Intelligent Design offers biblical alternative to Darwinian evolution, Dembski says

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Seems that the Judge agreed with Dembsk after all: Intelligent Design offers a biblical alternative to Darwinism

Intelligent Design offers biblical alternative to Darwinian evolution, Dembski says at SBTS forum 2005 By David Roach, May 07:

The Intelligent Design movement has generated controversy because it deals with issues at the core of the current debate between secularists and those who hold a Christian worldview, said scientist and author William Dembski at a forum held at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary March 23.

The forum, entitled “Darwinism and the Church: a Conversation on Intelligent Design and Cultural Engagement,” was moderated by Russell D. Moore, Southern’s senior vice president for academic administration, dean of the school of theology and director of the event’s sponsor, the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement.

Intelligent Design’s first goal is to demonstrate the inadequacy of Darwinian evolution as an explanation of the origin of the universe, Dembski said. One of the chief methods of accomplishing this is to demonstrate the weakness of the scientific evidence that is presented in support of Darwinian evolution in many school classrooms, he said.

“Evolutionary theory is in such a weak position that it shouldn’t be taught at all � in this grand global sense,” Dembski said. “If you want to say natural selection operates in accounting for antibiotic resistance in bacteria you can make a case there. But if you are going to try to say that’s how you get bacteria, insects, all this in the first place, that’s a huge extrapolation. The theory doesn’t support that.”

For those who argue that (disingenuous) ‘teach the controversy” has nothing to do with Intelligent Design, think again

Intelligent Design’s first goal is to demonstrate the inadequacy of Darwinian evolution as an explanation of the origin of the universe, Dembski said. One of the chief methods of accomplishing this is to demonstrate the weakness of the scientific evidence that is presented in support of Darwinian evolution in many school classrooms, he said.

Remember Judge Jones’ ruling?

Judge Jones Wrote:

Moreover, ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.

And then this ‘funny’ assertion, disproven by the facts and ruled upon by the Judge

After offering a critique of Darwinian evolution, Intelligent Design proposes alternative theories about the origin of the universe, according to Dembski. These alternative theories argue that a designer must have fashioned the complex biological and physical mechanisms humans observe in the world, he said.

But ID does not propose any alternative theories. Smoke and mirrors my dear Dembski…

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Via The Panda's Thumb, it seems ID proponent William Dembski is publicly embracing the biblical nature of Intelligent Design. At least he's being honest about it for a change. What he is not honest about, as usual, are the supposed... Read More

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…said scientist and author William Dembski

Can someone please explain to me in what sense Dembski is a “scientist”?

Intelligent Design’s first goal is to demonstrate the inadequacy of Darwinian evolution as an explanation of the origin of the universe, Dembski said.

Ah, I must have missed the complete title of Darwin’s book: On the Origin of Species and also the Entire Universe

Intelligent Design’s first goal is to demonstrate the inadequacy of Darwinian evolution as an explanation of the origin of the universe, Dembski said.

Is this quote for real? Bill’s ignorance of biology and evolution can startle, but could it be this bad? Not even Dawkins and Dennet claim that ‘Darwinian evolution’ explains the origin of the universe. Maybe Dembski thinks so?

Then again, one must recall that the retort to the observation that Dembski et al are religiously motivated is that we supposedly are motivated by a metaphysical position–Epicurean materialism. As in:

“In response, you are going to argue that evolution is likewise motivated by a metaphysical position, namely, Epicurean materialism. Show how Epicurean materialism underwrites evolution.”

This is from Dembski’s test, found at:

http://tinyurl.com/amggj

Which shows how competent a philosopher of science the dolt is. The philosophy of science today traces back far more to Kant than to Epicurean philosophies (which are interesting in their excellent conception of how to do science, but lacked the tools to go far in it). And Kant is more Platonic than anything else, not to mention his being a believer in God. In fact Kant’s contribution to Hume’s view of science was to preserve Platonic notions of ideas and mathematics as a prioris, from which one may then proceed to work through the relevant data in as scientific a manner as possible.

Evolutionary theory proceeds from practices mostly developed early on by good scientific Christian thinkers. The only reason why Epicurean materialism and positivism/Kantian science tend to converge is that both have rejected unnecessary metaphysical ideas (while mostly acknowledging that we begin with cognitive abilities which are a priori to science), and thus they hit upon a reasonably unbiased conception of how to view the world. Dembski wishes to equate the rejection of metaphysical assumptions with the maintenance of same.

It just goes to show that he has to warp the history of science and philosophy in order to present his warped view of present science as if it were legitimate.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #68814

Posted by Russell on January 8, 2006 07:07 PM (e) (s)

…said scientist and author William Dembski

Can someone please explain to me in what sense Dembski is a “scientist”?

In the sense that he’s not a duck.

Seems that the Judge agreed with Dembsk after all: Intelligent Design offers a biblical alternative to Darwinism

Well, once your lie is exposed in court, there’e not much point in denying it any longer, is there.

Creation “science” did the very same thing, post-Aguillard. Indeed, the creationists were even dumb enough to file a court case in California claiming that *evolution* was a religion too. And indeed I’ve heard some IDers yammering about doing the same thing, post-Dover.

Some things never change. (shrug)

So far I have not found Dembski making the statement as in the quote. He does point out his misunderstanding of Haeckel’s embryos and their relevance to evolution and other ‘Icons’. I guess if one repeats often enough one’s flawed understandings of evolutionary science, people eventually may believe it.

> Can someone please explain to me in what sense Dembski is a “scientist”?

Is Mark Perakh a scientist? If yes, only because he was doing science (he doesn’t now)? If so, then Dembski is a scientist if maths is science.

Hey, if maths is science then maybe I actually have a good excuse to get worked up about this stuff!

Anyway, less posting, more Representation Theory.

“Biblical alternative to Darwinian evolution”?!

Once again we encounter this unsupportable notion that the Bible is opposed to evolution. This is taken as a given by so many that it is stated matter of factly. As if it were obvious. But those of us who know the Bible AND evolution, know better. The original (that is, Hebrew) text of Genesis just does not support this notion of conflict. Yes, it states that there was design. But that idea is also not in conflict with evolution.

Why do some folks persist in staking out positions without doing their homework?

Well, if we’re dealing with the origin of the universe, then certainly that cuts down the available candidates for the position of intelligent designer. But in that case, he should be going after cosmology, not evolution.

This tactic seems to be common among IDists - to say that, yes, OK, we’ll agree that evolution can explain bacterial drug resistance and dog breeds and so on, but it can’t explain larger things like the origin of mammals, especially humans, and the origin of the universe and the fine-tuning of the solar system for life and so on. Somewhere along the line in their desire to discredit evolution they redefine it so that it’s being asked to do the impossible.

Dembski seems oblivious to the fact that science, in the few hundred years it has matured and freed itself from the bondage of religious authority, has discovered more, explained more, and deepened our understanding of the universe far more than has his sectarian world view in a few thousand years. He looks like a complete fool holding himself up as an example of a scientist. Instead, he constantly chases his tail in a whirlwind of sophistry and pseudophilosophy. In spite of his PhD’s, he remains totally naive and inexperienced in the practice and successes of scientific investigation. I have rarely encountered a stuffed shirt so ignorant. He would return science to the days of the Inquisition and set the clock back thousands of years.

“In response, you are going to argue that evolution is likewise motivated by a metaphysical position, namely, Epicurean materialism. Show how Epicurean materialism underwrites evolution.”

And here I thought evolution was “motivated” by the premise that complex life forms had recent ancestors similar to themselves. Shows what I know, huh.

Henry

Russell Wrote:

Can someone please explain to me in what sense Dembski is a “scientist”?

That’s easy: he’s a pseudoscientist!

albion Wrote:

Well, if we’re dealing with the origin of the universe, then certainly that cuts down the available candidates for the position of intelligent designer.

I don’t see why that should be the case. One rather cute conjecture that I came across a while back is that, as intelligent organisms develop more and more powerful science, they’re likely to eventually discover how to create new universes. And, of course, they’d create universes that had roughly the same fundamental constants as their own, modulo a small amount of “mutative” variation…

See where this is going? Darwinian evolution of universes, oh my!

Intelligent Design’s first goal is to demonstrate the inadequacy of Darwinian evolution as an explanation of the origin of the universe, Dembski said.

Gee…I thought the goal of a scientific theory was to provide an explanation for the evidence at hand. I guess I was wrong.

Can someone please explain to me in what sense Dembski is a “scientist”?

In the sense that he’s not a duck.

How do we know he’s not a duck? Has someone penetrated the Dembskian Solopsistic Universe to see how he views himself?

Can someone please explain to me in what sense Dembski is a “scientist”?

Sorry for not being very pc, and probably not very nice, but William Dembski is nothing more than a charlatan who is cashing in on human ignorance and bigotry.

The Discovery Institute would have you belive the theologian we know as William Dembski is actually a scientist who is busy doing “science” and “experiments” while fine tuning the quackery known as Intelligent Design Creationism.

Dembski packs multi-degrees but lacks any in bology or any other subject that would make him an expert in biology or evolution.

The Pandas Thumb is a evolution/biology blog. The flipside is Dembski’s www.uncommondescent.com Go take a peek at The Intelligent Design Weblog of Bill Dembski (and friends) to see all the “science” being done in the IDC world.

In addition to assuming ”…the role of public intellectual” Dembski is also a Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, (which is practically a household name in science and science research).

But where is the science you say? To understand what science is to people like Dembski and the Discovery Institute you have to get a load of the “science” course content Dembski teaches at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Dembski’s “science” course details (from his own website)…

Midterm Exam Fall 2005

Final Exam Dec, 2005

2005/2006 Syllabi

I think that will give you a good idea of what kind of “science” Dembski (and thus the Discovery Institute) bring to the table.

The Intelligent Design movement has generated controversy because it deals with issues at the core of the current debate between secularists and those who hold a Christian worldview.

This of course implies that one cannot be a secularist and hold a “Christian worldview.”

Many of my favorite secularists are in fact Christians. Check out the good folks at www.christianalliance.org or www.talk2action.org

Dembski is quoted as saying, “I think the other side is worried. And they are right to be worried because I think the ideas are on our side. I think the arguments are on our side.”

Intelligent Design offers biblical alternative to Darwinian evolution, Dembski says at SBTS forum April 07, 2005 By David Roach http://www.towersonline.net/story.p[…]s&id=268

Dembski has just made a good number of physicists happy by proving the multiverse theory – because clearly he is living in an alternate universe!

Corkscrew Wrote:
albion Wrote:

Well, if we’re dealing with the origin of the universe, then certainly that cuts down the available candidates for the position of intelligent designer.

I don’t see why that should be the case. One rather cute conjecture that I came across a while back is that, as intelligent organisms develop more and more powerful science, they’re likely to eventually discover how to create new universes. And, of course, they’d create universes that had roughly the same fundamental constants as their own, modulo a small amount of “mutative” variation…

See where this is going? Darwinian evolution of universes, oh my!

The mutational variation would itself suggest that the process of “replication” simply isn’t error-free, but over time, perhaps a thousand multiverses later, no doubt inhabitants of descendant universes will have improved upon it.

On a somewhat more serious note, there has been the hypothesis put forward that blackholes recreate the conditions necessary for inflationary periods to exist by replicating the conditions at the beginning of the universe in the formation of their singularities. If so, every time a blackhole is created, a universe (or even a cascade of universes) begins. Then, if there were any way for the universes which are formed to imperfectly “remember” the physical constants of the universes from which they are formed, this could give rise to descent with modification, and the universes which should result from “natural selection” would be those which maximize the production of blackholes – presumably by being especially close to critical density.

Personally, though, I prefer the conjecture you mentioned – it may be no more testable or scientific, but it is cute!

The 5th question on Dembski’s midterm exam:

What is America’s established religious philosophy?

Why do I have a feeling the answer isn’t “Trick question–America doesn’t have an established religious philosophy?”

And question #10:

Briefly outline Darwin’s theory of evolution? What are some of the scientific problems with this theory? Is this theory reconcilable with Christian theism?

I wonder if “Does it ever matter whether or not a scientific theory is “reconcilable” with Christian theism?” was ever a question that was posed. Of course, judging by the test, we can all be certain that the answer is “no,” and that Demski is doing nothing more than brainwashing a whole new generation that evolution is unscientific and anti-god.

Once again we encounter this unsupportable notion that the Bible is opposed to evolution. […] The original (that is, Hebrew) text of Genesis just does not support this notion of conflict. Yes, it states that there was design. But that idea is also not in conflict with evolution.

That’s simply not the case, at least at the largest scale. Certainly a literal interpretation of the creation story is at odds with the fossil record, and there’s no evidence of a worldwide flood that wiped out all but 2 of each species in humanity’s lifetime.

As much as I understand what folks like Gould (who I deeply respect and admire) have tried to do, it’s just false to say that science (and specifically, evolution) does not conflict with at least some aspects of some religions. Evolution (or, more precisely, the picture that evolution, as constrained by the paleontological record, paints of organismic development) cannot be reconciled with a literal reading of Genesis.

Tulse,

You are wrong. Have you read the Bible in its original carefully? Try some good books on the subject, such as Landa’s IN THE BEGINNING OF, and get an education.

“the current debate between secularists and those who hold a Christian worldview”

You would think that a mathematician, especially “the Isaac Newton of information theory”, would know how to draw a Venn diagram.

An individual who […] regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that the have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, “Oh, ignore [her], [s]he’s just a troll.”

So is Dembski still working on that website that will provide the deathblow to evolutionary theory or whatnot?

Is Mark Perakh a scientist? If yes, only because he was doing science (he doesn’t now)? If so, then Dembski is a scientist if maths is science.

I dunno about this. Speaking as someone whose primary area of interest is math-related, I have yet to be impressed with either his credentials in Math or the quality of mathematical reasoning in what writing by him I have read.

As much as I understand what folks like Gould (who I deeply respect and admire) have tried to do, it’s just false to say that science (and specifically, evolution) does not conflict with at least some aspects of some religions.

Perhaps one could say that the parts which materially conflict with science are not the important parts of those religions? I mean, it seems to me like from a Christian perspective, things like the salvation of the soul are or ought to be a lot more important than worldly matters like, I dunno, the exact origin of turtles.

I mean, I’m just saying here, I don’t think one should fall into the trap of assuming that religion or christianity must necessarily be biblically literalist. I’m not trying to defend the practice of jumping through linguistic hoops trying to stretch both the findings of science and the text of the bible to avoid contradict one another. Or, like, the practice of writing entire books doing this and then posting spam on various internet message boards promoting them.

“Evolutionary theory proceeds from practices mostly developed early on by good scientific Christian thinkers.”

No, they were mostly developed early on by good scientific Arab and Muslim thinkers, while Christians were mired in the Dark Ages. Keep in mind that ‘algebra’, algorithm’, and ‘cypher’ are from Arabic.

http://www1.umn.edu/umnnews/Columns[…]cholars.html

To get an idea how pervasive the influence of Arab mathematicians was during the Middle Ages, visit the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive and look for biographies of mathematicians born between A.D. 500 and A.D. 999. You’ll find the vast majority of names are Arabic.

One of those names is Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, born in what is now Uzbekistan around A.D. 780. Never heard of him? He’s well known in mathematical circles for a work in which he preserved and expanded on the work of Diophantus, a Greek. The work was titled “ilm al-jabr wal muqabalah,” “the science of transposition and cancellation.” The Arabic “al-jabr” became the Latin “algebra,” the name given to the branch of mathematics Diophantus had founded. Al-Khwarizmi’s own name got twisted into “algorism,” meaning “the art of calculating,” what we now call arithmetic.

Even more important, Al-Khwarizmi drew on the work of Hindu as well as Greek mathematicians, picking up the Hindu numerals, including the zero, which was unknown to users of Roman numerals. His work was translated into Latin, and the numerals–called Arabic numerals, despite their Hindu origin–went with it. The numerals were passed to Europe through the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. It took a while, but the Arabic numerals turned mathematical calculations upside down. Today, no one can envision doing long division or any number of other manipulations without them.

The Persian scientist Rhazes, also called by the Arabic name Abu-Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya Ar-Razi, was born near what is now Tehran about A.D. 845. He studied medicine and became the chief physician of Baghdad’s biggest hospital. He is credited with being the first to distinguish clearly between smallpox and measles and described his experiments so well that modern scientists can reproduce them. Rhazes also concocted what is now called plaster of Paris and described how it could be made into casts to keep broken bones in place.

The most prominent physicist of the Middle Ages was Alhazen (Arabic name: Abu-‘Ali Al-Hasan ibn Al-Haytham), born in Basra (Iraq) about A.D. 965. Fascinated by optics, he corrected an old notion that people see by rays of light emanating from the eyes and reflecting from objects. Alhazen realized that the sun or some other source emits light before it’s reflected off objects and into the eye. He also explained that lenses magnify objects because of the curvature of their surface, not because of any intrinsic property of the material the lens is made from. He did much work on reflection and refraction of light, including studies of the rainbow and the focusing of light through lenses. He made a pinhole camera and parabolic mirrors, the type now used in telescopes. The world had to wait nearly six centuries–until the days of German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who was heavily influenced by a Latin translation of Alhazen’s work–to see further progress in optics.

The dry air and clear skies of the Middle East led Arabian science to make its most famous marks. Pick up a star chart, and you’ll see all kinds of Arabic names for stars. There’s Algol, the winking “eye of the demon” in the constellation Perseus; Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, the bull (from Al Dabaran, “follower”–of the Pleiades star cluster); and Betelgeuse, the brightest star in Orion. The name Betelgeuse is from the Arabic Ibt al Jauzah, or Armpit of the Central One, via a long line of intermediate names.

“Arab and other Muslim astronomers made numerous observations of star positions,” says U of M astronomy professor Terry Jones. “Much of the ancient Arabs’ contribution to astronomy consisted of preserving and refining the knowledge of others, especially Greeks and Egyptians.”

For example, Arabian astronomer Albategnius (Arabic name: Abu-‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir al-Battani), born in what is now southeastern Turkey around A.D. 858, made a mark by improving on the work of the ancient astronomer Ptolemy, who had drawn up a model of the universe with the Earth at the center. Albategnius noted, among other things, the position of the sun among the constellations at the moment the sun appears smallest–that is, when Earth is farthest from the sun. Observing the sun’s position for himself at that moment, he realized the sun was no longer in the position where Ptolemy had said. He concluded that this position changed slowly and calculated a rather accurate value for the motion. Today, we know this phenomenon happens because the Earth’s elliptical orbit itself rotates. Albategnius became the most respected of Arabian astronomers in the eyes of Medieval Europeans.

To read more on the development of science during ancient and Medieval times, see Isaac Asimov’s Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, the source for much of this article.

I just took a course in the fall on the History of Science in the Medieval Islamic world by Dr. F.J. Ragep at the University of Oklahoma where I learned a great deal about how much modern science and math owes to that community.

It can also be said that Al Haytham was very much a precursor to Francis Bacon and the development of the scientific method. I encourage everyone to study up on science’s Islamic/Arabic past as the west owes much of its progress to this society.

Forsooth, I verilly had to inquire as into the humour of the locution that is etiolated. ;

69 to go…well 68 now I guess. I just quite like 69.

I reckon we should only be allowed to bet on ourselves.

hmm, well normally i would agree, but i was more thinking of the technical aspects involved in several posters all struggling to get that 1000th post in.

but, I’m certainly open to suggestions; no problem with a majority vote on this issue as far as i am concerned.

i think we need more than two participants tho. perhaps we waited too long?

however, if a free sixer is involved, and the wager is posted over in ATBC, i bet we would get a few more participants…

about my handle…

over the years, I’ve collected any number of explanations as to its meaning; here’s just a few:

-a reference to playing barefoot football (soccer) (from the Beatles song, “Come Together” => ‘toejam football’)

-a reference to a foot fungus (most obvious and common, refers all the way back to WWI IIRC)

-a reference to a personality type (a tojammer is someone who steps on other folks “toes” so to speak)

I won’t bore you with a big list. but i will add that Paul is the first one to correctly guess that part of it also has to do with my initials! another part is simply me getting tired of folks taking their handles so seriously; as if an online name actually means anything at all.

Very few folks know the core of where the handle actually came from; and I don’t intend to reveal it here.

the “Sir” prefix was added about 10 years ago for two reasons:

1. for several years, I was the only one i ever saw on the net who used the handle “Toejam”, but in the early 90’s, i started seeing that handle pop up quite frequently (go figure), so much so that on many sites i would register on, it was already taken!

2. adding “Sir” in front of something that already sounds so silly was just adding to the “nuance” of it. I find I get a small bit of amusement out of setting someone up to insult my handle, and then i can say, “hey!, that’s SIR toejam to you, buddy!”

how’s that for “post filling”?

Post filling,

I’ve seen most people use their initials for handles. I think that lacks in imagination. However, I can’t use my full initials for two different reasons. My full name is Paul Dennis Flocken II. Use pdf and I look like a file. Worse, though, was pointed out to me almost ten years ago when I first went online. People thought I made my handle PDFII by dropping the e, o, i, and e from pedofile (even though the ‘f’ sound is really a ph). I lost that handle real quick. My chemistry teacher in high school pointed out that if I was knighted my initials could stand for sharp, principal, diffuse, and fundamental. SPDF would be pretty neat. Now back to your regularly scheduled…

Paul #935

You did all realise I was joking, (or at the very best delirious) when I suggested a ‘1000 post’ thread?

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…]omment-70681

… what monster have I created here?

.. incidentally I think Larry really deserves the honour of the ‘1000th post’

I think there should be a special prize for anyone who can get him back here.….…

don’t get too inflated.

several sites i have posted on have managed to drive discussions into thousand post multi-week fests.

it’s always fun.

no agreement on terms for a wager yet?

I do indeed like the handle “Sir_Toejam,” but I’m afraid it can’t hold a candle to my favorites at this pub, “Snaxolotl” and “Uberhobo.” Man, I wish I had thought of those rather than a silly name which I later realized is an anagram for “Gay Strokes.”

Stephen asked, WRT The Bridge House,

Can I assume that is near Butlers wharf and the new mayors building?

It’s south of the river on the approach to Tower Bridge, no more than 150 yards from the bridge itself. On the opposite side of the road from City Hall. I guess this would be where Ken has his office.

Paul Flocken, thanks for your response.

Since we haven’t heard back from “CS,” I won’t get too exercised on this behalf.

My feeling is that it certainly is legal, and defensible against parental upset, to tell the truth (in an appropriate curriculum segment of an appropriate course) about false scientific claims such as ID–even if they are underlain by the religious beliefs of a certain stripe of Christianity.

But tact can be wise in certain circumstances, and there arguably were clues that “CS” had been less than tactful. At a minimum. Unless he returns, I’ll let it go with that.

Posted by Alan Fox on January 23, 2006 09:47 AM (e) … It’s south of the river on the approach to Tower Bridge, no more than 150 yards from the bridge itself. On the opposite side of the road from City Hall. I guess this would be where Ken has his office.

I have this Thu/Fri/Sat off work. Might go and test their products.

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