Dembski Confused and a new graduate program in science education

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TheCenter for Inquiry in Amherst is providing an exciting new program in collaboration with the University of Buffalo Graduate school of Education to offer a two year degree, available online to “prepar[e] for careers in research, science education, public policy, and science journalism, as well as further study in sociology, history and philosophy of science, science communication, education, or public administration.”

The required courses include scientific writing, critical thinking, history and philosophy of science, research ethics, educational research, statistical research and a thesis or project.

An excellent opportunity for ID creationists to get a degree in science education providing them with a foundation for scientific literacy from the comforts of their homes.

Dembski is not impressed, which by itself seems like an endorsement most any educational institute would take with pride.

The Center of Inquiry is, like the Discovery Institute a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) but without the wedge.

The purpose of the Center for Inquiry is to promote and defend reason, science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas of human endeavor. The Center for Inquiry is a transnational nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that encourages evidence-based inquiry into science, pseudoscience, medicine and health, religion, ethics, secularism, and society. The Center for Inquiry is not affiliated with, nor does it promote, any political party or political ideology.

Through education, research, publishing, and social services, it seeks to present affirmative alternatives based on scientific naturalism. The Center is also interested in providing rational ethical alternatives to the reigning paranormal and religious systems of belief, and in developing communities where like-minded individuals can meet and share experiences.

I am not sure why Dembski believes that the education will include a “hopping dose of Darwinism and an assault on ID” other than from the logical extrapolation that any self respecting course in science education would include the well established science of evolution and address the scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design.

I am even more confused why Dembski considers the Discovery Institute to be less sectarian than the Center for Inquiry. But perhaps the Institute has its own “Wedge Document” or a rationalist’s equivalence to sponsored Christian conferences? How sectarian is the goal “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”?

The Center of Inquiry released an in depth position paper on intelligent design creationist movement. Written by Barbara Forrest, the paper exposes the historical, and legal background of the ID movement.

While ID at best has a few scatter so called IDEA clubs, the CFI has been far more successful:

Both internationally

By 1997 CFI had begun expanding its efforts internationally through an association with Moscow State University. CFI Moscow now operates an exchange program where Russian students and scholars are able to visit CFI headquarters in Amherst, NY and participate in a summer institute each year. Additional international programs exist in Germany (Rossdorf), France (Nice), Spain (Bilboa), Poland (Warsaw), Nigeria (Ibadan), Uganda (Kampala), Kenya (Nairobi), Nepal (Katmandu), India (Pune) (Hyderabad), Egypt (Cairo), China (Beijing), New Zealand (Auckland), Peru (Lima), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Senegal (Dakar), Zambia (Lusaka), and Bangladesh (Dacca).

as well as in the US

Since 2006 CFI has been expanding rapidly with a series of new branches in cities across North America and around the world. These include new Centers for Inquiry in Toronto, London, Washington DC, Indianapolis IN, Grand Rapids, MI, and Austin TX. The Center for Inquiry in Washington DC is headquarters to CFI’s Office of Public Policy, which represents CFI’s interests on Capitol Hill.

As an excellent example of a success story, when Dembski was invited by a Baptist group to give a talk at the University of Oklahoma, a group of students, who were forming a chapter of the Center for Inquiry, successfully educated the student population as to scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design.

Pastor Ronnie Wrogers writes in an article ironically titled “Intelligent Design: Intellectually and scientifically solid

Recently, we invited and hosted Dr. William Dembski to speak on Intelligent Design (ID) at The University of Oklahoma. In preparation for his coming, some of our members produced a pamphlet that answered some of the most oft heard criticisms/objections to ID.

The answers are clear and concise. For anyone wanting to better understand the ID position and not be misled by “religious evolutionist’s” misinformation and misrepresentation regarding ID, this article should prove quite helpful.

As I wrote earlier

The Baptist Trinity Church had invited Dembski “to penetrate the university campus with the gospel” (source). After all, what better way to introduce the students to the gospel than through the ideas of William Dembski? Dembski presented a talk titled “Why Atheism is no Longer Intellectually Fulfilling: The Challenge of Intelligent Design to Unintelligent Evolution”. During the Q&A, Dembski found out that the students were not impressed by his arguments. While Dembski may have contributed to the successes of Atheism on the University, he also managed to show to the audience present why ID is scientifically vacuous.

Dembski wonders what would happen if the Discovery Institute did something similar

In reading it, ask youself what would happen if Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, which is far less sectarian than the Center for Inquiry, were to partner with a state university to offer a program in “scientific literacy.

I’d say we can say with reasonable certainty that Hell would have frozen over.

71 Comments

“To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”?

Why would they want to do that? They don’t even know if nature and human beings are created by God or not. They don’t even know if there even is a God, or even what a God would do if there were a God, whatever a “God” is. Kind of putting the cart before the horses aren’t they?

386sx:

“To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”?

Why would they want to do that? They don’t even know if nature and human beings are created by God or not. They don’t even know if there even is a God, or even what a God would do if there were a God, whatever a “God” is. Kind of putting the cart before the horses aren’t they?

This site more-or-less exists in order to point out this fact several times a week. It bears repeating, if only because the Fundamentalists seem immune to reason…

I am not sure why Dembski believes that the education will include a “hopping dose of Darwinism and an assault on ID” …

Actually, that’s pretty easy to see. The CFI “seeks to present affirmative alternatives based on scientific naturalism.” To the IDeologists, “Darwinism” means “naturalism” and anything promoting naturalism is an attack on the supernaturalism of ID.

It’s the stadium rooting section hold-up-a-card-to-form-a-message school of communication.

How low can he go?

limbo!

I really should be the very last person to pick out spelling nits…but…as a longtime Skeptical Inquirer subscriber…it is Center ‘for’ Inquiry not Center ‘of’ Inquiry.

Dembski is not exactly the brightest bulb in the creationist box.

OT again…

This may sound like a dumb question, along the “why are there still monkeys” line but in the oppposite direction: why are the so-called transitional forms like tiktaalik and archaeopteryx extinct? The ‘cloud’ didn’t have to resolve out like it has, so distinctly, did it? I get that we’re all transitional forms and otters may be on their way to becoming something else, but… ?

In reading it, ask youself what would happen if Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, which is far less sectarian than the Center for Inquiry, were to partner with a state university to offer a program in “scientific literacy.

After what Dembski did to Baylor, you think there is a univ that will touch this guy with a ten foot pole?

The thing these IDiots do is to present some vaguely plausible one liner and studiously avoid making it less vague. Or studying it with any kind of depth. Let me mention a typical example:

The one liner is, of course, “The fossils the scientists are finding are the bones of animals that died in Noah’s Flood”.

If that were true then, you should find stone tools below the dino bones, because stone sinks faster than a dead dino. Floating trees on top and land animal bones below it. They studiously avoid these lines of thought. They launch lots of examples of flood legends and other things and keep arguing “there must have been a global flood” and the flood gets bigger and bigger in every retelling, and the magnitude of the flood depends usually on the ignorance and credulity of the listener, than on any physical evidence or historical accounts.

We can study the creationist claims for two years in a grad level course. But it would be in theology, sociology and political science. Not in the biology department.

Now to set the record straight via the ever reliable Keaton BS filter:

I was at the on-campus presentation by Dembski and you must be referring to an off campus separate presentation. He was introduced by a member of the tenured Chemical Enfineering staff, not a pastor, who is a Phd., published, does research, has a separate spinoff company in ecological science and consulting using surfactant technology and is not a Baptist, but is a Christian.

The material handouts were from Dembski including a brochure and several of his books were for sale.

He made an excellent case for the ID hypothesis and it was equally appluadewd and criticized.

There was an organized resistance group grom ther zoology department which was rude, obnoxious, irrational, observed no decorum or respectful discourse ( in other words they bevahev like the undisciplined animals that typify the outlier community of evolutionist true believers that this movie illustrates.

In the audience were another Christian friend of mine a PhD. Nuclear Physics prof here who also is contracted as a collaborator on the European super-collider.

The chosen spokesman for the wild people was an intellligent and accomplished visiting prog Philip X. and his wild-eyed zombie wife who yelled, mispoke, and hooted during the program.

Philip X. tried to talk about the evolution of the flagella and then the two of them stalked out without permitting ant response.

In short, it was nothing like your post suggested, quite well received, illiminating, but marred by the anarchist element of the evo rabble that your evo community is birthing in certain ellements of academia.

Again, keep stoking the fire for Expelled, every little bit helps.

Oh, and you’re a bold faced liar in this post.

“Dembski is not exactly the brightest bulb in the creationist box.”

Actually, there’s a good chance he is, if the wattage of some other folks we see here is any indication.

Well, Keith, I saw the videos, if you’re referring to the Oklahoma talk, and it didn’t seem to me like Dembski did all that well in the Q and A (a professor standing up and offering to explain to Dembski the exact details of the flagellum that he claims are unknown isn’t the best Waterloo, is it?). Shall we find the videos and let the audience decide? Who still has them?

Venus Mousetrap: Shall we find the videos and let the audience decide? Who still has them?

Be careful when you google for videos and Dembski. You might stumble on the hilarious (to cdesign proponentsts) video made by Dembski, with the animated pull-string doll of Judge Jones reading the Dover decision in a funny (to Dembski) squeaky voice with very creative (for Dembski) bathroom sounds added (to make it comprehensible the IDiots). It would not put you in a nice mood for the weekend.

That CFI chapters are more numerous than IDEA clubs is irrelevant. I’m happy its true, of course, but science isn’t a popularity contest.

why are the so-called transitional forms like tiktaalik and archaeopteryx extinct?

It is not just the transitional forms, although all living and extinct forms are technically transitional.

The answer is at least 99% of all life is extinct. Extinction is just a normal part of a species cycle. Estimates vary but the average macrofauna species lasts from 1 million to 5 million years.

The real test of a species is not whether they lasted but, did they leave descendant species?

The empirical fact, that species go extinct in 1-5 million years, has obvious implications for us that are mostly ignored. Some day we will be extinct too. How long will H. sapiens last and will it be a dead end twig on the tree of life or leave descendant species all over the galaxy? Got me, as conscious beings we have a choice here but what it will be is unknown.

Keith Eaton Wrote:

Oh, and you’re a bold faced liar in this post.

Wow. And you say this because people can watch the videos themselves and determine if your portrayal of Dembski’s talk is accurate?

Fascinating… Seems I may have hit a nerve here. So the question is: Can the truth ‘hurt’? Even if one may not recognize it?

Hmmm

On UcD someone suggests to

It’s an online course. Let’s flood it with ID’ers. Then file a class action suite when they try to flunk us all!

Wow, ID’ers who would be exposed to critical thinking and education about science. Would they last?

Keith Eaton: He made an excellent case for the ID hypothesis and it was equally appluadewd and criticized.

How does anyone make an ‘excellent case’ for ID, since it is essentially described thusly?:

I have chosen the data that I feel show my particular viewpoint and ignored anything that doesn’t support it. Coincidentally, this relates to a field of study that has a bearing on the origins of humans, which I am not attacking for any religious-based reason, such as the importance of our species as has been described in Genesis for example, no sir.

I have concluded that a particular existing theory therefore cannot explain this phenomenon, and so a gap in current understanding exists.

Even if people offer an explanation, I will simply demand infinite amounts of detail, while openly stating that I do not hold my own ideas to a similar standard. Any questioning of my stance and any criticism of my ideas is simply jealousy/dogmatic adherence to a scientific theory as if it were a religion/suppression of scientific discovery a la Galileo, therefore I will ignore those.

Therefore I conclude current science cannot explain phenomenon X, and my idea wins by default.

The End

…the ever reliable Keaton BS filter

Ahhhh. It reliably filters out reality, and allows the BS to pass through.

Too bad the DI already has a patent on such a device.

In the audience were another Christian friend of mine a PhD. Nuclear Physics prof

So? Poor man, with arguments like this…

Mr. Christopher: “Dembski is not exactly the brightest bulb in the creationist box.”

CJ Colucci: “Actually, there’s a good chance he is, if the wattage of some other folks we see here is any indication.”

I have to concur, Dembski is the brightest bulb, because DaveScot says so and bans anyone who IS smarter than Dembski from UcD.

another Christian friend of mine

Keith, thanks for being honest enough to emphasize that ID is all about religion, not science.

Caught people with their liar pig mask on and they can’t handle it..the BS filter is sooooo effective.

Dembski has superior academmic credentials, great writer, debater, and is a quality individual.

I have been watching people like him stuff evos for two decades…it’s one of my favorite forms of intertainment.

I keep expecting to see one name on these posts that is recognizable as belonging to a significant intellect in the evo community..but no luck, just 43th tier wannabees struggling to keep their sad little group identities with the pitiful bone diggers and frog dissectors.

I told you you should have ALgebra II even if you needed 3 tutors. Then you could have a hope of grasping the ID material.

Keith Eaton:

I have been watching people like him stuff evos for two decades…it’s one of my favorite forms of intertainment.

ROTFL LMAO!!! I always laugh when the courts tell them to go screw themselves! :-)

I think I better clarify before Keith thinks he has an ally … I ROTFL when the courts tell the ID/Creationists to go screw themselves!

Keith Eaton Wrote:

Caught people with their liar pig mask on and they can’t handle it..the BS filter is sooooo effective.

You have still not pointed out what these so called lies really are. Time to take of the mask my dear friend

Keith Eaton Wrote:

Dembski has superior academmic credentials, great writer, debater, and is a quality individual.

Your personal opinion matters little here

Keith Eaton Wrote:

I have been watching people like him stuff evos for two decades…it’s one of my favorite forms of intertainment.

That is quite sad in fact.

seems you are rather disappointed in Dembski’s performance. I understand

Question - What’s “intertainment” ?

Keith Eaton Wrote:

I keep expecting to see one name on these posts that is recognizable as belonging to a significant intellect in the evo community..but no luck, just 43th tier wannabees struggling to keep their sad little group identities with the pitiful bone diggers and frog dissectors.

So just what kind of “significant intellect” do you think you are? You really showed yourself to be an idiot in thermodynamics (your self-proclaimed specialty) on the last thread you bailed out of. You obviously don’t have anything to fall back on.

So you slept-off your meds again and your delusions of grandeur bring you back for another round of showing off your stupidity. What makes you think anyone lurking here is impressed with your genius?

Well, Keith has certainly put us our places again, now, hasnt he. We certainly can’t argue with all his verifiable facts. I mean it’s not like he’s just venting his spleen with a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, now, is it.

How very Christian of you, Keith. Again. I bet you’re smiling at your WWJD bracelet right now, aren’t you?

NJ:

…the ever reliable Keaton BS filter

Ahhhh. It reliably filters out reality, and allows the BS to pass through.

Too bad the DI already has a patent on such a device.

Remember, there are two different ways to use a filter. Most people use it to remove impurities. bit in many research environments, it’s used to concentrate impurities. It all depends on which side of the filter you define as the output.

Like I said I was there and witnessed the event nad as a grad uate of O.U. was embarrassed somewhat by the ignorance, arrogance, hubris, rudeness and lack of common decency displayed by the evos and their junior brownshirts.

I actually thought several of you might have been in their group..comon Stacy, fess up.

When I review in detail the academic record (7 degrees), extensive publishing record, awards received from major academic institutions, internships, post-grad work, lectureships, papers published in several academic fields, and worldwide invitations to lecture in major forums, I get giddy over the open stupidity of the little nobodies on this post who even have the guts to denigrate Dembski.

If there happen to be other visiting superior intellects like myself who venture onto these forums for evo-clowns I suggest you visit http://www.designinference.com/docu[…]_Dembski.pdf and gain some insight into how a true academic, professional scientist, and renaissance man is made.

Otherwise, you might get the false impression that Stacy and the seven dwarves are people with a scintilla of intellect, moral decency, accomplishment, or demonstable ability apart from lighting bunsen burners in a basement lab in some obscure diploma mill or perhaps a future chapter 11 deadend, one shot johnnie startup.

Have you groupies considered consolidating all these evo forums under one umbrella say, “Losers and Bruisers”; you know in the interest of saving bandwidth for worhwhile activities and people of some estimable value.

If Pennock could do that to him in just 15 minutes, I understand why he didn’t want to testify in Dover. The plaintiff’s lawyers would have had him catatonic within the first couple of hours on the stand.

Yes– These little difficulties can arise when DaveScot isn’t there to ban the other side!

Y’all do know that ‘Keith Eaton’ is pulling your chain? That much bad grammar and poor spelling has to be put on. If he were really dumb enough to write some of the things he’s written he would have a hard time tying his shoes.

Oops– look like I messed up the link to the articles. But you can go to the Natural History Magazine site and search for the April 2002 issue.

Karen, that was amazing!I was actually embarrassed for WD as I was reading.

May I have your permission to pass that along to some Florida legislators? :-)

Y’all do know that ‘Keith Eaton’ is pulling your chain? That much bad grammar and poor spelling has to be put on. If he were really dumb enough to write some of the things he’s written he would have a hard time tying his shoes.

Quite true… and that explains why everyone from the Disco Institute wears loafers…

Keith yammers

I was there and … was embarrassed somewhat by the ignorance, arrogance, hubris, rudeness and lack of common decency displayed by the evos

Yeah, especially that rude “evo” tactic of jumping up with “Hey! Wait a minute! Do you actually have any actual evidence for that last point you just tried to make?”.

I always find the sound crickets chirping horribly embarrassing too.

Keith Eaton:

(((((Lies, lies, lies, lies, and more lies.)))))

This only proves that you can lead an idiot to knowledge but you can’t make him think.

Dale Husband:

Keith Eaton:

(((((Lies, lies, lies, lies, and more lies.)))))

This only proves that you can lead an idiot to knowledge but you can’t make him think.

LOL!

The Center For Inquiry is an atheist front group.

They definitely have an agenda, and its NOT just all about science.

Bertram:

The Center For Inquiry is an atheist front group.

They definitely have an agenda, and its NOT just all about science.

Another lie. I think you are confusing the issues. Maybe some of the founders of that group are atheists, but there’s a difference between being critical of religion and promoting atheism. If you don’t know the difference, you need a crash course in logic. So do most religious fundamentalists!

Man, I gotta research these Intelligent Design crackpots!

What will they think of next? It seems as if in the last few years there’s a concerted effort by the creationists to subvert science and free inquiry (and indeed rationality itself) by sneaking into classrooms and poisoning the minds of students with their religious superstition.

Well, actually not. It’s not new. Theists and Atheists have been arguing for thousands of years. Some people don’t or can’t “believe” in God. Some people do. Some of each of those groups feel the need to control other people – possibly because they feel unsure in their “belief” or for whatever reason, it really doesn’t matter.

So we have theist Muslims and Christians pushing their beliefs on other people. And we have Atheists pushing their own beliefs. What’s the point? So you can say “I win”?

Either way, it’s “faith” because the existence of God cannot be proven and it cannot be disproved. I choose to believe in the existence of God, and the details are nobody’s business. I choose to believe that God is bigger than the universe, bigger than time, bigger than our human potential for understanding reality. I believe it’s foolish to assume that one is so “smart” that one can state with any degree of confidence that there is no God, because to do that you have to define God and in so doing create a circular argument. And it’s arrogant as hell, to boot.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but still it’s fun. Until Mr. Science can create life from scratch, create self-conscious robots, and explain human consciousness and the origin of the universe in simple English that a fool like myself can understand, I think my faith in God (and that of most of the world) will remain pretty firm because at present, he just hasn’t proved his credibility.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 6, 2008 11:46 PM.

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