2nd KU class denies status of science to design theory

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After being denied the much sought after status as ‘scientific’, Intelligent Design has run into another roadblock, upsetting the time line laid out in the Wedge Strategy

Intelligent design — already the planned subject of a controversial Kansas University seminar this spring — will make its way into a second KU classroom in the fall, this time labeled as a “pseudoscience.”

In addition to intelligent design, the class Archaeological Myths and Realities will cover such topics as UFOs, crop circles, extrasensory perception and the ancient pyramids.

Intelligent Design arguments, which used to be hidden in the darkness of gaps in our knowledge, have become under intense scrutiny recently. And the result is not unexpected: ID has been found to be scientifically vacuous.

Pro-science editorials by Krauthammer and Kriegel have given support to this thesis.

Not surprisingly, the immediate response by ID proponents has been to accuse ID critics of not understanding or misrepresenting ID positions by not quoting their positions verbatim. It should come as no surprise that most ID proponents are careful in formulating their ‘hypotheses’ in a pseudo-scientific manner, carefully avoiding references to revealed religion. However, it also becomes clear quickly, that their ‘hypotheses’ carry no scientific weight.

For instance Krauthammer observed:

[Intelligent design] is a self-enclosed, tautological “theory” whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge – in this case, evolution – they are to be filled by God.”

Let’s see how this fits with reality:

Tautological: Behe testified in the Kitzmiller trial

Q Intelligent design does not describe how the design occurred.

A That’s correct, just like the Big Bang theory does not describe what caused the Big Bang.

Q Does not identify when the design occurred.

A That is correct.

Q It [Intelligent Design] says nothing about what the designer’s abilities are.

A Other than saying that the designer had the ability to make the design that is under consideration, that’s correct.

Q It sounds pretty tautological, Professor Behe.

Q Intelligent design says nothing about the intelligent designer’s motivations?

A The only statement it makes about that is that the designer had the motivation to make the structure that is designed.

Q How can intelligent design possibly make that statement, Professor Behe?

A I don’t understand your question.

Q How can it possibly say anything about the intelligent designer’s motives without knowing anything about who the intelligent designer is?

“theory”: Appropriately between quotes because as even ID proponents have admitted, there is no “theory of intelligent design”. While ID proponents are still hopeful that a scientifically relevant theory may be forthcoming, the chances of such seem to be quite ‘complex’ (an ID term meaning improbable).

gaps: As Del Ratzsch and others have pointed out, the ID approach is based on a ‘set theoretic complement of regularity and chance’ or in laymen terms: that which remains when known chance and regularity hypotheses have been eliminated. Statisticians refer to this as the ‘null hypothesis’ and ID proponents have replaced this notion with a notion of ‘design’. It should be clear by now that the ID approach is based on an argument from ignorance and presents no additional scientific knowledge.

gaps filled by God: Again, not explicitly acknowledged by ID proponents but inferred simply by observing the following:

1. ID proponents argue that science rejects Intelligent Design a priori 2. ID proponents argue that science successfully applies intelligent design inferences in areas such as archeology, criminology, SETI and cryptography. 3. In other words, Intelligent Design cannot be that which science already successfully achieves. 4. ID proponents lament that science restricts itself to methodological naturalism, precluding any role for the supernatural

The conclusion is but inevitable: the Intelligent Designer must be supernatural.

In addition, few realize that Dembski has made an important concession:

Ryan Nichols Wrote:

“Before I proceed, however, I note that Dembski makes an important concession to his critics. He refuses to make the second assumption noted above. When the EF implies that certain systems are intelligently designed, Dembski does not think it follows that there is some intelligent designer or other. He says that, “even though in practice inferring design is the first step in identifying an intelligent agent, taken by itself _design does not require that such an agent be posited. The notion of design that emerges from the design inference must not be confused with intelligent agency_” (TDI, 227, my emphasis).

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

When ID proponents are asked to explain the how, why, when which would give the gap argument some independent support they are quick to show why ID is doomed to remain scientifically vacuous

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.”

Source: ISCID forum

Brian Sandefur, a mechanical engineer and ID proponent, argued that “The two areas that KU is trying to box this issue into are completely inappropriate,” and considers a more appropriate venue to discuss ID in classes discussing chemistry and biology.

But Sandefur said intelligent design was rooted in chemistry and molecular biology, not religion, and it should be discussed in science courses.

An interesting argument: ID is rooted in chemistry and biology?… How… One could make a claim that it is a mathematical claim, but that seems to be the fullest extent of ID.

Some recent editorials

Ben Bova: Arguments for intelligent design are unconvincing in the Naples Daily News (subscription required)

What do the ID people have to counter this evidence? Nothing except their claims that life is too complex to have arisen without an Intelligent Designer to create it.

And what does that statement tell us about life and its origins? Nothing!

ID boils down to sheer ignorance. It claims that we can’t know how life began because it’s too complicated for our poor little brains to understand. Don’t ask questions. Be content with the idea that an Intelligent Designer did it all and we cannot, ever, understand how it was done.

I find that statement close to hypocrisy. The goal of ID’s supporters, it seems to me, is to get Darwin out of the classroom — or at least to undermine the teaching of Darwinian evolution to our school children. They are determined to remove Darwin from the schools.

Honest, God-fearing Christians fear that if Darwin is right, and we humans arose as a result of natural processes, then the entire Christian faith is in doubt, including the belief that Christ died on the cross to redeem us.

SCIENCE TEST Christians can’t afford to oppose evolution by Richard Colling

A second important case, to be decided outside the courtroom in the arena of public opinion, also looms large. This case concerns how the public views Christians. And while perhaps not immediately apparent, either way the Dover school board case turns out, intelligent design will continue to severely damage the case for God and Christian faith.

Even worse, the damage is largely self-inflicted by Christian leaders’ unwitting and undiscerning endorsements of intelligent design.

Richard Colling is very outspoken on Intelligent Design:

In his new book, “Random Designer,” he writes: “It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods” when they say evolutionary theory is “in crisis” and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. “Such statements are blatantly untrue,” he argues; “evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny. [1]”

(Sharon Begley in Tough Assignment: Teaching Evolution To Fundamentalists, Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2004; Page A15 )

96 Comments

lol, Congrats to the KU for fighting back. There will be some people on the Kansas Board of MisEducation that will be a tad miffed.

Pim

gaps filled by God: Again, not explicitly acknowledged by ID proponents

Actually this was explicitly acknowledged by Michael Behe on the stand in the Dover trial. For me, this was the single most bizarre bit of testimony in the entire channel:

Behe: “the designer is God .…I concluded that based on theological, philosophical and historical facts.”

Behe tries to pretend that his conclusion about the identity of the designer is not relevant to a discussion of the scientific vacuity of “ID theory” because Behe did not use the scientific method to arrive at his conclusion.

Please don’t waste your time trying to parse Behe’s nonsense. It can’t be done.

It’s as if I claimed that the roughly spherical shape of the moon and the arrangement of craters on its surface “proved” that “some mysterious beings” designed it. But other than that, my theory says nothing about the nature of the mysterious beings or how or when they created the moon. But, based on historical evidence, I believe that God did it. But that has nothing to do with my theory.

The sincere mind reels.

Pim also highlighted the other truly bizarre moments in Behe’s testimony:

The only statement it makes about that is that the designer had the motivation to make the structure that is designed.

Let’s translate for Behe, inserting Behe’s conclusion about the identity of the mysterious designer: the only statement that “ID theory” makes about God’s motivation is that God was motivated to make the structure that is designed.

This is Behe’s “theory” in a nutshell: God created life on earth just the way he wanted it, right down to the amino acid sequence of every protein in our bodies.

How does Behe know this? He told us in court: “theological, philosophical and historical evidence.”

Again, let’s translate for “Dr.” Behe: the Bible says so.

Of course, none of Behe’s personal religious beliefs would matter if he wasn’t actively trying to shove them down the throats of public schoolkids on the government’s dime.

Hopefully, Behe will get the picture when Judge Jones paints it for him in black and white.

Pim, thanks for the link to Richard Collings’ excellent editorial!!!

But another critical question flowing from the science-faith discussions is how Christians will be defined. This question will largely be answered on the basis of public perceptions of scientific understanding among proponents of intelligent design.

Here’s how those public perceptions will be determined, in part:

Judge Jones will issue his ruling in the Dover case which shows that ID peddlers are creationist trying to peddle their religious beliefs in the guise of pseudoscience.

The media will report on Judge Jones ruling, allowing both sides to explain why Judge Jones was “right” or “wrong.”

To the the extent that our country’s beloved pundits and “newscasters” on television and radio and in the major newspapers demonize Judge Jones and repeat debunked creationist arguments as if those arguments have not been debunked, the public will perceive that creationists have been treated unfairly.

To the extent that these same pundits ridicule and scorn the ID peddlers for promoting the teaching of bogus pseudoscientific garbage to our nation’s children in public school science classes, supported in large part by notorious bigots, Christian reconstructionists and AIDS deniers, the public will perceive that ID peddlers are worthless pseudoscientists who should be filed between astrologists and UFOlogists in the Library of Disgusting Lies (right next to Holocaust Denial, actually).

Here’s how the public perception of ID peddlers will not be determined: allowing sincere scientists to debate the ID peddlers about whether the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex or whether the fossil record provides evidence for “macroevolution.”

Pim, thanks for posting the link to that excellent Richard Collings editorial.

But another critical question flowing from the science-faith discussions is how Christians will be defined. This question will largely be answered on the basis of public perceptions of scientific understanding among proponents of intelligent design.

We live in the year 2005 and we know very well how public perceptions about people are determined.

The kind folks at the ACLU have done a great deal to help shape the public’s perceptions of folks like Bill Buckingham and Michael Behe and other fakers.

Judge Jones’ ruling will surely offer us another opportunity to help shape the public’s perceptions.

Please: let’s not squander it by pretending that Michael Behe and Bill Dembski are honest men who care about anything except their own miserable careers.

I really have to applaud the steps taken by the folks at Kansas University. They are not “fxcking around.” They are calling spades “spades” which is what every one of us should be doing at every opportunity.

That is how public perceptions of “spades” are formed.

Since it is 2005, we also know how a powerful moneyed organization like the Discovery Institute will proceed to blunt the formation of negative perceptions of ID peddlers in the public’s mind: by creating confusion and spreading fear.

We know how the Discovery Institute creates confusion in the public’s mind: by swamping the public with bogus scientific-sounding claims about the Cambrian explosion, “gaps” in the fossil record, “irreducible complexity” and the like.

The key to preventing that garbage from entering in the discussion is to cut it off at the knees. In other words: do not go there. There is no need to there, after all. It is utterly irrelevant to the question: if you have a better scientific explanation for the diversity of life on earth, then tell us what it is!!! If you don’t, then shut up because the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists is that evolution happened and ID peddlers are religious charlatans trying to wedge pseudoscience and Christianity into public school science classrooms.

End. Of. Discussion.

Let’s see who has the guts to do the right thing. Some scientists will have the guts – we know that already and we know who they are. But others will surely enjoy taking an occasional check from time to time to show up at Liberty University and engage in a “debate” with some Discovery Institute shill about whether the bacterial flagellum is “irreducibly complex.”

Watch and see.

Behe’s testimony exemplifies a thesis of another paper which states that ID cannot reliably detect ‘Intelligent Design’ without some independent information as to the existence of the ‘Designer’. Behe, convinced of the existence of said ‘Designer’ sees ‘evidence’ of ‘Design’ based on the ID thesis. Of course, I am still confused why said ‘Designer’ would present ‘evidence of design’ in the form of a bacterial flagellum. Was the plague a punishment and said ‘Designer’ wanted to make sure we got the message? After all the TTS system is implicated in such diseases as the bubonic plague.

If, as Behe argues, we can at least conclude that the intention of the ‘designer’ was to ‘design’ a particular ‘designed’ system then we can also try to speculate as to the nature of said ‘designer’. Very Paley-esque… Believing that we can actually peek inside the mind of said ‘Designer’.

Kansas University is already being issued vague threats about people trying to have their funding cut as retaliation for the “ID and mythology” course. It’s good to see that rather than backing down, KU is just charging ahead. One gets the impression they really are willing to stand up for their academic principles. I wonder how the people who were threatening the funding cuts last week will react now.

I just wish popular news sources were being a little better about reporting the threats that Kansas University is receiving, as to me that’s almost the most fascinating part of the entire thing. First these people decide they don’t need mainstream science in the high schools, then they decide they don’t really need higher education at all if it’s just going to insist on teaching science as science… Really concerned about equipping future generations to move into the future, aren’t these people?

The best part of Pim’s link:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/nov/27/2nd_ku_class_denies_status_science_design_theory/?city_local

Intelligent design proponents are unhappy about intelligent design being taught as a myth, and e-mail comments attributed to Mirecki that were posted on a Web site made them angrier.

In the e-mail, Mirecki wrote: “The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category mythology.”

The ID peddlers are unhappy about that email?

I am looking forward to hearing them argue that Mirecki’s personal beliefs are somehow relevant to the validity of the proposition that stories about mysterious alien beings creating the universe are properly labeled as “creation myths.”

Please please please, my ID peddling friends: make my day! Make that argument and wallow in your hypocricy!

In reading the Dembski quote in the above post, I finally remembered whom it was that his writing most resembles:

Timothy Leary. Same incoherent, disjointed prose. Same persecution complex. Same smug arrogance and certitude. Same insistence that his metaphysical postulates must be accepted by everyone else because he alone knows the truth.

The difference is that Leary had a fairly decent, albeit somewhat illicit, excuse for his writings. Unless Dembski is going for the “Buckingham excuse,” however, I doubt that this is his problem…although it certainly would put his “finding Jesus” experience in a whole new light.

put his “finding Jesus” experience in a whole new light -ouch!

How long do you think it will take for Sal to start tut tuting and fuming over this second insulting act of KU’s? Let’s see IDCists are for academic freedom and want the “controversy” to be taught. And now that it is being taught they are angry? That’s funny. Maybe some IDCist professor shd try teaching “Darwinism” or “evolutionism” as myth! Indeed these two topics the way IDCists imagine them are entirely mythical.

Nice point Shiva the “Development of Myth and the Broken Truth” does it lead to Totalitarianism ?

Let’s see IDCists are for academic freedom and want the “controversy” to be taught. And now that it is being taught they are angry?

They don’t want any “controversy” about ID to be taught. Just a “controversy” about *evolution”.

They do NOT want their own ideas to be subjected to any criticism or evaluation – they just want them to be taught as true and immune from criticism.

Dembski says:

“The University of Kansas is flexing its anti-religion muscle again, this time by announcing the introduction of a new course in the Religion department: “Creationism, Intelligent Design and Other Religious Mythologies.” http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]513#more-513

But ID is SCIENCE, mind you, and isn’t about religion. No siree Bob.

It’s fun watching the IDers self-destruct so spectacularly.

Lenny,

It should be obvious that regardless of whether or not ID is science, it is possible to attack it from the basis of anti-religious bigotry. The painfully simple chain would be this:

1) ID is not science 2) ID is creationism 3) Creationism is the province of the religious wingnuts 4) Therefore I will attack this form of creationism, ID

Whether or not KU faculty are attacking it for that reason we can only speculate. That is, except in the case the foolish foot-in-mouth Dr. Mirecki aka “Evil Dr. P.” about whom we actually have evidence.

You really should learn how to make arguments that, even if they are wrong, are at least logical and self-consistent.

Posted by David Heddle on November 28, 2005 08:19 AM (e) (s)

Lenny,

It should be obvious that regardless of whether or not ID is science, it is possible to attack it from the basis of anti-religious bigotry. The painfully simple chain would be this:

1) ID is not science 2) ID is creationism 3) Creationism is the province of the religious wingnuts 4) Therefore I will attack this form of creationism, ID

Whether or not KU faculty are attacking it for that reason we can only speculate. That is, except in the case the foolish foot-in-mouth Dr. Mirecki aka “Evil Dr. P.” about whom we actually have evidence.

You really should learn how to make arguments that, even if they are wrong, are at least logical and self-consistent.

Can I assume that this upsets you?

Now, suppose you are a professor about to teach an anti-ID course. Suppose you are Professor and Department Chairman (in the Religious Studies Department) Paul Mirecki at the University of Kansas.

Furthermore, suppose that you want to give the illusion that you are in group one, which is clearly perceived as the academic high ground. Then you might give interviews to the national media and say things like: “Creationism is mythology,” Mirecki said. “Intelligent design is mythology. It’s not science. They try to make it sound like science. It clearly is not.”

Who better than a professor of religious studies could spot a religion when he saw one?

Hey Heddle -

Why don’t you stop tap dancing and give us a summary of the theory of ID?

Give ONE example of some observation that is better explained by ID than by evolution. Give ONE example of where ID can provide an explanation for something where evolution cannot.

Anything else you blather on about is mere window dressing and politics. So either give examples or shut the hell up. No one cares about your personal metaphysical opinions.

Why is it that IDiots talk up a storm about “evolution can’t exlain this”, “Darwinism can’t explain that”, but when it comes time to put their cards on the table, they grow deafeningly silent?

Why is that, Heddle?

Stephen Elliott: said

Who better than a professor of religious studies could spot a religion when he saw one?

He doesn’t even have to do that they have done it all by themselves loud and clear boasted to the world that their “Broken TruthTMis Religion. We didn’t even have to use the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. …Dang.

Hey rdog29,

I can give lots, but they won’t be from biology (actually a couple might be). Perhaps you mistake me for someone who has argued for biological ID, that is for Dembski’s and/or Behe’s theories?

Still, I’ll answer your question. Just one?

How about:

Evolution can explain how either (a) our eyes are most sensitive to the peak of our sun’s spectrum or (b) how our eyes are sensitive to a narrow range of radiation to which the atmosphere is transparent. But evolution cannot explain the happy fact that we don’t have to choose (a) OR (b), the two parts of the spectrum being one and the same. Design, of course, explains it trivially.

k.e The TM symbol–I doubt if it ever was even midly amusing. But by now even your most ardent supporters must be rolling their eyes. But, hey, if it floats your boat…

Posted by k.e. on November 28, 2005 11:35 AM (e) (s) … He doesn’t even have to do that they have done it all by themselves loud and clear boasted to the world that their “Broken TruthTM” is Religion. We didn’t even have to use the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.…Dang.

Just as well; Antioch’s hand grenade is no longer an option anyway. It has already been used. That was a real vicious rabbit!

hahah This must be in the “Religious Artifacts/Craven Idols” department but you *Can* I kid you not actually buy one on the net :)

Rabbits are strange non-Precambrian critters -creatures of habit viciously Territorial and I hate to say it easy targets.(snigger) They can be taught tricks and have a similar intelligence to a dog, sh*t all over the place but can be toilet trained, and love carrots. :)

David Heddle Wrote:

Evolution can explain how either (a) our eyes are most sensitive to the peak of our sun’s spectrum or (b) how our eyes are sensitive to a narrow range of radiation to which the atmosphere is transparent. But evolution cannot explain the happy fact that we don’t have to choose (a) OR (b), the two parts of the spectrum being one and the same. Design, of course, explains it trivially.

You’re using this to imply cosmic Design, as opposed to biological Design, right? In which case it’s fairly irrelevant to the biological Design Inference that we’re specifically complaining about.

There probably is a “How” answer for the happy fact that you raise. I’m no expert but how about: if the atmosphere was opaque to the sun’s peak radiation, it’d tend to get burned off. There is unlikely to be a “Why” answer (beyond the weak anthropic principle), but I’d say that that’s because there doesn’t necessarily have to be a “why”.

Heddle projects - psst .….David…”God forgives those that forgive themselves”

Heddle Wrote:

Evolution can explain how either (a) our eyes are most sensitive to the peak of our sun’s spectrum or (b) how our eyes are sensitive to a narrow range of radiation to which the atmosphere is transparent. But evolution cannot explain the happy fact that we don’t have to choose (a) OR (b), the two parts of the spectrum being one and the same. Design, of course, explains it trivially.

Design of course can explain ‘anything’ trivially and as such is scientifically vacuous. Poof…

Is that your idea of science Heddle?

Let me point out that a correlation between two datapoints can be explained by various factors. A causes B, B cause A, C causes A and B and so on.

In the case of life being sensitive to the peak atmospheric light and the solar light being near to the peak of the atmospheric light may find its explanation in the observation that perhaps life arose in circumstances suitable for it.

This is one of the various major problems with the Privileged Planet thesis. We can of course refer to this ‘coincidence’ as design but what does calling design explain… Other than a correlation between function and structure :-)

Ben Bova: Arguments for intelligent design are unconvincing in the Naples Daily News (subscription required)

Is that Ben Bova the well-known science fiction author?

Corkscrew,

if the atmosphere was opaque to the sun’s peak radiation, it’d tend to get burned off.

And what’s taking Venus so long?

PvM,

Design of course can explain ‘anything’ trivially and as such is scientifically vacuous. Poof…

That’s true, but the question asked for a case where it offers a better explanation.

Is that your idea of science Heddle?

No, did I somewhere say that it was?

In the case of life being sensitive to the peak atmospheric light and the solar light being near to the peak of the atmospheric light may find its explanation in the observation that perhaps life arose in circumstances suitable for it.

So is the earth privileged? Also, this is not a simple matter. Anything resembling photosynthesis probably requires abundant light in the visible range, since this is a good match to relevant atomic levels.

Heddle typed:

Evolution can explain how either (a) our eyes are most sensitive to the peak of our sun’s spectrum or (b) how our eyes are sensitive to a narrow range of radiation to which the atmosphere is transparent. But evolution cannot explain the happy fact that we don’t have to choose (a) OR (b), the two parts of the spectrum being one and the same. Design, of course, explains it trivially.

How… Panglossian.

Now Mr. Heddle tries to redefine the concept of “better explanation” to mean “any explanation that does not need to deal with those pesky things like, you know, facts and such”.

Once again, the pool marvelling at the exact match with the shape of the hole in the ground…

I dislike the focus on explanations, for exactly the reason illustrated by Heddle’s response in #60437.

The more relevant question, IMO, is “what can ID predict better than evolution?”

I’d love to see a response to this from either the cosmological or the biological perspective.

W. Kevin Vicklund

In response to your earlier musings on life evolving without an opaque atmosphere … You might want to familiarize yourself with the ecology of deep sea vents and other ecosystems that utilize energy contained within inorganic compounds alone. No input from light. The question of which came first, photosynthetic life or chemosynthetic life seems to be leaning towards the latter. But this is by no means conclusive.

I can’t wait to bore through the ice sheets of the Galilean moons to search for an independent experiment in chemosynthetic life origins.

Vandalhooch

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansa[…]13303968.htm

Posted on Thu, Dec. 01, 2005

KU cancels intelligent design class

By DAVID KLEPPER

The Kansas City Star

The University of Kansas withdrew its controversial religious studies course on intelligent design today.

University officials pulled the course from next springÂ’s offerings at the request of Paul Mirecki, head of the universityÂ’s Religious Studies Department. Morecki, who proposed the course and was to teach it, came under fire when e-mails he had sent came under public review. In one e-mail, he said the course would irritate conservative Christians.

“The fundies (fundamentalist Christians) want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category ‘mythology,’” Mirecki wrote.

Intelligent design is the belief that nature shows evidence of a creator. Proponents were a driving force behind the Kansas Board of EducationÂ’s recent decision to insert significant criticism of evolution into the stateÂ’s science curriculum standards.

Over the objections of conservatives, KU officials said it was appropriate that intelligent design and creationism be analyzed in a religious studies class.

The course, entitled “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design and Creationism,” sparked criticism as soon as it was announced last week. The class was to be taught as an elective to upper level undergraduates and graduate students next spring. Already, 25 students had signed up for the course.

Conservative lawmakers demanded hearings into how the course was created and how it would be taught, and reacted with outrage after MireckiÂ’s e-mails came to light. In e-mails posted to the KU Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics, Mirecki, who was the groupÂ’s faculty adviser, criticized fundamentalists and made sarcastic comments about conservative Jews and Catholics.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway strongly condemned the e-mails, calling Mirecki’s words “repugnant and vile.”

In a written statement released by the university, Mirecki cited the controversy as reason to cancel the class. He also apologized for the e-mails.

“Students with a serious interest in this important subject matter would not be well served by the learning environment my e-mails and the public distribution of them have created. It would not be fair to the students,” Mirecki wrote. “It was not my intent when I wrote the e-mails, but I understand now that these words have offended many on this campus and beyond, and for that I take full responsibility. I made a mistake in not leading by example, in this student organization e-mail forum, the importance of discussing differing viewpoints in a civil and respectful manner.”

Hemenway said the course still has a place, but thereÂ’s no word when it will be taught or by whom.

“This unfortunate episode does not in any way diminish our belief that the course should be taught,” Hemenway said. “It is the role of the university to take on such topics and to provide the civil, academic environment in which they can be honestly examined and discussed.”

Sounds like they caved in.

It should be studied as “Social Objectivism” dressed up as anti ‘their definition of god’ Identity Politics” in Political Studies.

Juxtaposed against various other Totalitarian Regimes past and present. You don’t need much imagination to see where this is going.

The Propaganda techniques are perfect fit, the political machinations perfect fit and the people behind it are perfect fit to “Marlon Brando’s Character in “Apocalypse Now”.

How is it done ? Check out all the other Totalitarian regimes past and present - control of the group reality.

Lenny the Irony is almost too delicious …in fact rapturous. Its the BEST thing that could have happened.

It will never be taught as science unless magic can be part of science >>>> destruction of science = not an option.

They have killed it as a ‘valid’ religion themselves; plus no religion in it’s right mind want’s to have ANYTHING to do with it because it’s a spirituality free zone.

What does that leave -politics -psychology -philosophy

Sal “Pancho Sanza” will knock that on the head too, what does that leave ? well only one thing Magic Realism “100 years of Solitude”

‘Count’ Quix-jump_to_a_new_theory will continue collecting skulls and wake up sooner or later or maybe never it doesn’t MATTER.

The further delicious Irony is that Sal/Sancho/The Russian* KNOWS they are all crazy but he can never give up the glamor, never.

from the “Heart of Darkness” by Conrad.

W. Kevin Vicklund Wrote:

Henry, my local was meant in terms of fitness functions (landscapes), not necessarily physical location. Certainly, the selection pressure from atmospheric effects is generally small compared to other pressures, such as motility. But in an energy-scarce environment, increasing the total amount of available energy is beneficial to all life-forms in the environment, so symbiotic relationships may increase the positive pressure.

I think Henry invoked locality as a potential means of providing differential reproductive success for the atmosphere-altering organisms, which is of course necessary if selection pressure is to exist. A trait whose existence is equally beneficial to all life-forms (or all members of a species), whether they have it or not, will not be favored by selection.

I’m curious why, even if the atmosphere’s transmission spectrum and the sun’s emission spectrum were similar (and I haven’t been able to find a good transmission spectrum to compare), this is a “happy fact.” Why is it particularly a good thing for the Earth’s atmosphere to pass as much sunlight as possible? And if it is, shouldn’t we Hoover away the ozone layer so we can bathe in the full glory of Sol?

As for ID predicting no intelligent life on Venus…C.S. Lewis would disagree.

Re “I think Henry invoked locality as a potential means of providing differential reproductive success for the atmosphere-altering organisms, which is of course necessary if selection pressure is to exist.”

Yep!

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on November 27, 2005 1:15 PM.

Revealed knowledge was the previous entry in this blog.

What Was God Thinking? Science Can’t Tell. is the next entry in this blog.

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