A Field Guide to Design Detection

| 47 Comments

Via John Wilkins, a law student’s dissection of his professor’s insistence that the universe displays evidence of design. It’s an excellent analysis of the emptiness of the intelligent design movement’s argument for detecting design in the world. An extract:

I said that in order to infer intelligence from something, you would need an analytical framework. For example, “These particular factors, present in a given phenomenon, are indicative of intelligence for these reasons. Etc. Those factors are present in this phenomenon, therefore we can conclude that this phenomenon is the result of intelligence.” It seems like a simple framework; no more than instructions on how to recognize something, a sort of “Field Guide to Discerning Intelligence in the World.”

Some people, whose intellectual honesty is as questionable as my professor’s, have actually tried to posit “particular factors” that should be indicative of intelligence. Popular methods include Michael Behe’s “irreducible complexity” and William Dembski’s “specified complexity.” Neither is satisfactory. Behe’s idea has been shown wrong by experiment and Dembski’s idea assumes that we can know the probability of the occurrence of any phenomena. (“Specified complexity” is supposed to be anything that is both highly complex and highly unlikely. Except how do you know if it is unlikely? What is the probability of trees? Impossible to say.)

Nobody has yet come up with a convincing “Field Guide to Discerning Intelligence in the World,” but that did not stop my professor from insisting that I have no basis for failing to see intelligence in “natural” phenomena. Apparently it did not occur to him that since he (via Cicero, or vice versa) was making the proposition that “Intelligence is evident in natural phenomena,” it was up to him to explain why exactly that proposition should be accepted, not up to me to demonstrate why it is incorrect.

Just so. ID creationists endlessly assert that they have a methodology for detecting design in biological things, but when push comes to shove, they never ever actually apply it. Has anyone ever seen systematically gathered validation or reliability data on any of their design detection methods? I haven’t. So why is the methodology so difficult to apply? Because it rests firmly (and solely) on the claim “I know it when I see it”. And who is doing the “seeing” is the main variable, not the “it”. It’s an entirely subjective notion.

RBH

47 Comments

Well, yes, but there are characteristics that we use to detect animal intervention in processes, including human interventions. If aliens were to operate in a reasonably similar manner we’d presumably be able to identify that likelihood from the available evidence. Specific knowledge is often used in non-alien design detection, but I think that we know some generalities as well that could apply more broadly (if they don’t, if the aliens design unlike the way we do, then we couldn’t very well identify their designs). Rationality (geometrical capabilities, mathematics, rational planning, ect.) would be prominent in such a detection, while matters like novelty and unrestricted borrowing may also play a role.

Dembski likes to call SETI attempts to detect alien effects the detection of specified complexity. That’s because he dare not mention what they’re really looking for, which are rational patterns and the like. Take prime numbers for instance. A list of prime numbers encoded in a signal would imply intelligence, not because of some nebulous “specification” concept (really, “specification” is being done all of the time by our replicative machinery), but because rational intelligent beings (or machines made by them) are what we know that use rational means to ferret out prime numbers from the rest.

Dembski knows that he can’t bring up the sorts of patterns and rational linkages that SETI researchers really look for, because these don’t actually exist in the genome(s). It is because of this that they don’t produce general criteria for detecting design, not because such criteria do not actually exist. They do exist, which is why Dembski insists on such a meaningless term as “specification” (meaningless in his context, that is) as the way to detect design. He has to redefine design detection as the search for specified complexity, even though “specified” has no meaning in biology outside of the processes of evolution and heredity, and complexity generally is not what humans specifically look for to find design (not that complexity necessarily goes against design, but it does when biological complexity that no known intelligent agents could produce is coupled with the utter lack of rational design of those organisms).

It’s all misdirection, then. If humans look for indications of rationality in order to find design, say instead that humans look for “specified complexity”. They need to confuse actual design detection with what (putatively) exists in organisms, so that they can define organisms as designed. The fact that they have to avoid all of the real science and methods of detecting design in order to keep the illusion of biological design alive only supports my charge of misdirection.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

Well, yes, but there are characteristics that we use to detect animal intervention in processes, including human interventions.

That’s all well and good when we’re talking about physical creatures, subject to physical laws, guided by physical needs and limitations, and using physical means to achieve rational, predictable physical objectives (eating, courting, protecting against predators, etc.). One we start talking about a SUPERnatural being, acting according to unknown laws, or no laws at all, for purposes that may or may not have anything to do with any needs or objectives that we can predict or understand, than all bets are off.

Can somebody give me some references for experiments that have proven Behe wrong, as the poster says?

And what do I tell a creationist who posits “information” as a criteria.

“they don’t produce general criteria for detecting design”

Oh but they do produce general criteria for detecting design. Or more precisely, they produce general and specious criteria for detecting design. Specious? How terrible! What a vicious attack that is! Well ok then, lets have them answer some basic questions and we’ll see if it’s vicious or not.

Can ANY IDist use the EF on a potted plant and give us actual numbers?

NO.

But wait, I thought ID was supposed to be science. Ok then, can ANY IDist take a potted plant and calculate its CSI?

NO.

Why do the IDists insist that design is detectable regardless of whether a designer is corporeal or not?

Because the IDists want to redefine science to include supernatural entities that are intrinsically unobservable.

Hang on a minute, I thought that science only dealt with things that are observable or at least observble in principle.

Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain!

In 10 years who will be surprised that ID was rejected by the scientific community?

ONLY IDists.

Well then who will they blame?

Anyone but themselves.

.

Beginner

1) Ask them what they mean by “information”. Are they talking about semantic information or Information Theory information.

a) If it’s semantic information there’s no way to measure that right now i.e. as fas as I know. Note that they can still argue e.g. that DNA and language have the same attributes and on those grounds intelligence is detectable etc. etc. but that’s a separate issue and not really science.

b) If it’s Information Theory information then this is useless for measuring semantic content. …

Richard B. Hoppe Wrote:

ID creationists endlessly assert that they have a methodology for detecting design in biological things, but when push comes to shove, they never ever actually apply it.

FYI I applied it and it worked just fine. It found a designer, then another, then another…Multiple designers, just what I expected. Unfortunately they all turned out to be designed. ;-)

If the ID people really had a working algorithm to detect design and were really interested in doing the science, wouldn’t the logical next step be to apply it to archeology? It would seem to me (a non-archaeologist) that archaeologists would often be faced with the question of whether a particular old object was an artifact or an rock that looked like an artifact. If someone had a reliable, objective algorithm for making that determination, I could see a string of papers in peer-reviewed journals – if for no other reason than to validate existing methodologies and “close calls.” This would get them around the Darwinist orthodoxy that they claim is locking them out of the peer-reviewed literature and let them do some actual science that even their opponents would have to recognize.

DI people: When the papers are ready for submission, please contact me to get complete information for inclusion in the author list, or at least for an acknowledgment. My CV thanks you in advance …

That’s all well and good when we’re talking about physical creatures, subject to physical laws, guided by physical needs and limitations, and using physical means to achieve rational, predictable physical objectives (eating, courting, protecting against predators, etc.). One we start talking about a SUPERnatural being, acting according to unknown laws, or no laws at all, for purposes that may or may not have anything to do with any needs or objectives that we can predict or understand, than all bets are off.

BUT, they’re not talking about religion. Can’t you tell? ;)

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

Beginner asked

Can somebody give me some references for experiments that have proven Behe wrong, as the poster says?

The evolution of irreducibly complex structures (in Behe’s ‘knockout’ sense) via random mutations and selection is shown in this paper. One can use the Supplemental Information on that page to test whether the same structures are irreducibly complex in Behe’s second, ‘evolutionary’ sense in which entities are said to be irreducibly complex if there are unselected steps in the evolutionary pathway. I have done that analysis on one lineage from that paper, and 26% of the mutational steps that led to the most complex function were both necessary (by the knockout criterion) and unselected (produced either no change in fitness or a decrement in fitness when they occurred).

And what do I tell a creationist who posits “information” as a criteria.

As has been mentioned, push hard for an operational definition of “information”, and mention gene duplication and divergent evolution. That process has added an enormous amount of “information” (whether measured as Shannon or K-C) to the genomes of populations.

RBH

Rats. Dropped the paper URL. It’s http://myxo.css.msu.edu/papers/nature2003/

RBH

Dick hit at the core when he noted the persistent ID claim “I know when I see it.” That is a temptation in all fields. But even in paleoanthropology, despite what DI operatives such as Egnor tell us, we TEST things when we see it. The upcoming meeting this week of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists will prove just that. We don’t go with dogma, we gather data and TEST the things we THINK we know. We don’t have all the answers … yet … we work toward the answers by testing hypotheses.

I’d love to see the DI operatives test just one well-formed scientific hypothesis.

JKM

“So I said that a tree is ordered, in that it is a series of predictable branching patterns radiating from a trunk, both into the sky via branches and into the ground via roots.”

Nice post, except, trees may be “slow” but they are not stupid. They just think differently than we do. You shouldn’t insult their intelligence.

SWT Wrote:

If the ID people really had a working algorithm to detect design and were really interested in doing the science, wouldn’t the logical next step be to apply it to archeology?

Jeffrey K. McKee Wrote:

I’d love to see the DI operatives test just one well-formed scientific hypothesis.

Forgive me if either of the above questions was meant to be rhetorical, but once again I must say what almost everyone else avoids. I’ll start with my own rhetorical question:

Why is it that we have ID/”teach the controversy”, and not a designer-free alternative “theory” that claims independent origin or particular species (or other biological groups)? One that no one would object to being taught in public schools?

Sorry, the usual answer of “Edwards v. Aguillard” may explain the abrupt change from “creation-speak” to “design-speak,” but it does not answer my question.

SWT: If IDers really thought that they had a scientific way to detect design, there’s no reason to specifically spin it as an alternative to “Darwinism.” Archaeology would very likely be their main interest to apply their science.

Jeffrey: Classic creationists had all sorts of testable hypotheses, yet IDers want to “defer” them until “naturalism” is defeated. While claiming to be “strictly scientific,” ID is ironically less scientific than YEC or OEC.

There’s only one answer that makes any sense. IDers know that the alternative origins accounts of classic creationism are nothing but a mess of embarrassing scientific failures and contradictions, otherwise they’d jump at the chance to spin the most promising one with more “naturalistic” language. They know that they haven’t detected design, otherwise they’d have a lot more than evolution to obsess over. And they know that evolution is correct, and independent of any question of design, otherwise they wouldn’t so “religiously” target their arguments to a caricature of “Darwinism.”

But they also “know” that the “masses” need to believe in fairy tales to behave properly. And that the “masses” are already conditioned to infer their favorite fairy tales from the slightest unreasonable doubt about “Darwinism.”

Beginner Wrote:

Can somebody give me some references for experiments that have proven Behe wrong, as the poster says?

As well as RBH’s link to the Lenski et al paper, it is also useful to refer to Behe’s own paper with Snoke: Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues. Creationists will find it more difficult to dismiss Behe’s own work than that of a non-creationist.

Behe and Snoke shows that a population of a billion bacteria can evolve an Irreducibly Complex feature in 100 milion generations (about twenty thousand years). This paper was referred to in the Dover trial: Day 12 (October 19), AM Session, Part 1.

rossum

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It would seem to me (a non-archaeologist) that archaeologists would often be faced with the question of whether a particular old object was an artifact or an rock that looked like an artifact.

Archaeologists can always use one more method to help tell artifacts from non-artifacts. What then? Archaeologist use artifacts to make inferences about people who made them. According to ID making inferences about the designer(s) is strictly forbidden. So archaeologists would be reduced to sorting artifacts into two piles (designed and non-designed) and have nothing to do after that…

I have a methodology that can detect beauty.

Interestingly, it’s nothing more that re-adjusting the gain on my bullchit detector.

Perhaps I should patent this before the DI hears about it?

Dave

Beginner:

I always advise people who debate creationists “don’t get drawn into their argument.” It’s usually half-baked, any way.

I recommend cutting their knees from under them: Inform them that a ‘designer’ (especially one capable of creating the entire universe and all in it, and monitoring the creatures in it, and if necessary intervening occasionally), must be more complex than the entire universe. Challenge them to explain how postulating such an enormously complex designer is a ‘solution’ to their question of how something so (comparatively) trivially simple as a flagellum could evolve. (But don’t ask this on Uncommon Descent: you’ll be banned immediately.)

Also, if the talk is about evolution, don’t be drawn into a ‘discussion’ about the origin of life. This question is separate from evolution, which only deals with ‘descent with modification’ of existing life forms. The study of life’s origin is called ‘abiogenesis’, and is a fascinating, though currently still speculative field.

Beginner asks:

Can somebody give me some references for experiments that have proven Behe wrong, as the poster says?

And what do I tell a creationist who posits “information” as a criteria.

RBH gives a fine answer, but Behe was clearly wrong long before that paper, and your question about an experiment misses something. You don’t need an experiment to know that a bad argument is bad. Recall that Behe starts with

Behe Wrote:

“By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”   - Darwin’s Black Box p 39. [emphasis in original]

Behe then gives a verbal argument that IC can’t come from evolution.

But in reality, evolution naturally leads to co-adapted parts. Once you have those, it is not surprising that removing a part causes a problem. IC Demystified explains some elementary ways that nature goes right through the holes in Behe’s verbal argument. Behe then goes on to claim that a few particular items such as the immune system, blood clotting and bacterial flagella are IC and therefore could not have evolved. He doesn’t really prove that these things are strictly IC. In his book, shortly after defining IC and making the really bad argument that IC can’t evolve, he gives strict directions about proving that something satisfies his definition. But he only gives more handwaving arguments that particular things are IC. One complication is that he talks of biological function as an either-or thing, but in reality function also evolves. This complicates proving that any especially complex thing is IC.  But since IC is natural anyway, it doesn’t matter. In short, you don’t need a special experiment to see that Behe is wrong.   Basic biology and logic show that his thesis is a mess from square one.

Information as a criterion? For what? If you choose to call DNA information then information is a natural product. Increase in information? Sure - gene duplication is obvious. But any point mutation is likely to change the information in a gene by some tiny amount, whether positive or negative. Creationists seem to think that mutations can be random and yet always decrease information. It must be magic.

With Dumbski and his EF there should be no argument that his device for detection of design is completely useless. Case in point, if the EF is so powerfull a simple experiment with a positive control will suffice. If they want to imply that organisms are designed then apply the EF to a living organism and see what numbers come up??? Of course is so simple that no IDioit could try or better yet they know the EF is worthless and don’t want to show it. After all the EF sounds “scientificky” and help to keep their fundy masses at awe with the leaders of IDCreationism.

Frank J asked

Why is it that we have ID/”teach the controversy”, and not a designer-free alternative “theory” that claims independent origin or particular species (or other biological groups)? One that no one would object to being taught in public schools?

We have an alternative theory complete with supporting data: Multiple Designers Theory. Amazingly, there has been no interest from IDists in it. I can’t imagine why. :)

Richard B. Hoppe wrote:

ID creationists endlessly assert that they have a methodology for detecting design in biological things, but when push comes to shove, they never ever actually apply it.

I bought a Design Detector off of Ebay. Works great. It found numerous designers. Strangely, they all had names like Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Haephestus and, so on. Does this mean the ID people will have to revise their biology textbooks?

Here’s a challenge that I don’t think will be taken up any time soon:

[1] If this wonderful objective methodology for detecting design exists, publish the algorthms involved;

[2] Demonstrate that it works by applying those algorithms to two objects whose status as ‘designed’ or ‘not designed’ is known - e.g., a Pentium IV chip and a rock;

[3] Demonstrate that it always works whenever any arbitrarily chosen designed/non-designed object pair of known provenance is subject to it.

Then, we might have a starting point for debate. Otherwise, if they really can’t tell the difference between a Pentium IV and a rock, which I suspect is the case, pack up and go home.

Raven,

Sorry to break it to you, but it seems that you have Model WAD, which is defective. I have Model RBH, which works fine. See Comment 167089 above.

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Raven,

Sorry to break it to you, but it seems that you have Model WAD, which is defective. I have Model RBH, which works fine. See Comment 167089 above.

A bit of a disappointment and I’m out 20 bucks. I was looking forward to the groundbreaking for the National Temple to Zeus :>).

Re “Strangely, they all had names like Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Haephestus and, so on.”

What about Odin, Thor, Freya, Isis, Shiva, George Burns, Osirus, etc.?

—-

Re “e.g., a Pentium IV chip and a rock;”

I guess for a starting point, things with obvious differences, but a real demonstration would need things with somewhat more subtle difference than those.

Henry

Re “Strangely, they all had names like Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Haephestus and, so on.”

What about Odin, Thor, Freya, Isis, Shiva, George Burns, Osirus, etc.?

That is one of the main weaknesses of Intelligent Design. Theorizing that, the next question is who is this Designer or Designers. Zeus and entourage, Odin and entourage, Vishnu, Cthulhu, Ra, Isis, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Reverend Moon and so on. Quite a few candidates have been proposed over the millenia. Who is to say that Cthulhu is any more or less likely than Jehova?

From my reading, the IDers try to skate around the question by simply refusing to discuss it. But they can’t do that and look credible. The identity and number of the Designer(s) has to be a central question of the theory. Once that question has been raised, the religous roots of the movement are exposed. How many school boards really want to argue about whether the Greek or Norse gods are running the world or is it Zoroaster or Jehova, especially in a biology class?

I guess for a starting point, things with obvious differences, but a real demonstration would need things with somewhat more subtle difference than those.

Well that’s precisely why I suggested something obvious to start with. If this “methodology” falls at first base, case closed. Which, if it is ever published, I suspect it will, unless it resorts to singular banalities. Another reason why I suspect we’ll never see the details published - either they’ll be so manifestly wrong that they’ll fail the simplest of tests, or alternatively, they’ll be so mind-numbingly banal as to be useless for any real work.

Having just toured Dembski’s blog, I’ve made some fairly creepy discoveries in there - including some comments on his page on the “Vise strategy” which give away what he’s really thinking. I suspect it’s already well known to the Panda’s Thumb regulars (cut the newcomer some slack please!) but I read that page and felt my blood run cold. Anyway, that’s off topic - back on topic, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any computer code corresponding to a “designed versus not designed” methodology in the near future, if at all, or anything corresponding to hard science.

Raven said:

I bought a Design Detector off of Ebay. Works great. It found numerous designers. Strangely, they all had names like Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Haephestus and, so on.

Mine just kept coming up “Debbie Travis” over and over.

From my reading, the IDers try to skate around the question by simply refusing to discuss it. But they can’t do that and look credible.

Being credible isn’t their goal. Sneaking creationism into high school biology classes without getting hauled into court is their goal.

Being credible isn’t their goal. Sneaking creationism into high school biology classes without getting hauled into court is their goal.

Oh, right. LOL. So don’t let them get away without addressing the central questions of their theory. Who is this Designer? How many are there? If they can’t answer a basic, central question posed by the theory, then it isn’t ready for prime time.

In reality we all know their answer. The neocreationists have links to fundie christian organizations, joint appointments and funding etc. I’m sure it would be Jehova. But really the Greek gods, Norse gods, Hindu gods, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Cthulhu and the Others etc. are serious contenders. So Teach the Controversy! May the best gods or pantheon win :>).

Or maybehaps “Q” from Star Trek TNG.

Because it rests firmly (and solely) on the claim “I know it when I see it”.

Just like obscenity!

Re “Because it rests firmly (and solely) on the claim “I know it when I see it”.”

Like that old saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beer holder”?

Henry

Fee fi fo fum I smell the blood of creation-um Behe contrive or Behe misread I’ll grind his ID until its dead.

i like how most people think that intelligent design and creationism are one in the same. I’m my view, they are not. creationism tends to focus on the book of Genesis trying to “explain” holes in the book made by scientists. Intelligent design on the other hand has nothing to do with religion, other than the fact that it points to a single intelligent creator. intelligent design is just a way that some scientists are screaming out that “there is evidence against evolution. In fact there isn’t any ‘viable’ evidence for evolution, so couldn’t there be another way?” i hope that the av rage person will stop and see the difference between the two theory’s, and realize that creationism is just a subset of intelligent design for Christians. I’m sure that Buddhists can have their own “creationism” theory subset for themselves as well. thx for hearing me out…

respectfully, Petty Officer Devin Green USS John C Stennis CVN-74 student of Archaeology and Ancient History

Devin Green Wrote:

… and realize that creationism is just a subset of intelligent design for Christians.

I will make the in these matters generous assumption that you aren’t a troll, since these are old and weary talking points. But perhaps you simply are new to biology.

So, you got it backwards I’m afraid. History shows that ID is a continuation from ‘creation science’, which in turn was an invention of organized fundamentalist creationism. That is one major reason that ID lost in Dover, since it is possible, in fact surprisingly easy, to show that it is a socio-religious movement, trying to inject religion into science class which is a practical and constitutional no-no.

I refer to the legal transcripts, they are very clear on this point and you can get many references to the history facts.

Devin Green Wrote:

intelligent design is just a way that some scientists are screaming out that “there is evidence against evolution.

There are practically no scientists trained in the relevant science of biology that does so. And you can’t find a shred of science within the ID movement, or outside, that supports creationism since it is a known pseudoscience.

And notable is that if there would be evidence against evolution that doesn’t mean that design ideas are true. Other mechanisms are possible as well. What creationists are doing is called the fallacy of false choice, and they are doing it because they don’t understand what empirical methods and science are.

For an example from empiricism, if you can’t use your hammer to drive a nail doesn’t mean that you can’t get the nail in. Such a proposition is a false choice. Perhaps a nail gun will do the trick.

I refer to the Talk Origin site, where there are simple presentations of scientists presenting science and biology. And evolution is the main fact and theory in biology, as any sane, non-crank scientist can tell you.

Devin Green wrote

Intelligent design on the other hand has nothing to do with religion, other than the fact that it points to a single intelligent creator. intelligent design is just a way that some scientists are screaming out that “there is evidence against evolution. In fact there isn’t any ‘viable’ evidence for evolution, so couldn’t there be another way?”

As Torbjörn pointed out, ID is a direct lineal descendant of creationism. I too recommend TalkOrigins as a starting place, in particular 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution.

And I might mention that ID does not necessarily point to a single intelligent creator. See Multiple Designers Theory.

RBH, (former) FTM-2 USS Observation Island, EAG-154 (1962-1964)

you make a good point about the multi-ID theory.

Torbjörn, i started off by saying in my view. in looking at the studies of ID, all i have seen are people who observe the facts in Science. Exp: the Fact of the Intricate design of DNA. there is no possible way that such an intricate design like DNA were formed through Randomization. that is an observable fact. now, how you can derive that there is some religious motive behind observing the complexities of DNA baffles me. your right, i don’t know too much about Biology. but i have been getting into the subject lately. specifically Genetics. very interesting subject. and even talking about Christians who are scientists as if they don’t know what they are talking about, or don’t know what the methods of science are, is quite critical and false.

i could list off many “observations” about things that have popped up that have me questioning Evolution. but i will start with one. I’ve have recently been reading about the Cambrian Explosion. a very interesting theory. which in the layers of Earth found in China (forget the name of the person or place, can get it later) where there is found a complete explosion of life, where nothing can be found below that. correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t that completely flip the “Tree” upside down?

i want to set something straight. I’m not in here to argue. I’m in here to have a meaningful, intelligent discussion about these things. if this is a battle Field of mindless fanatics, than ill leave. but by all means, continue.

also, good to hear from a former shipmate

PO3 Devin Green USS John C Stennis NIOC Hawaii,DIRSUP

Kevin wrote

I’ve have recently been reading about the Cambrian Explosion. a very interesting theory. which in the layers of Earth found in China (forget the name of the person or place, can get it later) where there is found a complete explosion of life, where nothing can be found below that. correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t that completely flip the “Tree” upside down?

Start here for an overview, including a brief description of Precambrian fossil assemblages like the Ediacaran fauna.

See here for a bit more detail on what the Precambrian fossil record is like, and here for still more detail, the last by a geologist/paleontologist who is himself an evangelical Christian.

RBH

ill take the time to read those, and get back to you guys. thx for the links. how can you guys look at a scientist, and write him off if he is christian? if what that person is saying, or what he/she found is relavent, than i dont think they should be writen off.

how can you guys look at a scientist, and write him off if he is christian?

I am not aware that this is done. However, if someone says they believe in the literal truth of Genesis then it is fair to write them off as a scientist because there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the Genesis creation story or a global flood. Anyone who tells you otherwise either is lying or knows nothing of science and has been deceived. The only reason for paying them any attention is to see if they have come up with a novel twist and to refute their claims.

Devin, you asked

ill take the time to read those, and get back to you guys. thx for the links. how can you guys look at a scientist, and write him off if he is christian? if what that person is saying, or what he/she found is relavent, than i dont think they should be writen off.

They aren’t written off on that account. A number of scientists are religious and do good science. The key phrase there is not religious, it’s do good science. When one reads multiple misrepresentations and distortions from a so-called “scientist”, when one sees no research from him but only distorted claims about science, when one sees him repeatedly ignore evidence, then one writes the guy off. I don’t much care whether a person is religious. I care about good science and doing it well. The creationist “scientists”, ranging from Henry Morris to Michael Behe, do not do science well – they do it very very badly.

RBH

i find these statements very intrestingm cause ive always believed that good science was, first of all, observation. infact, that is what science is, isnt it? most of what these ID scientists are saying is observational. you cant look at our earth, the way its perfectly made and positioned, and say that it is the result of randomization. the perfect percentage of atmospherics. our perfect position in the galaxy for obervation. our planet’s tilt. and many, many other facters that would take up this entire blog space to just mention. these are all astronomical obervations; which are backed up by scientific and astronomical proof and research. i can say the same for biology as well. the idea of IC is based lightly on obsevation. (which the arguements above against IC are rediculous, because the individual parts of the system cant evolve if they dont servive. they cant survive if they dont function properly. and they cant function properly if all the parts arent there and working together) im just trying to find where the line is drawn between research and observation. cause i dont see the diffrence between the two. research—-recorded observation— same thing? somthing to think about.

about the whole christan thing. i understand where you are coming from with the genisis thing. but myself being a christian, i see no problem with Genisis. i see i see reasonable historical and scientific explinations for most things in the Genisis account. i do see some christians that are accepted Scientists. but there are a lot of scientists that are christian who believe in Evolution. which doesnt make sense cause it goes against our soul basis of belief. when discussing things of scientific matters, i do my best to leave my faith out of it, and observe things are they are.

i havnt finished reading those articles yet. some intresting stements though. well, i guess im done ranting. there was nothing to do today at work, so im a little board.…haha.…

PO3 Devin Green USS John C Stennis NIOC Hawaii,DIRSUP

Science is detecting distinct patterns that occur across all observations in a given category, not just a list of the observations.

Examples of patterns relevant to evolution: later species being just slightly different than some earlier species, groups of similar species sharing lots of common features, lack of exact copying of a feature from one taxonomic group to another where it isn’t common to the group containing both (aka nested hierarchy, aka groups within groups within groups).

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on March 26, 2007 1:21 PM.

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