wrote:

Comment #52037 Posted by David Heddle on October 12, 2005 08:56 AM (e) (s) Wayne, At one time, you were capable of interesting and substantive dialogue. That was kind of fun. To answer your question, the CC is a constant. Once fine tuned, always fine tuned. As for the rapture, I assume you mean in the sense of the “Left Behind” books. I often write against that eschatology on my own site, so you’ve got me pegged wrong.

OK David, maybe we have a communication issue here and you don’t understand what I said. First Where did I say the CC would change? What I did say was

Comment # 52033

Wayne E Francis Wrote:

Comment #52033 Posted by Wayne E Francis on October 12, 2005 08:13 AM (e) (s) The point is our current model does not’t explain the CC. David says “Don’t bother to look” while most scientists still want to know “Why”. BTW David .… your CC is “fine tuned” for now.…what happens in 30 billion years? How conducive to life will the CC be then? Or does your “God” only care about this last 6 thousand years the rest of the time was just filler to get us here and in 30 billion years.…oh wait your “God” will cause the rapture before then…that’s right.

important passage being what happens in 30 billion years? How conducive to life will the CC be then?

I never said the constant would change. What I do recognize is that the CC in 30 billion years will have a different effect then it does today just like it had a different effect ~15 billion years ago.

In your opinion will the universe still be “fined tuned” for life in 30 billion years? What effect with your “fined tuned” CC have on the universe after another 30 billion years of expansion?

What most of us are saying is Our current model of the universe is probably wrong. Close but wrong. Now by “Close” I mean it probably explains much of what we see but isn’t quite right. Will it need a totally different model or a model that is derived from the current one I don’t know. I don’t care to speculate because, well if the best minds in cosmology can not figure it out right now how should I claim I know enough about it. You seem to be saying that you can’t make any adjustments to the current model to have it work and that you have to come up with a totally new model. Now some cosmologists might be trying to come up with a whole new model but surely there are those that will just try to see if they can figure out what is wrong/missing with our current model.

Lastly you say the CC is Constant. Well Speed of light was thought constant and you can pretty much treat it as constant but, unless I’m mistaken, there has been work that has shown that the “constant” speed of light was slightly faster in the past. Not enough for the YECers yet they like to claim it supports their view. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I would love to read/learn about why they thought the speed of light was faster but it turns out that it wasn’t.

Lastly I don’t really care if you find my conversation interesting. I’m just bringing up issues as I see them.

Oh Sorry for equating you someone who believes in the rapture. But the bible supports it. I can’t possibly know what you consider fact, metaphor, allegory from your interpretation of the bible. Perhaps for your next writing project you can take the different versions of the bible and colour code the passages and foot note it all so we know what is metaphor and what is fact. Please do this on multiple levels, IE line by line, passage by passage, chapter by chapter, book by book. This will go a long way to no one confusing your views on the bible. Please give any references you can as to how you determined what was metaphor and what was fact. Thank you.

Steve S,

I don’t answer your question because I wam waiting to see how long it takes you to realize that it is equivalent to giving the OoM fine tuning. Apparently, you don’t see that.

They unwittingly suggest to their christian peers that faith isn’t enough, that in order to believe, you need to have some scientific evidence.

Not at all. It is a realization, however, that faith as used in the bible never refers to blind faith. In fact, it is not really used as a synonym for “belief”. Most of the time faith means to live what you believe. Also, the bible is clear that creation is meant as evidence that God exists, so that all men are without excuse.

It is not I who say that “science must prove God exists,” but rather you who say “science cannot possibly say anything about God’s existence.” That is a reasonable position for an atheist. But a theist who actually belives God created all should be receptive, in my opinion, to the idea that science might find evidence of his creation, which I believe it has, in cosmological ID.

Arne,

You wrote about the calculations being “whacked”. I am just wondering why you used that language. There is not an error in the calculations, there is something (some sore of almost complete cancellation) missing from them. To me, a “whacked” calculation is one in which, after a carefil check, you can say, “here is a mistake.” That is not the case here.

Wayne

If the CC is real, and is really fine tuned for life, then the universe is always and forever fine tuned. Othewise we would have no stars or planets, therefore no life, either now or 30 billion years hence. Add why do you say that my attitude is “don’t bother to look?” – I strongly support looking. I am supportive of spending public funds on researchers exploring solutions to the fine tuning problem. Christianity has nothing to fear from science. If our current model of the universe is wrong, I want to know the correct model. If fine tuning of the CC goes away, so be it. But it is entirely fair, at the moment, for me to say that the best model we have exhibits an almost unimaginable degree of fine tuning.

As for the rapture, you need to be specific. The bible supports that when Christ returns, living Christians will be caught up in the air. However, the term “rapture” is now virtually synonomous with the “Left Behind” view that the entire church is swept away, followed a tribulation, anti-christ, millenial kingdom, etc. That view is far from universally accepted.

But a theist who actually belives God created all should be receptive, in my opinion, to the idea that science might find evidence of his creation, which I believe it has, in cosmological ID.

That’s nice. And the rest of the world should care about your religious opinions because . … . . ?

After all, Heddle, your religious opinions are just that – your opinions. They are no more holy or divine or infallible or authoritative than anyone else’s religious opinions. No one is obligated in any way, shape, or form to follow your religious opinions, to accept them, or even to pay any attention at all to them.

For some odd reason, Davey, you seem to think that your religious opinions are somehow more valid than everyone else’s. They’re not. For some odd reason, Davey, you seem to have this notion that you know more about God than anyone else. You don’t. For some odd reason, you seem to have this idea that we all should listen with rapt attention as you bloviate unendingly about your religious opinions. We shouldn’t.

Alas, you are just a man, Davey. Not God’s Spokesman. Not a Holy Prophet. Not a font of Divine Wisdom. Just a man. A plain old ordinary mere mortal man who knows nothing more about god than anyone else does, and is no more holy or divine than me, my next door neighbor, or the kid who delivers my pizzas. (shrug)

Thankfully, I will always be here to remind you (and everyone else) of that, every time you forget.

Has there been any science on the speed of the Bible a few thousand years ago ? Considering it was then the primary source of knowledge regarding everthing you know cosmology, medicine, mechanics, geography, law and Anthropology to Zoology (at that time… and for some ,still is)

Could a minute fiddling of the biblical constants affect current knowledge.

Well if you are theistically challenged take a little Gospel of Thomas

His disciples questioned him: should we fast? In what way should we pray? Should we give to charity? From which foods should we abstain? Jesus responded: do not lie. If there is something that you hate, do not do it, for everything is revealed beneath heaven. Nothing will fail to be displayed. Nothing covered will remain undisclosed.

followed by a Bhuddist chaser

Some piously affirm: “the truth is such and such. I know! I see! And hold that everything depends upon having the “right” religion. But when one really knows, one has no need of religion (Mahavyuha Sutra).

David these mean exactly the same thing

David you did not answer my question. But that is OK bkawcazn said what I was thinking. Your same “fine tuned” CC will, to my understanding, not be conducive to life 30 billion years from now. Either that or the CC will not be the same as it is today. Then in that case it really isn’t a constant.

It is interesting that once again you point out that even if you CC turns out to have a completely reasonable explanation you’ll not change your view one bit. But for now since its not understood you use it for “proof” of you “God”. Only you seem to not recognize this as a “God of the Gaps” reasoning.

David : Look we can’t explain the CC God did it! David : It has a sensitivity that is so precise it has to be designed. PT : What is its sensitivity? David : I don’t know but its 120 orders of magnitude different then what our model would expect! PT : Doesn’t that indicate that our model isn’t completely correct? David : No that means “God” exists! PT : How do you make that assumption? David : It isn’t only me! Many non-ID cosmologist recognize the “fine tuning” problem! PT : But don’t they mean that in our current model the value of the CC can not be explained? David : I never said that they believed in the “fine tuning” problem only that they recognize it. PT : So some people are trying to solve this “fine tuning” problem that you say is proof of ID and most other cosmologist think there is a problem with our model. David : But they can’t solve it by fine tuning the existing model! PT : Who said they where going to “Fine Tune” the current model? David : You did! PT : No we didn’t David : They would have to make a whole new model! PT : So, if the new model does all the old one did and more isn’t that a good thing? David : Yes and I support this type of research! PT : What if we find out that our model is wrong and there is no CC problem? David : That’s OK it won’t change what I believe I’ll find something else that can’t be explained. PT : So why are you arguing so much about this issue when you admit it doesn’t really matter to the issue of Cosmological ID? …

Oh David Please tell me how I can identify what is Allegory in the bible and what is fact. I’m still waiting on that one. How do I know what in Revelation is fact and what is fiction.

The problem is you seem to know what is fact and fiction but there are lots of Christians that don’t agree with you. People like Lenny and I are just trying to find out how you know what is fact and what is metaphor and others are mistaken in their interpretation.

I heard a good joke the other night. Its seems that the bible is missing the first page…you know the page that says

None of the characters or events depicted represent actual persons or events. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is unintended and purely coincidental.

Heddle said

But a theist who actually belives God created all should be receptive, in my opinion, to the idea that science might find evidence of his creation, which I believe it has, in cosmological ID.

sic.

Science of course is not based on belief but on corroborated evidence so science hasn’t found evidence for cosmological ID.

In any case your belief is probably what the DI will need after Dover if ID is still to be called science (they don’t know the difference between belief and evidence either) you can use this thread as your peer review. You can explain it still needs to be ‘fine tuned’ but here is a suggestion:- Heddles proposition “The answer to life the universe and everything is 42… Heddle units” (thank you Douglas Adams)

And to get things started you will need a book I suggest a voluminous tract titled “The meaning of everything” just cut ‘god’ in the bible and paste ‘42 Heddles’.

You will need to quick though I’ll bet there are hundreds already lining up for the gig.

AR Wrote:

Re: comment 51743 by James Taylor. While I do not intend to support Carol Clouser’s asseverations in any way, I feel it is in order to rebut the assertions of James Taylor as well. The recent data accumulated by Israeli archaeologists show beyond doubt that the entire biblical story of Hebrew tribes invading Canaan and destroying the indigenous tribes has no foundation in facts. There are no traces whatsoever on the ground of the events described in the Bible - no exodus of 2.5 million people from Egypt, no wandering in Sinai, no destruction of Jericho walls, no massacres of Canaanites, etc. There are though unmistakable archaeological signs pointing to the Hebrews being indigenous inhabitants of Canaan, along with several other tribes, most of them ethnically related to the Hebrews, from the very ancient times. The hatred of the Jews, so common among the modern Arabs, has nothing to do with the events described in the Bible. It started in serious only in the 7th century with the advent of Islam when the Jews refused to accept Mohamed as a prophet. Still, it was relatively mild compared with the atrocities by the crusaders, who killed thousands of the Jews of Europe, on their way to the “Holy land.” After the appearance of the state of Israel, the overwhelming hatred of “Zionists=Jews” permeated the Islamic world as a relatively new phenomenon. James Taylor seems to take uncritically the biblical legends. This creates (I hope a false)impression that he may be somehow emotionally inclined to justify his visceral antipathies with allegedly historical data.

AR, could you provide a source. This does impune the veracity of the Bible itself so undermines the fundamentalist ideology anyway. I personally have no problem with that; however, it is important to look at the source. I will freely admit that I am wrong if provided with sufficient evidence. Funny enough, a co-worker presented me with the exact opposite evidence a few months ago. He directed me to a website that claimed all of the Biblical accounts of Egypt and the Exodus were uneqivocally true based upon archeological evidence. Hard to know a Truth in the midst of a religious smoke screen. In the meantime, I don’t mind using the literal interpretation of the Bible against the fundies since that is their stock and trade.

Oh and I am very critical of the Biblical legends.

  This is the sungle most stupid, useless thread I have ever bothered to scoll down, at least here on PT. It might as well be some Yahoo! news forum with the profanity filter set “on”, given then stupid, spaced-out idiocy and anal compulsions of self-admiring experts. obsessives really, like DH, BFTP, and CC (well, she’s sincere-sincere, at least, but has a lot to learn about what the game is about here at PT: it ain’t about anyone’s “religion” and especially about no Bible, old or new - that’s the Xian liars’ crazies’ concern, and there are PLENTY of forums to dig-and-fill holes on the subject elsewhere.)

I therefore apologize to any poor lurkers for myself having contributed to it earlier.

Also, I’m not a scientist. I have believed I had a viewpoint that mattered to some people in some limited cases, given years on this topic from an honestly bewildered beginning when I actually believed that there were honest, intelligent people who were creationists but who would be willing to examine the canards of their own camp and agree, by plain discussion over time, that the list of objections to ToE were only, only bullshit and perversions offered up by the fanatics, swindlers, and insane that pretend to lead the insult to intelligence and tolerance calling itself “creationism,” under whatever mask the moment demands. [takes breath] While I think there ARE such people, they simply don’t raise their heads anywhere I have looked, and I believe that, for now, until they do express an interest in talking with people such as myself - interested lay readers - it’s best to entirely leave answering the loonies and fanatics who offer up their nonsense and vanity as evidence against an ever-unfinished but now indestructibly beautiful ongoing work, the ToE, to the many well-qualified, surprisingly humble, and humorous scientists (and legal experts, unfortunately) who can pick apart any possibly misleading (to lurker) posts that crop up.

I will be reading the articles here, but I will no longer post comments at all unless I have simple (very, in my case) corrections to make that no one else seems to feel the need to.

I greatly admire the core writers here at PT, and I have come to enjoy the work of many of the sites defending contributors. Unlike a few other places where this debate has broken out, though, I can honesty say id do not respect even ONE of the opposition here (and I’ve been here since the beginning).

Thanks, anyone bothering to read this! May I remain relatively silent for a period of at least half-a-million DHs.

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Remember in “Annie Hall” where the loud…

I still can’t believe Annie Hall beat Star Wars for 1977 best picture.

For Darwinfinch Yes, obviously what I meant to say “as a scientific text on the origin of everything the bible is pseudo-science” as are all creation myths of which there are hundreds, many older than Geneses and was accepted practice and perfectly valid for ancient people.

Indeed the drawing of myth and theology; that is ,belief systems, into this argument would not even be needed were it not for the problem that some people confuse belief with “the scientific method” and try to justify their view as provable, and thus trusted science, by saying belief as opposed to real evidence IS evidence.

This confusion between belief and what can be verified scientifically actually calls into question what they believe. If they are confused by the difference between acknowledging something concrete and a system for religious expression which proposes a different(and potentially infinite..depepending on the number of belief systems) reality- then that belief system rightly needs to be looked at for the explanation.

In my view creationism is pseudo-religion. Their interpretations certainly to not fit my model of theology, but then I can safely say that since it is just an opinion. Religion and theology just can’t be tested in the same way as the world around us, because religious belief only exists in our minds.

Further the actual use of the word “science” by creationists , which carries so much authority and weight because the scientific method guarantees trust is being totally hijacked and hooked to the creationist/ID belief system which simply does not have the same level of trust and if they succeed they stand to benefit from the good name of science.

A belief (faith) system has trust, but it is a different type of trust. To accept a belief system you MUST suspend belief(in reality) just the same way you do when you go to a movie, this is a form of trust. The scientific trust system in the real world is built on a a very strong set of principles which actually say pour acid on this, see if you can break it, this is encouraged to the point where we can be guaranteed that what is proposed when tested and tested and tested is correct.

(And for David:- contradiction instead of linear argument is not test of proof)

It doesn’t even matter if science gets it wrong because the trust system is so strong is has a system built in to fix the problem of conflicting evidence, simply ditch the theory and get a new one.

Belief systems such as religion and pseudo science on the other hand do not have the self fixing strength of science particularly if the belief system is fixed by ancients describing (ancient) reality, on less concrete concepts of course there is free reign.

The ID people are abusing this self fixing feature of science by generating false conflicting evidence and hooking it to their hopelessly antiquated version of an early creation myth.

The tests to establish religious trust are based purely on testing ones personal belief and are completely open to a different interpretation by others. Science fact and therefore trust exists outside and independent of the human mind as a set of instructions on how to get a certain concrete result. Send an instruction to another planet or to your pizza parlor on how to make a cup of tea and they will get a cup of tea and for pedants you can send an instructional video.

Send instructions to someone to pray to or believe in [insert any deity] and you will get a bunch of neurons firing in that persons head but you will never be able to test the results. Except maybe in a MRT scanner but that will only prove the whole belief instruction is in the mind. Promoters of ID ideology deliberately promote the confusing idea that trust in ones religious beliefs is the same as trust in scientific fact. If they were truly scientific and wanted to establish a scientific level of trust they could change their belief model to fit established fact it seems they don’t have that flexibility and it will be to their detriment. By change the ceation model I mean to a model that is not tied to a “material thing” …nevermind they will never get it.

Their belief system needs the same sort of treatment as they are applying to science to help (some or, any of) them see their own belief system is the problem not the answer.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 5, 2005 10:03 PM.

The evolution of deuterostome gastrulation was the previous entry in this blog.

Pandemic Influenza awareness week Day 4: 1918 influenza virus reconstructed is the next entry in this blog.

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