More on ID Research

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I started writing a little something on my blog mentioning Ed’s critique of the latest DI “we’ve blown 4 million with nothing to show for it” spin. I was just going to link to it and then make one little tiny extra point, but before I knew it, it had balooned into a long-winded essay. So I thought I’d share it with a broader audience.

How to Waste Four Million Bucks

Enjoy!

124 Comments

When the Discovery Institute’s Wedgie document was leaked some years ago it outlined a multi-decade plan to overthrow “materialistic” science and replace it with something else. Change the world was the goal. The Wedgie went on to mark several milestones along the way which were actually quite reasonable; small steps. Establish some research programs, publish some works, get support from a couple of universities, get some political support, etc. Just like a wedgie, small increments of pain.

So, a decade later perhaps the Patrons of the DI are looking for a dividend and what do they find? Halfway into the program the DI hasn’t hit any milestone. Not a single one. Even the easy ones.

Failure on all fronts. No research. No publications. No university support. Unreliable political support. No acceptance. Losses in all legal engagements. No support in the media. Failure, failure, failure.

If I had a stock in a company with a record like that, that dog would be gone! Out of the portfolio.

However, for all it’s failures pushing the “intelligent design” agenda the DI has been remarkably successful on an unexpected front.

The DI’s antics have raised the awareness of the need for solid science education. In Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, California and other states, regular people are getting a sense that they’re being taken for a ride by the whole “intelligent design” scam. In Dover, that was an expensive E-Ticket ride. Citizens for Science Education organizations are springing up every week. Scientists are getting involved, getting organized and speaking out. Science produces results.

The Discovery Institute’s patrons are business people and “intelligent design” is bad for business. While “Darwinian” scientists are churning out research, publications and commercially viable products (and winning Nobel Prizes) the fruits of the DI are a few embarrassing tracts, vanity press books and a boatload of excuses, oh, and Kitzmiller which has sort of killed the whole deal.

So, what did the Patrons get for their $4 million investment with the Discovery Institute? Nothing. Nothing at all. No progress. Oh, they got a boatload of excuses but I don’t know what that would go for on eBay. And, they got Kitzmiller.

If the Patrons had invested their $4 milliion in Genetech Inc. ten years ago, they would have a cool $40 million and the world would be, well, exactly as it is today.

ID Research is the same for science as air guitar playing is for music. Both may be helpful during adolescent crises but it’s disturbing to see adult people with such habits.

To get an impression of ID research have a look at what they claim on ID-innovation detection.

Innovation detection is the search for evidence of ID-input subsequent to the origin of a preexisting designed object or event. This sub-field can become a big player in commercial and technological applications of intelligent design. A conceptually related detection method is already being used by Genetic ID Incorporated

(emphasis added). As far as I can see from Genetic ID web pages their methodology relies on current, scientifically proven molecular biology techniques to identify GMOs. Thus, the ID in the company’s name seems to refer rather to “identity” then to “Intelligent Design”. Indeed, the pages do not refer to “irreducible complexity”, “specified complexity”, “explanatory filter” or “Intelligent Design”. It’s some kind of a hostile take-over.

ID “research” is just filling wikis and blogs with old stuff and false claims. Thus, they could have achieved the same with far less then 4 Mio $.

Eh, I’ve discussed the claims about Genetic ID before. Yes, the “ID” means identification, they have no connection with the ID movement and probably no knowledge of its existence. They certainly don’t use Dembski’s design detection methodology as I explain in my post. It’s really quite dishonest of the IDists to pretend as if what this company does has anything to do with intelligent design.

they have … probably no knowledge of its existence.

They should know ResearchID because I’ve sent an e-mail on this issue to [Enable javascript to see this email address.] on September, 13.

Sorry for missing your post. I have just added your blog to my watch list.

Sparc wrote

As far as I can see from Genetic ID web pages their methodology relies on current, scientifically proven molecular biology techniques to identify GMOs. Thus, the ID in the company’s name seems to refer rather to “identity” then to “Intelligent Design”.

Salvador Cordova’s been playing that particular drum for a couple of years now starting on ARN a while back. It has never fazed him that Genetic ID’s procedure depends on having an existing catalog of known GMO sequences with which to compare the unknowns. He sees “ID” and has a verbal orgasm. It’s as he was quoted as saying in Nature:

The critical thinking and precision of science began to really affect my ability to just believe something without any tangible evidence.

‘Nuff said.

RBH

The main point that seems to be missed in these critiques of the crank claims of doing secret research and spending 4 million dollars on Intelligent design research by the Discovery Institute ID scam artists is that the research should have been done before they tried to sell the scam to the public and teach ID in the public schools.

Even the most incompetent rube that has been scammed by ID should be able to realize the fact that if they are claiming to do the research now, and are admitting that they can’t release it until it is done, that they obviously didn’t have anything to sell 10 years ago. It means that the bait and switch scam that they ran on the Ohio State board, when they substituted “teach the controversy” for the nonexistent scientific theory of ID, was planned and a dishonest political scam. They tried to run the same bait and switch on the Dover board, but the Dover rubes wouldn’t take the switch.

If any business claimed to be selling microwave ovens, but when people tried to buy them all they got was a flimsy plastic grill and were told that the rubes had to provide the cans of Sterno and matches to make it heat anything, those businesses would be in big trouble. I say plastic grill because they are selling a replacement that isn’t what the creationists really want to teach, and if they used the desired Sterno the plastic grill wouldn’t work. They are making the rubes that buy into the replacement scam produce the product and take the fall for blowing it. Just look what happened in Ohio where creationist web links got into the initial drafts of the “model lesson plan” and junk arguments strait out of Wells’ book Icons of evolution got into the lesson plan. It is sort of suspect that sites like ARN and ISCID were created after and by the ID scam artists that came up with the ID replacement scam (Meyer is still on the board of directors of ARN as far as I know) and that ARN got listed as one of the web links for teachers to use. It looks like all those sites turned out to be was smoke to make the replacement scam look legit. The initial draft of the Ohio lesson plan would kill any reasonable doubt that the lesson was supposed to be about science education. The Discovery Institute never took any of that 4 million dollars and produced a viable lesson plan for either ID or their replacement scam. They only claim that they have something worth teaching. In both Ohio and Dover that has been shown to be a false claim, and seems to be the main reason why they never produced any public school lesson plans. Their obvious problem is that if they did produce a lesson plan it would either be dishonest, or it wouldn’t teach what their supporters want to teach.

Doc Bill Wrote:

So, a decade later perhaps the Patrons of the DI are looking for a dividend and what do they find? Halfway into the program the DI hasn’t hit any milestone. Not a single one. Even the easy ones.

To their dismay they did meet some of their goals right on time. By 1999 the ID political scam had picked up enough steam to become a problem for the Discovery Institute. Some of their goals were to influence legislation and school boards, and they started making headway. Their problem was that they were drowning in success and they had nothing to support the ID legislation or school board actions. It looks like the “teach the controversy” replacement scam was produced because of that success. They needed a replacement scam that they could actually teach. Even after they have had to go with the teach the controversy replacement scam that doesn’t even mention that ID ever existed, the dishonest political propaganda that they created for ID is still haunting them. Ignorant or incompetent legislators are still introducing bills to teach ID even after Dover. They find themselves repeating the lie that they never wanted to teach ID with stupid statements like they never wanted ID mandated. If they never wanted ID mandated why did they target legislators and school boards? How were they going to get something taught when they didn’t have the science to teach? If they really had something to teach, what are their claims of secret research that they can’t release until it is done, worth?

They met the goal of influencing legislation and school board action, but they wish that they hadn’t. Now, they can’t seem to trottle in their ignorant, incompetent, and or dishonest supporters. They fomented the dishonesty and now they have to live with it.

So, ID has failed to perform any original research or even even propose any testable hypotheses even though they have had decades to do the work. They have their own faith-based “universities”, their own “research institutions”, at leaast four million dollars in funding and at least fifty “scientists” working on the project, their own “journals” and still nothing. No peer-reviewed journal articles in the scientific literature, no progress in infiltrating public school curriculula and no progress at overturning the constitution of the United States that protects us from such nonsense and provides them the freedom to induldge in such foolishness. And of course it is all because of persecution and some big conspiracy against them. Well I have a suggestion. Perhaps the editor of some major scientific journal should send out a call for papers with evidence supporting ID. State ahead of time that the reviewers will be Behe, Dembski and Wells so no cries of prejudice need be heard. Then actually publish the results of the last decade of work and the four million dollars that were spent. The only stipulation being that the article cannot be just a criticism of evolutionary theory but original research testing, and presumably supporting, the “theory” of ID. Then of course the article would be subjected to exactly the same sort of public scrutiny that every other scientific article is subjected to, including rebuttal articles, response articles, letters to the editor, etc. I know it “gives legitimacy” to the ID people. I know it gives them the chance to say they have a real article published in a real journal so it must be science. But at least it would put the lie to all this conspiracy nonsense. At least then everyone will be able to see the exact state of ID “research”. At least then court cases should be a lot easier since it will be much easier to prove that this is all they have got, anywhere. No more talk of secret labs, mass conspiracies and persecution. Let the whole world see exactly what they got for their four million. Compare it to the output from a single real lab with a four million dollar grant. After all, they can’t just say that the “theory” is not ready yet. Not after already blowing two million on the Dover trial. If no submissions are forthcoming, publicize it for all the world to see. I know it isn’t the way real science works. I know we would be giving them special treatment. I know some will disagree with this strategy. But think of all the mustard we’ll save.

They have their own faith-based “universities”, their own “research institutions”, at leaast four million dollars in funding and at least fifty “scientists” working on the project, their own “journals” and still nothing.

The phrase “cargo-cult science” springs to mind.

Great post, Steve. A very enjoyable read. It pains me to think how much better that money could have been spent. I wonder what the price tag for the original nobel-prize-winning RNAi experiments were. I’m betting it’s less than 1 million.

If I had to summarize ID in one word, it would be “over”.

Dover’s body is cooling in the morgue. UncommonlyDense.com has been boring lately. Even Dave Heddle’s turned against the ID movement. ISCID Brainstorms has petered out, and their Journal hasn’t come out in over a year, as you mention. Their new blog OverwhelmingEvidence.com is going nowhere.

Intelligent Design has the Stink of Death.

Maybe I shouldn’t ask, but who is Dave Heddle?

David Heddle’s blog:

http://helives.blogspot.com/2005_06[…]archive.html

He used to post here, but I think he got banned.

I don’t recall him getting banned — just running away.

Evidence against an Intelligent designer…men’s nipples. Think about it.

David Stanton suggested

Perhaps the editor of some major scientific journal should send out a call for papers with evidence supporting ID.

I completely disagree. On the legal level they had their chance in Dover. Since loosing the case they claim their arguments were being misrepresented and that Judge Jones did not comprehend their arguments. And please remember Meyer’s hopeless monster and how the DI is still selling this issue. If IDists want to publish in peer reviewed journals they have to accept the normal reviewing process.

I quite like the sound of the title of this entry, Steve R.

Just say it out loud to yourself, and it all makes sense.

Evidence against an Intelligent designer…men’s nipples. Think about it.

The only possible conclusion is that the Designer wants us to get piercings. What other function could they serve?

Evidence against an Intelligent designer…men’s nipples. Think about it.

hormones are a bitch, ain’t they?

I love how Wells posted that “Darwin is doomed” two weeks ago. Then we get the shenanigans about top-secret research in underground fortresses concealed from those nasty evolutionists and their gestapo who want to “strangle the baby.” Then..”WE’VE WASTED $4 MILLION ON A LOT OF NON-RESEARCH WE’RE CALLING SCIENCE!!!!” Can we get a consistent message? Victor. Victim. Victor. Victim. Victor. Victim. Ridiculous.

I just read a bunch of Heddle’s stuff. He has considerably more brains than a lot of the IDiots and I enjoyed his parting with Dembski.

I have read on various pro-evolution sites that non-natural explanations are not scientific. Accordingly, these same sites claim they do not exclude the possibility of the supernatural. However, evolutionary science offers theory which excludes the Creator and account of creation in the bible. Such a conclusion cannot be avoided by a scientific method which exludes what some call supernatural.

If science is to be fair and objective as pro-evolutionary scientists claim, then science must limit itself to investigations which do not attempt to answer origins. Since the majority of Americans observe force, laws, and design in nature, to exclude this phenomena would bias any investigation which employs natrualistic science. This is why so many still accept biblical creation or ID in spite of evolutions best efforts to exclude it.

On another note; I find it fascinating that intelligence and reason are employed philosophically before concluding that science cannot offer non-naturalistic explanations. Aren’t philosophical observations excluded from scientific investigation? If so, the cart is pulling the horse.

I have read on various pro-evolution sites that non-natural explanations are not scientific. Accordingly, these same sites claim they do not exclude the possibility of the supernatural. However, evolutionary science offers theory which excludes the Creator and account of creation in the bible. Such a conclusion cannot be avoided by a scientific method which exludes what some call supernatural

Evolutionary science offers theories which avoid dealing with the issue of a Creator. In other words, evolution does not exclude the Creator more or less than any other science. The reason science excludes the supernatural is because it cannot address it, one way or the other. Once you come to realize this, science is hardly that problematic from a religious standpoint. Until then, you are merely arguing a position which is at odds with the scientific position.

“Evolutionary science offers theories which avoid dealing with the issue of a Creator. In other words, evolution does not exclude the Creator more or less than any other science. The reason science excludes the supernatural is because it cannot address it, one way or the other. Once you come to realize this, science is hardly that problematic from a religious standpoint. Until then, you are merely arguing a position which is at odds with the scientific position.”

Are you saying that Evolutionary science does not exlude the possiblility that God created according to the biblical account?

If you read my post again, you’ll see I did accept the fact that science excludes the supernatural. That is how I reached the conclusions I posted in my second paragraph.

Are you saying that Evolutionary science does not exlude the possiblility that God created according to the biblical account?

If you read my post again, you’ll see I did accept the fact that science excludes the supernatural. That is how I reached the conclusions I posted in my second paragraph.

Science excludes the supernatural as a scientific explanation. Does science exclude the possibility that God created according to the biblical account? Not at all, only when one insists that this is somehow a scientific position/explanation. Science’s position is that it cannot say much of anything about the supernatural.

Science doesn’t require a supernatural explanation, and to be a little stronger about it science won’t consider the supernatural.

Now, many supernatural (paranormal) claims have been investigated scientifically, but all have been found to lack substance, so to speak. But, investigating the supernatural and invoking it are two different things.

“Intelligent design” creationism does require the supernatural. Hence, the “intelligent” agent or deity as the case may be.

However, all cockfloppery aside, “intelligent design” is a political scam in the first place, so all this talk about it being science is a complete waste of time. Thanks to the Discovery Institute and their efforts the details of the scam are being documented, by them, every day.

Although like pyramid power and energy vortexes and ghost sightings and flood “theory” I have no illusions that “ID”, like all the other side shows, will go away any time soon.

HG Wrote:

I have read on various pro-evolution sites that non-natural explanations are not scientific. Accordingly, these same sites claim they do not exclude the possibility of the supernatural. However, evolutionary science offers theory which excludes the Creator and account of creation in the bible.

That’s because elements of the Biblical account(s) of creation are not supernatural. There’s nothing supernatural, for instance, about the claims that the universe was created in six days; that birds appeared on earth before terrestrial mammals; that there was once a global flood; and so forth. Those are perfectly legit targets of science, whereas the claim that a deity was or was not responsible for all that happening is not.

By analogy, science can’t tell you whether the gods hear your prayers–that lies in the realm of the supernatural. But it can tell you whether or not prayer has a statistical impact on local weather, disease recovery, etc. Many religions make claims about the natural world as well as the supernatural, and science can’t really help impacting the former.

Science excludes the supernatural as a scientific explanation. Does science exclude the possibility that God created according to the biblical account? Not at all, only when one insists that this is somehow a scientific position/explanation. Science’s position is that it cannot say much of anything about the supernatural.

Mmmm… I am not sure I am interpreting Pim correctly here, but I think we should say that science has ruled out that the Genesis account is a factual account of how the Universe, the Earth and biological organisms were formed (to the extent that science can rule out things, of course). In that sense, science does exclude the possibility that God created according to the biblical account: in order to take Genesis as a literal account, one has to reject science as a valid method of exploring and learning about the physical world.

On the other hand, if one does understand Genesis allegorically, then there is nothing science can say about it, since it’s not science’s business to investigate or pass judgement on allegories.

“Does science exclude the possibility that God created according to the biblical account? Not at all, only when one insists that this is somehow a scientific position/explanation.”

How can both be true? If evolution is true then it is exclusively so. If the biblical Creator and creation account is true then it is exclusively so.

HG:

Can a presumption be objectively proven?

Nope. Nothing in science can be objectively proven. But of course, science does not CLAIM that all natural phenomena have natural causes, as a statement of philosophy. Science merely relies on a method that would fail otherwise, but which seems to work very well. Just because natural explanations work, does not and can not rule out other possible explanations, and science doesn’t rule them out. There is no presumption that what can’t be investigated, doesn’t exist. There’s no natural basis for making such a claim.

“Philosophical naturalism is dependent upon methodological naturalism as a foundational tenet.”

Jim Wynne,

“In contrast, methodological naturalism is “the adoption or assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it … science is not metaphysical and does not depend on the ultimate truth of any metaphysics for its success (although science does have metaphysical implications), but methodological naturalism must be adopted as a strategy or working hypothesis for science to succeed. We may therefore be agnostic about the ultimate truth of naturalism, but must nevertheless adopt it and investigate nature as if nature is all that there is.” Wikipedia

(source)http://www.freeinquiry.com/naturalism.html

Honest mistake, or are you mistaken?

I gotta get some work done. I’ll come back later. Check out the link.

HG, science is what it is. In the beginning you said you have absolutely no problems with science. Now you seem to want question the very validity of science. So which is it?

Look, we all agree science is limited. (Not biased–limited.) It doesn’t take into account notions of the supernatural the same way history does not. We teach students which armies fought a battle and the outcome of the battle–not which gods may have willed their chosen people onto victory.

So again I ask you–what do your objections have to do with science or the teaching of evolution? Your complaints thus far boil down to the fact that science doesn’t answer theological questions. Well, duh. And this is relevant because…?

This has really gotten out of control. Thread closing shortly…

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve Reuland published on October 6, 2006 8:45 PM.

Flock of Dodos in Raleigh was the previous entry in this blog.

Evo-devo is not the whole of biology is the next entry in this blog.

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