The IDEA obituary

| 193 Comments

On the Evolution List, Allen MacNeill announces that The “Intelligent Design” Movement on College and University Campuses is Dead

How did he establish the untimely passing away of an IDEA? By checking on the status of the 30+ IDEA chapters at various universities, colleges and high schools. While absence of activity is no evidence of its passing away, I encourage PT readers to do the research to determine the status of these IDEA chapters using independent methods.

Allen MacNeill concludes

1) that the national IDEA Club website is essentially what is known online as a “shell site” (that is, a place-holder with no real content);

2) that the “movement” represented by the IDEA Club organization peaked in late 2005 or early 2006 (around the time of the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial);

3) since then (i.e. since Judge Jones issued his now-famous decision) it has died almost everywhere;

4) the majority of the output of the “intelligent design movement” consisted of press releases (and produced no empirical science of any kind);

For his conclusion read further at The Evolution List

And of course our friend Casey Luskin had to respond, blaming the death on IDEA’s success. What is clear that the IDEA ‘centers’ are following in the footsteps of its ‘Big Daddy’ and are refraining from scientific content or relevancy. Casey Luskin’s explanation of this lack of scientific content?

Additionally, students who start IDEA Clubs in the post-Dover era face new challenges that students didn’t used to face: Students I talk to feel the scientific evidence for ID is stronger than ever, but they see the persecution of ID proponents in the academy (persecution which has dramatically increased in the wake of Dover). Many pro-ID students are afraid; they are intimidated by Darwinist intolerance and fear that if they come out of the closet about being pro-ID, they might be ending their careers before they even begin.

Sure Casey, that must be the case, that mythical persecution complex quickly arises to ‘explain’ the lack of scientific content. Surely ID must have found a more novel explanation by now for its continued inability to deliver scientific content? Seems to me that the Discovery Institute’s insistence that Judge Jones rules on whether or not ID is science, continues to misfire…

193 Comments

And don’t anyone be silly, pro-ID students are afraid–of having their evidence-free claims exposed. What else could they fear, really?

Yes, it’s intimidating to hang onto transparently pseudoscientific flim-flam in centers of learning, where ID’s claims can be shot down so handily.

I do not think that anyone who truly had a compelling new scientific idea would be so easily dissuaded. For, if you have the goods, you tend to welcome questioning of your ideas.

Note that Luskin typically blogs where his pathetic claims can be given no response, and UD brooks very little dissent. Of course IDists are scared, they have no science, no answers.

Glen D

http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

Casey Luskin: “Students I talk to feel the scientific evidence for ID is stronger than ever…”

Well, it is certainly true that the evidence for ID has never been stronger.… As for what these students “feel,” that is simply irrelevant.

I’ve actually got excellent evidence which disproves ID, but… can’t post… forcefield blocking my hand from keyboard…

Well, I for one think that Casey can easily resurrect the IDEA Clubs and adapt them so that they can evolve in something that more accurately reflects the current state of ID Theory. That’s right people, say hello to Casey’s all -new, and now with more truthiness - “CASEY’S BAD IDEA” Clubs.

Up will be called down, and bottom up - and Demsbksi’s Famous Sweater will be cutting edge fashion and what ALL the College Kidz want for hangin in teh hood. (Where “teh hood” = Christian church basements.)

And this time he’s gonna tie them into a reeal Kool Web-tubes site - maybe call it “Overwhelming Evidence” or something like that, to REALLY get Teh Kidz attention!

What? Really, Overwhelming Evidence is now what??? Beautiful… cary On Young Casey, carry on!

How many people remember how being a Christian was a requirement to be an IDEA Club’s officer?

Fascinating how the evidence keeps leading us back to the obvious

And of course Luskin’s ‘explanation’

The IDEA Center also requires its club presidents to be Christian. Luskin explained that as a Christian group, “we wanted to be totally open about who we thought the designer was.” But, he added, “this belief about the identity of the designer is our religious belief; it’s not a part of ID theory.”

And

P.S. - In some other thread, there are been some discussion about whether the IDEA club, led by Casey Luskin, is a religious club. Despite the requirement that its officers be Christians, Casey says they are just a scientific club.

However, notice that Casey is speaking at the Youth Conference, and his IDEA club is advertised as “a ministry focused on equipping students to promote Intelligent Design.” [my emphasis]

Its even more irrelevant that that, Matt. Casey is referring specifically to students that started IDEA clubs. So his statement is nothing more than an example of selection bias. Actually I should call it a classic example, since surveying a set of club founders on whether they believe in the clubs’ mission could be used as a teaching example of what selection bias is.

Casey also accuses Allen of “demonization,” however its very hard for me to see how reporting when a set of web pages was last updated counts as demonization. As Casey should realize, an update date is just a fact, not a theory. :)

Matt G said:

Casey Luskin: “Students I talk to feel the scientific evidence for ID is stronger than ever…”

Well, it is certainly true that the evidence for ID has never been stronger.… As for what these students “feel,” that is simply irrelevant.

Matt G said:

Casey Luskin: “Students I talk to feel the scientific evidence for ID is stronger than ever…”

Well, it is certainly true that the evidence for ID has never been stronger.… As for what these students “feel,” that is simply irrelevant.

Questions for Mr. Luskin:

1) How many hours per day do you spend on campuses talking to students?

2) How many students do you talk to?

3) How many have any background in science?

4) How many of them “feel the scientific evidence for ID is stronger than ever?”

5) How many of them feel the opposite?

6) How many of them have no idea what ID is or what you’re talking about?

My guess is that the answer to #1 is “zero” and that the “students [he] talk[s] to” are the few young sympathetic people at his church.

Casey also accuses Allen of “demonization,” however its very hard for me to see how reporting when a set of web pages was last updated counts as demonization. As Casey should realize, an update date is just a fact, not a theory. :)

Note that these folk do not like facts much.

Glen D

http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

I found it amusing that the words before ‘demonization’ are ‘typical Darwinian name-calling and’. Emphasis mine. :)

But, he added, “this belief about the identity of the designer is our religious belief; it’s not a part of ID theory.”

Yet science is all about identifying causes. In general (aliens with human capabilities are for what SETI searches), not necessarily in particular.

So if it’s not about God, then it’s really about nothing at all.

Glen D

http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

Sorry Venus M., but you’ve annoyed the great Klingon Intelligent Designer who is orbiting the Earth now aboard his Klingon Bird of Prey:

Venus Mousetrap said:

I’ve actually got excellent evidence which disproves ID, but… can’t post… forcefield blocking my hand from keyboard…

Beware of a blast of Klingon sonic disruptors.….

Hi J-Dog,

Good points here:

J-Dog said:

Well, I for one think that Casey can easily resurrect the IDEA Clubs and adapt them so that they can evolve in something that more accurately reflects the current state of ID Theory. That’s right people, say hello to Casey’s all -new, and now with more truthiness - “CASEY’S BAD IDEA” Clubs.

Up will be called down, and bottom up - and Demsbksi’s Famous Sweater will be cutting edge fashion and what ALL the College Kidz want for hangin in teh hood. (Where “teh hood” = Christian church basements.)

And this time he’s gonna tie them into a reeal Kool Web-tubes site - maybe call it “Overwhelming Evidence” or something like that, to REALLY get Teh Kidz attention!

What? Really, Overwhelming Evidence is now what??? Beautiful… cary On Young Casey, carry on!

But I think you’re wrong. He’s going to call them the “Evo Strengths and Weaknesses” clubs. Heard he’s busy establishing chapters now in Texas.

John

Hi PvM,

Think you forgot something here:

PvM said:

And

P.S. - In some other thread, there are been some discussion about whether the IDEA club, led by Casey Luskin, is a religious club. Despite the requirement that its officers be Christians, Casey says they are just a scientific club.

However, notice that Casey is speaking at the Youth Conference, and his IDEA club is advertised as “a ministry focused on equipping students to promote Intelligent Design.” [my emphasis]

In honor of the fact that Casey has a M. S. degree in geology, then he ought to require that at least one of these officers per campus chapter should be a “Christian” geologist. What do you think? If he does that, then maybe he might just have a point in asserting that these are really “scientific” clubs (Of course if you really believe that, then I have a bridge here in New York City - which spans the East River, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn - that I would love to sell you.).

John

John Kwok said: But I think you’re wrong. He’s going to call them the “Evo Strengths and Weaknesses” clubs. Heard he’s busy establishing chapters now in Texas.

John,

Creationist adaptation is fast, you are already a variation behind. Its “Academic Freedom Centers” now.

Though with DI abandoning teaching strategies faster than their supporters can adopt them into law, its anybody’s guess what they will claim to support next week.

Cheers!

eric said:

Its even more irrelevant that that, Matt. Casey is referring specifically to students that started IDEA clubs. So his statement is nothing more than an example of selection bias. Actually I should call it a classic example, since surveying a set of club founders on whether they believe in the clubs’ mission could be used as a teaching example of what selection bias is.

I wasn’t even thinking about selection bias (just one of the many weapons in the ID arsenal). I remember a post a few years back - it may have been here at Panda’s Thumb - in which the person wrote that she rejected evolution because she didn’t like the idea that she was related to monkeys. That is a classic example of the Wishful Thinking fallacy. Oh well, at least she was being honest about her motivation.

Venus Mousetrap said:

I found it amusing that the words before ‘demonization’ are ‘typical Darwinian name-calling and’. Emphasis mine. :)

Presumably, in Darwinian name calling, people try various simple modifications of successful insults and build increasingly more effective insults in successive rounds of argument. Perhaps they even occasionally develop complex interlocking insults in which if even a single letter is omitted, the insult is meaningless.

I go to college at Maryland University - which is mainly used my military service members - and even there, its a very hostile environment for religion in general.

Then again, I’m a philosophy student, and watch Christian idealists get savaged by skeptical thinkers on a daily basis. I’ve seen ID raise its head once when the subject of cosmology came up (the philosophical theories, not the branch of science) - the best way I can describe it is a systematic deconstruction of an idea, each student taking a small chink out of its armor until It was left naked as a “because god said so” theory.

Needless to say, it was very entertaining.

SWT said:

Venus Mousetrap said:

I found it amusing that the words before ‘demonization’ are ‘typical Darwinian name-calling and’. Emphasis mine. :)

Presumably, in Darwinian name calling, people try various simple modifications of successful insults and build increasingly more effective insults in successive rounds of argument. Perhaps they even occasionally develop complex interlocking insults in which if even a single letter is omitted, the insult is meaningless.

Or worse yet, transform the otherwise complex insult into a simple, heart-felt compliment.

SWT said:

Venus Mousetrap said:

I found it amusing that the words before ‘demonization’ are ‘typical Darwinian name-calling and’. Emphasis mine. :)

Presumably, in Darwinian name calling, people try various simple modifications of successful insults and build increasingly more effective insults in successive rounds of argument. Perhaps they even occasionally develop complex interlocking insults in which if even a single letter is omitted, the insult is meaningless.

LOL, You should warn people before you type something like that. I just sprayed hot cocoa all over my monitor =(

IDEA spreads the religious views and the fear of the truths of science of an individual. Those who started the movement in university and college views will not change after graduating.

Allen MacNeill concerns are understandable, since he is a university professor of biology and evolution. The treat of IDEA is real, because its only purpose is to spread misinformation and damage careers of prospective scientist.

The intellectually void and philosophically weak arguments of Intelligent Design/Creationism will exist for a long time. With that said, it is important to continue to teach what scientific enquiry is.

Additionally, students acolytes who start IDEA Clubs in the post-Dover era face new challenges that students didn’t used to face: Students Acolytes I talk to feel have been taught that the scientific evidence for ID is stronger than ever, but they see are afraid of the persecution summary and proper dismissal of ID proponents in the academy (persecution informed criticism which has dramatically increased in the wake of Dover). Many pro-ID students are afraid; they are intimidated by Darwinist intolerance and fear that if they come out of the closet about being pro-ID, they might be ending their careers before they even begin. And they haven’t the first idea what to do next.

Fixed. Except for the penultimate sentence. They can have that one. I ain’t touchin’ it.

But, [Casey] added, “this belief about the identity of the designer is our religious belief; it’s not a part of ID theory.”

Coincidentally, ID has no theory.

So true. But while some ID proponents are honest enough to admit this, some pretend otherwise.

Pete Dunkelberg said:

But, [Casey] added, “this belief about the identity of the designer is our religious belief; it’s not a part of ID theory.”

Coincidentally, ID has no theory.

SWT, what you said is really funny! And probably true, more’s the joke. Tip ‘o the hat …

All of the ID proponents I’ve come in contact with have demonstrated that they are totally uninterested in using Intelligent Design in science, or as science, even if they are interested in working in/with science at all.

What makes me wonder is why they persist in this crude charade of Intelligent Design being science if they are wholly unwilling to even go through the motions of doing pretend science? It’s like the murderer pretending that he didn’t murder his wife into a thousand slippery pieces by waving her dismembered hand in the window in order to allay his neighbors’ suspicions.

PvM said:

So true. But while some ID proponents are honest enough to admit this, some pretend otherwise.

Pete Dunkelberg said:

But, [Casey] added, “this belief about the identity of the designer is our religious belief; it’s not a part of ID theory.”

Coincidentally, ID has no theory.

Hey, if you’re going to reference a Luskin response, how about linking to it so we can enjoy the whole thing?

Sure, of course a simple google search is almost as trivial.

Calvin said:

Hey, if you’re going to reference a Luskin response, how about linking to it so we can enjoy the whole thing?

PvM said:

Sure, of course a simple google search is almost as trivial.

Trivial, but also unsuccessful. I’ve wasted five minutes trying to find it, and that’s enough.

PvM said:

SF: However, some atheists do not respect boundaries; they use the findings of their discipline, evolutionary biology, to validate or justify their religious beliefs, social beliefs, value beliefs, or whatever you want to call atheism

In that aspect they are not much different from some Christians who abuse science to further their own religious beliefs.

So what…

But the thing is that evolution is not a discipline of atheism, nor do more querulous atheists always use evolution to disrespect “boundaries.”

Hell, I even know some self-professed atheists who refused to accept evolution (I personally found them to be insufferable, raging morons).

And the thing about Silver Fox’s malfunction is that he apparently has a bone to pick about how methodological naturalism works, and more importantly, he has a bigger bone to pick about how evil atheists misuse evolution to FOMENT strife as per an “atheism agenda,” even though he never actually produced an example of atheists (mis)using evolution(ary biology) to foment strife, nor has he ever explained what this “atheism agenda” really is.

Silver Fox isn’t here to discuss anything: it’s of far greater importance for him to castigate us because he thinks we’re apparently offensive.

John Kwok said:

Dear PvM,

Judging from Silver Fox’s increasingly inane remarks, it seems as though he is more concerned with “abuse” from “atheist evolutionists” than he is with “some Christians” who are quite willing to prostitute themselves on behalf of their favorite mendacious intellectual pornography, whether it is Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design Creationism, or some other peculiar brand of “Scientific Creationism”:

Indeed, nevermind that the “abusive atheist evolutionists” have not done any damage or lasting harm comparable to the pernicious, utterly destructive influence Christian fundamentalists, especially those who espouse Creationism, produce. The sort of damage these people produce surpass the mischief committed by “abusive atheist evolutionists” by several dozen orders of magnitude.

And from there we can wallow in an infinite regression which is totally senseless because it has no independent point of reference.

Um.. so what? Why is infinite regression senseless? Because you can’t imagine it? Because it scares you? The universe does not care what you think, it just is what it is.

There’s no “independent point of reference” in relativity, either. It’s still a fact. Boo frickin’ hoo.

You failed. You failed to acknowledge your failure. You attempted to ignore your failure.

“You are flawed and imperfect. All that is in error must be sterilized. Execute your prime function.”

Stanton said:

Indeed, nevermind that the “abusive atheist evolutionists” have not done any damage or lasting harm comparable to the pernicious, utterly destructive influence Christian fundamentalists, especially those who espouse Creationism, produce. The sort of damage these people produce surpass the mischief committed by “abusive atheist evolutionists” by several dozen orders of magnitude.

I understand that atheists may see it that way and yet similarly Christians may see just the opposite. These kinds of claims are just utterly nonsense and non productive.

PvM said:

I understand that atheists may see it that way and yet similarly Christians may see just the opposite. These kinds of claims are just utterly nonsense and non productive.

True, I know that, and you know that, but, then again, I’m not going to give respect to anyone who comes traipsing in here demanding respect for crude attempts at sophistry, or who demands that we be shamed and punished for something they can’t be bothered to explain (nevermind that we didn’t do whatever it is Silver Fox is blabbering about anyhow).

Silver Fox said:

“Catholics place greater value on a wafer than they do on the lives and livelihoods of people…an example of evolutionary biology formenting strife between science and religion.”

Desecrating the Eucharist has little or nothing to do with evolutionary biology per se’. That’s buffoonery. When as an evolutionary biologist relying on the products of evolutionary biology he concludes that there is no God and go on to attacks parents who teach their children religion, or as he sees it, corrupts the minds of the little ones with religious delusions, and suggests society should have an interest in protecting against that. THAT IS FORMENTING STRIFE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION.

P.Z. is concerned about the value Catholics place on lives and livelihoods of others? So, he desecrates a wafer. If you know anything about logic, what you have there is a NON SEQUITUR.

And yes, you are part of a horde of squirming vermin.

What is it about creo trolls that makes them incapable of using the blockquote tag?

ben said:

What is it about creo trolls that makes them incapable of using the blockquote tag?

Not posting as a reply makes it harder for the moderator to delete a message and all its responses.

Cheers – MrG (www.vectorsite.net)

Flint said: So deities emerge from seeing something happen, presuming it happens for a reason, intuiting a motivation for whatever makes it happen, and then concocting an agency with motives. I speculate that people evolved the necessary viewpoint of attributing motivation because we are a gregarious species, making it essential for us to understand the thought processes going on in one another’s minds. Easy to transfer this to natural processes.

Indeed. Even the chimps are now known to infer intentions and impute unique points of view to each other. The their (and ours) reproductive success depends upon making such inferences. Its not unlike the tendency to “see” faces in mounainsides and clouds and bushes: human infants are wired to seek out adult faces or face-like patterns.

Hard wired for pattern recognition

Silver Fox said:

Hard wired for pattern recognition

Not sure I follow. Is this a question an explanation or what? My point was that infants are hard-wired for recognizing a specific pattern over others: the human face, hence the tendency to “see” faces. yes, we are wired for pattern recognition more generally, but some patterns predominate. Another example would be grammatical patterns.

It is admittedly difficult to follow SF’s more gnomic pronouncements, since they often appear almost content-free, but I believe he might be trying to suggest, from the choice of words (“hard wired”), that Sylvilagus was implying that someone must have hard wired us. This, of course, does not follow, but it’s the sort of “insight” that would happily occupy SF for many an hour.

Silver Fox said:

Hard wired for pattern recognition

What I enjoy most about creationists is that when faced with questions they can’t answer - like pretty much all the ones addressed to SF in this thread, including EVIDENCE and EXAMPLES for the various bogus claims he/she has made - they resort to meaningless non-sequiturs or garbage inferences.

The point this demonstrates most clearly is the intellectually vacuous and fundamentally cowardly nature of creationists. They run away from actual discussion of issues.

Highly entertainin’

Guess Silver Fox has been reading too much of William Gibson’s cyberpunk science fiction:

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

Silver Fox said:

Hard wired for pattern recognition

What I enjoy most about creationists is that when faced with questions they can’t answer - like pretty much all the ones addressed to SF in this thread, including EVIDENCE and EXAMPLES for the various bogus claims he/she has made - they resort to meaningless non-sequiturs or garbage inferences.

The point this demonstrates most clearly is the intellectually vacuous and fundamentally cowardly nature of creationists. They run away from actual discussion of issues.

Highly entertainin’

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 23, 2008 12:29 PM.

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