Intelligently designed confusion

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On Evolution News, Crowther argues that

The Privileged Planet: Such a Dangerous Idea Its Author Had To Be Stifled

Of course, most who are familiar with the facts will understand that Crowther’s assertions are without much merit. First of all, even Hauptman, who spoke out against Gonzalez, was clear to state that it was the scientific vacuity of ID which affected his vote about Gonzalez.

“[But] intelligent design is not even a theory. It has not made its first prediction, nor suffered its first test by measurement. Its proponents can call it anything they like, but it is not science,” added Hauptman. “It is purely a question of what is science and what is not, and a physics department is not obligated to support notions that do not even begin to meet scientific standards.

Of course, the fact that Gonzalez failed to meet the department’s requirements for tenure, was also an important factor.

But a closer look at Mr. Gonzalez’s case raises some questions about his recent scholarship and whether he has lived up to his early promise. He has appealed the university’s tenure denial and is awaiting word from Iowa State’s president, Gregory L. Geoffroy, who will issue a final decision by June 6, according to the university.

Source

Geoffroy concluded

On Friday, June 1, I informed Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, of my decision to deny his tenure appeal.

As part of this decision process, I appointed a member of my staff to conduct a careful and exhaustive review of the appeal request and the full tenure dossier, and that analysis was presented to me. In addition, I conducted my own examination of Dr. Gonzalez’s appeal with respect to the evidence of research and scholarship. I independently concluded that he simply did not show the trajectory of excellence that we expect in a candidate seeking tenure in physics and astronomy – one of our strongest academic programs.

Because the issue of tenure is a personnel matter, I am not able to share the detailed rationale for the decision, although that has been provided to Dr. Gonzalez. But I can outline the areas of focus of my review where I gave special attention to his overall record of scientific accomplishment while an assistant professor at Iowa State, since that gives the best indication of future achievement. I specifically considered refereed publications, his level of success in attracting research funding and grants, the amount of telescope observing time he had been granted, the number of graduate students he had supervised, and most importantly, the overall evidence of future career promise in the field of astronomy.

Source

If ID proponents spent only a fraction of the efforts they spend on confusing the facts, on science, we could perhaps expect at least an attempt at science. But ID is not really interested in science, after all, its main purposes are well described in the Wedge and are religious and political in nature.

“I based my review strictly on what he submitted himself as part of his dossier when he requested tenure,” Geoffroy said. “I did not consider any of the issues that have been circulating around about intelligent design.”

The question becomes: Is the obvious rewriting of history really going to serve as a positive factor in Intelligent Design? I have noticed how more and more Christians are turning away from what they see as an obvious violation of St Augustine’s fair warning

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

63 Comments

On Evolution News, Crowther argues that

The Privileged Planet: Such a Dangerous Idea Its Author Had To Be Stifled

Really, I’m very tired of the ID crowd yelling “Help, help I’m being repressed”.

It’s 2007. It is simply no longer possible to hide anything of significant size.

All they have to do is sit down in front of a computer, and type out their evidence onto a website.

Any website.

This website.

There’s no more need to try to navigate past biased tenure boards, or conflicted peer-review publications, no more censorship, no more stifling.

Yes, the pages of “Science” would be better, but you you work with what you have. Nobody can stop them, stop yammering about censorship and speak! Bring forth the evidence for cryin’ out loud! Post the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Still, even though they desperately want to get all this long-censored information out into light of truth, they never actually manage it, do they? Methinks that speaks louder than anything they might possibly be kept from saying.

You forget the subtlety of their position:

Evo: “What’s your evidence?”

IDist: “We accept the same evidence you do, we just have a different interpretation”

Evo: “Well, how does that interpretation follow from the evidence?”

IDist “Persecution!”

First of all, even Hauptman, who spoke out against Gonzalez, was clear to state that it was the scientific vacuity of ID which affected his vote about Gonzalez.

So this confirms the Discovery Institute: Dr Gonzalez, a scientist with peer reviewed articles in major science journals, was persecuted for his ID views, views that he doesn’t even teach in the university.

The Darwinian Muttawa never sleeps.

Gonzales chose to waste his time on non-scientific activities. He wasn’t persecuted, he was failing to do his job. Too bad.

Perhaps he should have prayed harder. Not that prayer has been scientifically proven to work but since when has that stopped ID proponents from saying/doing silly things?

Gonzales is certainly not the first person to be denied tenure. In his statement, Geoffroy mentions that he has “reviewed and passed judgment on close to 1,000 faculty promotion and tenure cases” during his career. It would be interesting to know how often tenure is denied and which of the “indicators of future acheivement” that he outlines are most commonly the issue. I suspect there are many cases, and that the problem is often in the ability to attract funding.

Troll-Mats: the kind of trolling you do, with insinuations but no evidence, isn’t particularly effective in this community, except for demonstrating your own ignorance and prejudices. However, I’m not too surprised that you don’t like the harsh sunlight of evidence; if you have a Swedish heritage, which your name indicates, you may know that according to Scandinavian folklore, trolls crack and shatter when exposed to sunlight. The evidence for this, of course, is as well established as that for ID - perhaps even better…

[/trollfeeding]

I love the quote from Augustine. Can you post a citation?

The St. Augustine quote is one of my favourites too. Though I rarely use it without also including another of St. Augustine’s gems…

As to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets on us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, there is no reason for believing it. Those who affirm it do not claim to possess any actual information; they merely conjecture that, since the earth is suspended within the concavity of the heavens, and there is as much room on the one side of it as on the other, therefore the part which is beneath cannot be void of human inhabitants. They fail to notice that, even should it be believed or demonstrated that the world is round or spherical in form, it does not follow that the part of the earth opposite to us is not completely covered with water, or that any conjectured dry land there should be inhabited by men. For Scripture, which confirms the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, teaches not falsehood; and it is too absurd to say that some men might have set sail from this side and, traversing the immense expanse of ocean, have propagated there a race of human beings descended from that one first man.

Nice of him to allow that a spherical Earth might be yet demonstrated (as, in fact, it had been some 700 years earlier).

This assistant professor in astronomy gave up on trying to obtain tenure. he wrote on his blog:

“Most significantly, though, I’ve been told directly by my Chair that my tenure case, which would have been submitted in Fall 2008 (after just one more year), had less than a 1% chance of succeeding if I didn’t have funding at the level of an NSF grant. Funding at that level in astronomy nowadays is very difficult to find anywhere other than the NSF, and they have calls for proposals once a year. 1/5 or 1/6 of the grants that get submitted are getting funded nowadays, and as I’ve written about before (in multiple places), it’s very stochastic and difficult to predict.”

So here we have a guy in the same field as Gonzalez, doing excellent work, but who nevertheless gave up on getting tenure because it was such a long shot, not because his work was controversial, but because he was unlikely to secure sufficient research grants to justify tenure. Whatever any particular person says about the significance of ID in the Gonzalez decision, its money that talks, and with his lack of research grants he wasn’t getting tenure anyway.

As someone who has voted on a fair number of tenure cases, in a hard science department, I have to echo what Aagcobb says. The rule is pretty much ‘no money, no tenure’. ‘Money’ almost always means a major single-investigator research grant. Some of the better schools want two, but I know of no US research university for which one major, single investigator grant is not only the expectation for a tenure award, but the unwritten rule. We simply can’t afford to tenure people who don’t have a demonstrated record of funding success.

How come Jay Richards isn’t being persecuted?

That’s not fair!

Crowther is an idiot intellectual nonentity. Never heard of him before he joined up with the IDists. A web search turned up some of his other writings. It was really just a lot of pop bafflegab.

The ID seems to attract a weird crowd. Ben Stein, Crowther, Egnor, and on and on. A bunch of kooks banding together. If this keeps up they will have enough for a cult someday! LOL

On Evolution News, Crowther argues that

The Privileged Planet: Such a Dangerous Idea Its Author Had To Be Stifled

As insane as Crowther’s formulation of it is, there is some truth behind that statement. There is danger in homeopathy being taught as sound medical practice, in Holocaust denial being taught as “alternative history”, and alchemy being taught as if it were merely a (previously) censored view of how chemistry really operates.

That is to say, in some sense the educational establishment, along with the courts in specific instances, are in the business of censoring nonsense and settling on small-t truth. Of course it wouldn’t be education or science if they didn’t do so. Yet the claim is not entirely untrue (say, in Foucault’s sense), it just doesn’t pay attention to the fact that children ought not to be told lies, the establishment clause ought not to be violated, and gov’t must come down on the side of good science when funding research and when adopting scientific practices into the judicial process.

The only “alternative” is to teach lies where truth ought to be taught, and to utilize completely inadequate “intelligent design” (magic) into consideration by the court. No, Your Honor, I did not lift those computers from the warehouse, the Intelligent Designer transferred them to my house. Not even an IDist is that stupid, yet they insist that in the distant past similar magic occurred, but without even any evidence for the design that exists in a burglary. IOW, they accept something even more stupid than the burglar telling the judge that an unseen agent has done this thing, for at least the burglary has all of the earmarks of agency and design.

But of course ID is as little censored as most “unproven” ideas are. Darwin wasn’t censored much in the usual sense, despite the IDist academic and religious opposition to his work. Nor is MOND, string theory, or ID (that is, not in the usual meaning of “censorship”). Wegener was censored in American academia at some point (I’ve has a prof who’d chafed under a die-hard anti-plate tectonics teacher), however even that academic censorship was leaky, hence the eventual triumph of plate tectonics. Crowther is no more coherent than your average IDiot, of course, because while the DI and UD are crowing about their reach, their various propaganda pieces, and the “fact” that “Darwinism is dead”, he and they whine and lie about how they’re censored. Well, they really can’t be censored in the usual sense of the word, any more than any crackpot idea can be with today’s internet, so these claims are as hollow as their claims that life “appears to be designed”.

Yes, it’s pretty much the same response as to all of their previous versions of their various lies, but it’s still the true one.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Woody Setzer Wrote:

I love the quote from Augustine. Can you post a citation?

The Augustine quote is from “The Literal Meaning of Genesis” 1:19

There is a similar quote from Thomas Aquinas:

In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.

Which is from his Summa Theologica

rossum

“The Privileged Planet: Such a Dangerous Idea Its Author Had To Be Stifled”

Oh really, then how come he got to make the movie in the first place? How is denying tenure based on accepted standards stifiling? Is he prohibited from making more movies? Have his right of freedom of speech been taken away? Does anyone care what his religious views are? If he were really being “stiffled” he would be in a prison somewhere awaiting trial unable to spread his religious opinions to anyone. Oh well, I guess another martyr for the cause is born. Why would he want to study astronomy anyway if God did it and we can never figure out how or why? The fact is that now he will have a lot more free time to make movies like this. Doesn’t sound like very effective stifling to me.

Crowther:

The Privileged Planet: Such a Dangerous Idea Its Author Had To Be Stifled

So who is stifling him? He didn’t get tenure at Iowa. So what. There are many other places to go to.

If the creos want to walk their talk, it would seem that one of the myriad of Xian colleges and universities would pick him up in a heartbeat. Where else are they going to find a PhD astronomer who is a creationist and IDist? A better fit for sure, and square pegs in square holes.

I have to agree, for the most part, with both Aagcobb and Gerard: it is money that talks at a research university. Although I do think Gerard oversimplified his case when he wrote:

‘Money’ almost always means a major single-investigator research grant.

There is another fairly common route, at least in nuclear physics, at universities with medium or large sized established groups. There what is important is a substantive research proposal (not grant) that is “owned” by the candidate. I know of many cases where a candidate was not the PI of the grant, and in fact was funded for his entire assistant prof career by an umbrella grant—NSF or DoE—for which a senior researcher was the PI and maybe four or five faculty were covered. However, the candidate must be able to say something like: under that grant, I proposed and was the PI on an experiment at such and such a national lab, it made it through the competition of the Program Advisory Committee, the experiment was done, the data were analyzed and published.

Mats Wrote:

So this confirms the Discovery Institute: Dr Gonzalez, a scientist with peer reviewed articles in major science journals

You don’t seem to understand the difference between a necessary condition an a sufficient condition.

Mats Wrote:

The Darwinian Muttawa never sleeps.

The creationist bullshit never stops.

David,

Why would he want to study astronomy anyway if God did it and we can never figure out how or why?

Why would Christian Galileo wanted to study astronomy? Why would Christian Mendel wanted to study genetics? Why would Faraday (Christian), Maxwell (Christian), Newton(Christian), Pascal (Christian), Pasteur (Christian) ever want to study science if they knew God did it?

Your question makes no sense at all.

Mats,

Thanks. That was exactly my point. Why not study evolutionary biology and learn the lessons that nature has to teach us? Why fight against it using the argument that God did it and we will never know how? Why don’t ID proponents do researach? Why don’t they publish, even in their own journals? If you are just trying to figure out God’s creation, why reject all the findings of science? And if you already know that you are going to reject anything you find in nature, why pretend to study it in the first place? Why not just accept the findings of evolutionary biology as the way that God works, just like you do in every other field of study?

David,

“Why would Christian Galileo wanted to study astronomy? Why would Christian Mendel wanted to study genetics? Why would Faraday (Christian), Maxwell (Christian), Newton(Christian), Pascal (Christian), Pasteur (Christian) ever want to study science if they knew God did it?

Thanks. That was exactly my point. Why not study evolutionary biology and learn the lessons that nature has to teach us? Why fight against it using the argument that God did it and we will never know how?

Who uses that argument?

Why don’t ID proponents do research?

They do.

Why don’t they publish, even in their own journals?

They do publish. http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vi[…]&id=1621

If you are just trying to figure out God’s creation, why reject all the findings of science?

We don’t reject the findings of science. We reject the belief that impersonal forces have the ability to create the living systems present in Nature.

And if you already know that you are going to reject anything you find in nature, why pretend to study it in the first place? Why not just accept the findings of evolutionary biology as the way that God works, just like you do in every other field of study?

We reject the “findings” of evolutionary “biology” as the way God works for the same reason we reject the “findings” of astrology as a way to determine future events.

Why don’t they publish, even in their own journals?

They do publish. http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph

You mean THIS journal, Mats?

http://www.iscid.org/pcid.php

That journal, which as far as I know is the only ID journal in existence, hasn’t published anything for 2 years – basically since Dover.

So why would this be, Mats? It’s hard for you guys to claim persecution when it’s your own ID-friendly journal.

If you guys do research, why don’t you publish it?

As someone pointed out, for a glimpse of a real scientific field finding out real things and doing real research and actually publishing it, try googling the phrase “eye evolution” or “evolution of the immune system”.

It’s okay if your tender religious sensibilities are offended by modern science, Mats. Just don’t try to pass this off as science itself, or try and force it into schools.

So this confirms the Discovery Institute: Dr Gonzalez, a scientist with peer reviewed articles in major science journals, was persecuted for his ID views, views that he doesn’t even teach in the university.

Did Gonzalez not present the Privileged planet as one of his scientific contributions? Did he not claim a DI grant for ‘research’? Did he not fail to show any major grant ?

Seems that ID is a scientific black hole.

Mats wrote:

“Who uses that argument?”

ID proponents implicitly use this argumetnt. In general, they don’t even want to know how the natural world works. That is why they don’t generally get degrees in Biology. They usually show nothing but contempt for the the process of science or the findings of science. They certainly don’t live up to the list of Christian scientists that you provided. Thise people were not afraid to study nature and learn the lessons of nature regardless of the implications.

“We don’t reject the findings of science. We reject the belief that impersonal forces have the ability to create the living systems present in Nature.”

But that is the finding of science. You are certainly free to disagree, but you can’t claim that any other conclusion is supported by the evidence.

“We reject the “findings” of evolutionary “biology” as the way God works for the same reason we reject the “findings” of astrology as a way to determine future events.”

No, you reject the findings of science because they disagree with your religious preconceptions. Once again, you are free to do so. But if you do so, you can’t then claim that you are doing the same kind of science as Galileo, Mendel and Pasteur. None of them flinched from the religious implications of their findings. None of them threw out all of their results because they were uncomfortable with them. They beleived that the world was understandable in terms of natural laws and did not presume divine intervention in ordinary processes. Astrology is only defined as science by Dr. Behe. If you try to equate evolutionary theory with astrology you will not be taken seriously by any real scientist.

Do you honestly believe that one article in the Journal of Fuzzy Systems constitutes a valid record of publication? Are you aware that there are literally dozens of peer reviewed journals dedicated exclusively to evolutionary biology? Do you realize that there are over a million scientific articles published in the peer reviewed literature regarding evolution? You are of course welcome to ignore all of this literature, but unless you have read it , you are in no position to denigrate it.

The problem with ID is that its proponents lack faith and seek to explain things in terms of a necessary designer outside of nature (wink wink), while ignoring the far better hypothesis that natural processes are sufficient causes and that the designer chose to interact in a manner undetectable by science.

ID proponents thus seek to undermine science because they lack the faith to accept the facts.

As a Christian, I find their position highly objectionable. Luckily I do not seem to be in a minority amongst Christians.

The sad thing is that many a Christian is led astray by the writings by ID ‘luminaries’ like Wells, or even Behe and Dembski, not realizing how vacuous and void of science the ID position really is.

And yes, ID does not do any science relevant to ID. In fact, ID refuses to make ANY predictions other than negative ones against Darwinian processes

What a sham

Mats asked:

Who uses that argument [that God did it and we will never know how]?

It’s the First Commandment of ID: thou shalt not inquire as to the nature or the methods of the Designer. It’s also the most glaring evidence that ID is not science.

We don’t reject the findings of science. We reject the belief that impersonal forces have the ability to create the living systems present in Nature.

Funny that you mentioned Newton (a Christian) before, because he wouldn’t agree with you. From The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy:

Rule I: We are to admit no more causes of natural things, than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

Rule II: Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

Rule III: The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

Rule IV: In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.

Note especially Rule III: it specifically rejects your contention that physics does not apply to living things.

Note that we could refer to equally relevant ideas from Galileo (Christian).

Mats wrote:

“Who uses that argument?”

ID proponents implicitly use this argument.

Name one ID proponent who uses this argument.

In general, they don’t even want to know how the natural world works.

Yes, they do.

That is why they don’t generally get degrees in Biology.

There are scientists who propose the Design Hypothesis (IDists, and YECers) who have degrees in Biology.

They usually show nothing but contempt for the the process of science or the findings of science.

No, they don’t. They show contempt for the *assumptions* made in the name of science.

They certainly don’t live up to the list of Christian scientists that you provided. These people were not afraid to study nature and learn the lessons of nature regardless of the implications.

I don’t know anyone who is “afraid to study nature and learn the lessons of nature”.

“We don’t reject the findings of science. We reject the belief that impersonal forces have the ability to create the living systems present in Nature.”

But that is the finding of science.

No, it isn’t. There is noway for anyone to know that the living world owes itself due to an impersonal force unless if they were there then the world started. The belief that the bio-sphere came about as the result of an impersonal force is not a scientific postulate, but a philosophical one.

You are certainly free to disagree, but you can’t claim that any other conclusion is supported by the evidence.

I sure can, given that there isn’t any impersonal force able to create living forms out of dead matter.

“We reject the “findings” of evolutionary “biology” as the way God works for the same reason we reject the “findings” of astrology as a way to determine future events.”

No, you reject the findings of science because they disagree with your religious preconceptions.

The findings of testable, repeatable, demonstrable, falsifiable science do not contradict my religious convictions. The “findings” of evolutionary philosophy do.

But if you do so, you can’t then claim that you are doing the same kind of science as Galileo, Mendel and Pasteur. None of them flinched from the religious implications of their findings.

The implications of their science didn’t harm their religious belief one single bit. Au contraire, some of them wrote very theistic-mind sentences due to the discoveries they made. I am thinking, for example, of Galileo.

None of them threw out all of their results because they were uncomfortable with them.

That’s probably because they were not uncomfortable with them.

They believed that the world was understandable in terms of natural laws and did not presume divine intervention in ordinary processes.

Except the in origin of the universe, and in the origin of biological forms. After that, they believed God upheld the universe by the natural laws He created.

Astrology is only defined as science by Dr. Behe. If you try to equate evolutionary theory with astrology you will not be taken seriously by any real scientist.

Evolutionism is just as right as astrology.

Do you honestly believe that one article in the Journal of Fuzzy Systems constitutes a valid record of publication?

You said that they don’t publish ANYWHERE. I gave you ONE link where there is, at least, one published article.

Are you aware that there are literally dozens of peer reviewed journals dedicated exclusively to evolutionary biology?

Yes. Most biologists endorse evolutionism.

Do you realize that there are over a million scientific articles published in the peer reviewed literature regarding evolution?

Well, I don’t know that, but even if it’s true, it doesn’t change anything I said.

You are of course welcome to ignore all of this literature, but unless you have read it , you are in no position to denigrate it.

In other words, I have to read the “million” scientific papers in order to reject evolutionism?!

You said that they don’t publish ANYWHERE. I gave you ONE link where there is, at least, one published article.

We’re dazzled, Mats.

In general, they don’t even want to know how the natural world works.

Yes, they do.

‘I know you are but what am I?’ doesn’t win many arguments.

Evolutionism is just as right as astrology.

But Behe equated *ID* with astrology. Was he confused?

Are you aware that there are literally dozens of peer reviewed journals dedicated exclusively to evolutionary biology?

Yes. Most biologists endorse evolutionism.

Why do *you* think that is, Mats? Are they all atheists? All dishonest? All liberals? All less educated than you?

You are of course welcome to ignore all of this literature, but unless you have read it , you are in no position to denigrate it.

In other words, I have to read the “million” scientific papers in order to reject evolutionism?!

I think you’re missing the larger points here, which are that ID fails all the benchmarks of being science and that being ignorant is not a good thing.

So, uh, what’s wrong with your ID journal, Mats?

Evolutionism is just as right as astrology.

Shouldn’t that be “astrologism?”

I’ve read most of the comments and I see many people falling into the same trap time and time again.… ie when dealing with a Mats.…. There is no need to defend evolution. There is no need to attack his beliefs. In defending evolution or reason in science you give him miles of rope that of course he hangs himself with. But in giving him that rope he feels because he hung in there for a few posts that he has something going on. In attacking ID using reason he just goes “Oh Yeah?” and figures that has left him with a foot to stand on. Quite simply all one has to do is ask him for the evidence he found that led him to believe in Intelligent Design, and then watch him flounder in an embarrassing exercise in futility.

There is no need to attack his beliefs.

I vehemently disagree with that statement.

there are numerous reasons why attacking his beliefs and position, as he stated by him, is not only worthwhile but necessary.

willful ignorance and the spreading of misinformation should be attacked, ruthlessly, and no special circumstances should be made simply because somebody labels such as “beliefs”.

Mats: “The ICR, CMI are literally filed with Ph.D scientists, with accredited degrees from recognized institutions. Therefore, there is no reason to think of them as less of scientists only because they don’t believe in the magical creative powers of impersonal forces.”

Firstly, degrees do not make one a scientist. The sine qua non of science, what is required of every scientist, is the abjuration of an a priori approach. Quite obviously the “scientists” at ICR (who are required before employment to assert their agreement with biblical creation) fail in this fundamental qualification.

Secondly, as Torbjörn Larsson alluded to, the degrees you apparently consider so valuable are often irrelevant to their field of study (f’rinstance, Morris’s degree being [drum roll please] hydrology).

Thirdly, as CJO implied, ID and Creationism cannot be scientific by definition. You see, one prime quality of a theory is that it must be falsifiable; that is, one must be able to conceive of an irrefutable disproof of it. ID / Creationism are non-falsifiable. Any contrary evidence need only be answered with “God works in mysterious ways” (sadly, this is often the case).

Gosh, I love watching IDers wriggle when they learn that the scientific language they’ve adopted as a subterfuge doesn’t have any word for “God”.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on September 4, 2007 10:27 PM.

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