The Fruitlessness of ID “Research”

| 81 Comments

Scientists point out, quite rightly, that the religio-political charade known as “intelligent design” (ID) is not good science. But how do we know this?

One of the hallmarks of science is that it is fruitful. A good scientific paper will usually lead to much work along the same lines, work that confirms and extends the results, and work that produces more new ideas inspired by the paper. Although citation counts are not completely reliable metrics for evaluating scientific papers, they do give some general information about what papers are considered important.

ID advocates like to point to lists of “peer-reviewed publications” advocating their position. Upon closer examination, their lists are misleading, packed with publications that are either not in scientific journals, or that appeared in venues of questionable quality, or papers whose relationship to ID is tangential at best. Today, however, I’d like to look at a different issue: the fruitfulness of intelligent design. Let’s take a particular ID publication, one that was trumpeted by ID advocates as a “breakthrough”, and see how much further scientific work it inspired.

The paper I have in mind is Stephen Meyer’s paper “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”, which was published, amid some controversy, in the relatively obscure journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington in 2004. Critics pointed out that the paper was not suited to the journal, which is usually devoted to taxonomic issues, and that the paper was riddled with mistakes and misleading claims. In response, the editors of the journal issued a disclaimer repudiating the paper.

Putting these considerations aside, what I want to do here is look at every scientific publication that has cited Meyer’s paper to determine whether his work can fairly said to be “fruitful”. I used the ISI Web of Science Database to do a “cited reference” search on his article. This database, which used to be called Science Citation Index, is generally acknowledged to be one of the most comprehensive available. The search I did included Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Even such a search will miss some papers, of course, but it will still give a general idea of how much the scientific community has been inspired by Meyer’s work.

I found exactly 9 citations to Meyer’s paper in this database. Of these, counting generously, exactly 1 is a scientific research paper that cites Meyer approvingly.

Read more at Recursivity.

81 Comments

ID advocates like to point to lists of “peer-reviewed publications” advocating their position. Upon closer examination, their lists are misleading, packed with publications that are either not in scientific journals, or that appeared in venues of questionable quality, or papers whose relationship to ID is tangential at best.

So, first off, they’re liars.

Putting these considerations aside, what I want to do here is look at every scientific publication that has cited Meyer’s paper to determine whether his work can fairly said to be “fruitful”.

I found exactly 9 citations to Meyer’s paper in this database. Of these, counting generously, exactly 1 is a scientific research paper that cites Meyer approvingly.

And secondly, they’re incompetent.

Also lazy, stupid, and generally insane, but those personality flaws can be saved for another entry.

In response to “climategate” (in which stolen emails are being misrepresented as evidence of “fraud” concerning Global Warming), the Discovery Institute is calling for a massive defunding of organized science to be replaced by a system which ensures “maximal accomodation of debate”. IOW the federal government should shovel money to all kooks so that we can enjoy more of the “fruits” that have been produced by the Meyer paper.

They like to whine that they don’t get any funding for research. But does anyone know of any specific ID-related research they are seeking funding for?

I couldn’t have asked for something more timely since I have finished reading Meyer’s lamentable “Signature in the Cell” and have reviewed it over at Amazon.com. Will provide readers with a link to your excellent essay over at Recursivity. Yours is a succinct and excellent demonstration showing why Intelligent Design will never be capable of “fruitful” scientific research.

Karen S. said:

They like to whine that they don’t get any funding for research. But does anyone know of any specific ID-related research they are seeking funding for?

I heard the Templeton Foundation offered them research funding, but they were too lazy and stupid to even try submitting a proposal. So, when offered the chance and the funding to do actual research, they just sat on their asses and didn’t even try.

The Templeton Foundation did fund the Dishonesty Institute for a while but it wasn’t ID-related. Its funding ceased when the Templeton Foundation received too many complaints, and in response to its critics, said something to the effect that it had not been aware that the Dishonesty Institute was also engaged in promoting ID cretinism:

phantomreader42 said:

Karen S. said:

They like to whine that they don’t get any funding for research. But does anyone know of any specific ID-related research they are seeking funding for?

I heard the Templeton Foundation offered them research funding, but they were too lazy and stupid to even try submitting a proposal. So, when offered the chance and the funding to do actual research, they just sat on their asses and didn’t even try.

But that doesn’t stop Meyer and the Dishonesty Institute’s anti-science media and church rhetoric. Scientists might discover the truth about them, but the public doesn’t have the foggiest idea that these people are liars.

I just ran across a new Meyer diatribe in CNN.com:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/11/[…]gent.design/

You’ll see, people will focus on the 800 “scientists” who have pledged their first born to support intelligent design.

In addition, if you look at Meyer’s Signature in the Cell book, I believe he references this very same paper as being in print. He also made it available on the DI/Meyer website for anyone to view. I don’t know if it’s still there, but a web search shows nothing (as the paper was rightly withdrawn), which brings into question his ethics on this matter, or anything at all.

Jeffrey your article makes a point that I don’t think we (scientists) make enough, which is that ID is scientifically useless.

Creationists always want to discuss truth. Too often we end up chasing them down that rabbit hole instead of pointing out that true or not, scientists are right to ignore ID until ID can say something relevant to scientific practices.

If one wants truth, study philosophy or theology. Science deals in useful approximations. ID is not useful.

I just ran across a new Meyer diatribe in CNN.com:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/11/[…]gent.design/

How does one get an opinion piece on to CNN’s web page? Nothing indicated on the site.

Ironically, the publication of this Meyer paper, the Dembski and Marks paper, and the David L. Abel paper has produced some hard evidence of just what goes on in their minds. So I would suggest that their publication has been useful in that regard.

These papers are full of assertions, misinformation, and misconceptions that form the foundations of their thinking. Whether they really have these misconceptions or are repeating memes they want propagated in the public mind, these misconceptions have been a consistent part of ID/creationist thinking going back into the 1960s and 1970s.

When one goes through these papers, it becomes clear what their concepts of science are; and they are grotesquely wrong. We can also see the pseudo-science they construct to overcome the “problems” they attribute to the scientific community.

It appears that the fundamental misconception at the heart of Meyer’s paper is the same as in the Dembski/Marks paper and in Abel’s paper; namely that matter acts with “spontaneous molecular chaos” (to use Abel’s made-up term to describe this concept), which by definition, can produce nothing.

In each case, the term “information” is used in ways that have nothing to do with physics and chemistry; and in each case, any “scientific” modeling of evolutionary processes, whether evolution or abiogenesis, must select with uniform randomness from essentially infinite solution sets. This assures the ID/community that evolution and abiogenesis are impossible, and it constitutes, for them, the “proof” that science is wrong.

This might also explain some of the cockiness of the rube followers of these “experts” of ID/creationism; the rubes actually believe we in the science community have these concepts that they attribute to us.

Mike Elzinga said:

Ironically, the publication of this Meyer paper, the Dembski and Marks paper, and the David L. Abel paper has produced some hard evidence of just what goes on in their minds.

Can anyone point me to a full fisking of the Abel paper? It gets cited regularly by the IDiots of my acquaintance.

How does one get an opinion piece on to CNN’s web page? Nothing indicated on the site.

Not sure, but there is a lively “sound off” section after the article with 806 comments so far.

It was estimated on a recent thread that the IDists spend around $50 million/year. All of this goes for propaganda.

They spend about zero on research even though $50 million could buy a lot of research.

Not only is ID sterile, but they know it is sterile.

ID is simply a Trojan horse for fundie xian Dominionist ideology. The DI itself is funded by Ahmanson, an ugly but rich christofascist Dominionist.

Maya said:

Can anyone point me to a full fisking of the Abel paper? It gets cited regularly by the IDiots of my acquaintance.

The most recent discussion starts here with a question by jerrym.

The discussion goes on for a number of comments after that.

Be sure to read stevaroni’s analysis of the role of natural selection in Abel’s misconceptions of “switch configurations”.

After that, I injected my physicist’s analysis of Abel’s fundamental misconceptions about how matter interacts.

Others add some similar insights.

The Abel paper is the most densely packed pretentiousness I have seen in a long time. Throughout the paper each paragraph can contain a whole series of assertions, misconceptions and outright falsehoods in quick succession. It appears to be designed deliberately to overwhelm and stun, apparently with the idea that there will always be some point a critic has missed, thereby “invalidating” the critique.

The Templeton foundation used to fund the Dishonesty Institute.

They pulled out with nothing good to say about them. They called them something to the effect as a pure propaganda outfit and said they didn’t want to spend their money that way.

Who does fund them are right wing christofascist extremists. This might explain why they are coming across as increasingly loony.

The latest is a Michael (in need of brain surgery) Egnor’s rant about abolishing federal funding for science and kicking the scientists out on the street.

A sure recipe to turn the US into a third world banana republic soon enough. That sound you here in the background is our friendly competitor nations and enemy nations both cheering wildly. The DI future is our children working in foreign owned factories as cheap labor and crossing the border illegally to pick vegetables in Mexico.

Even the one approving citation contains a subtle disapproval, noting that other groups are working on “emergent complexity,” while the DI is content to spin. That spin includes trying to have it both ways with EC. The DI likes to pretend that researchers in that field are “expelled” like them - when they’re not accusing them of having a prior commitment to “naturalism” like “Darwinists.”

What’s even more ominous for the DI than this dismal citation record is that, even if there were a promising alternate explanation for the origin of Cambrian phyla, it would be no Comfort to the DI’s biggest base, the ones desperately hoping for some indication that humans do not share common ancestors with other species. For the last 2.5 years I have been soliciting proposals for research in the crucial field of human origins. I can’t imagine that in all that time not one representative from any “kind” of anti-evolution activist group would not submit any idea to be reviewed by the many “evolutionists” and anti-evolutionists that frequent these boards. The only thing I can think of is that some “Darwinist” is intercepting the proposals and “expelling” their authors. ;-)

What’s even more ominous for the DI than this dismal citation record is that, even if there were a promising alternate explanation for the origin of Cambrian phyla, it would be no Comfort to the DI’s biggest base, the ones desperately hoping for some indication that humans do not share common ancestors with other species.

No Comfort? Nice pun.

Frank J said: even if there were a promising alternate explanation for the origin of Cambrian phyla, it would be no Comfort to the DI’s biggest base, the ones desperately hoping for some indication that humans do not share common ancestors with other species.

Oh, I don’t think they worry about consistency; the mindset seems to be that any gap - even mutually contradictory gaps - can be filled with God. Thus they’re happy to argue for a cambrian explosion and against common descent and geochronology, all at the same time.

Think of it like political attack ads - the funders don’t expect every mudball to stick, they’re happy as long as one of them does.

Or the legal equivalent: your honor, I will show that my client was nowhere near the scene of the murder…and that he killed in self-defense.

Karen S. said:

How does one get an opinion piece on to CNN’s web page? Nothing indicated on the site.

Not sure, but there is a lively “sound off” section after the article with 806 comments so far.

Not many scroll down there, much less scroll all the way to the end. CNN is consistantly doing a poor job with science issues. Not sure if it dates from their firing their entire science journalism staff, but it couldn’t have helped. It would be nice if they were to give space to scientists who wanted to give authoritative opinions about science. Instead, I fear, they think that side of the “balance” is done by their clueless reporters.

eric said:

Creationists always want to discuss truth.

No, creationists NEVER discuss truth. They like to pretend they’re interested in truth, but they’ll lie through their teeth at the slightest opportunity. If they were at all interested in the truth, they’d look at the evidence, and criticize other creationists that they regard as wrong. But they don’t. They’re too cowardly to dare confronting the facts or questioning their fellow frauds. Truth means absolutely nothing to them. Nothing at all.

eric Wrote:

Or the legal equivalent: your honor, I will show that my client was nowhere near the scene of the murder…and that he killed in self-defense.

Excellent analysis. Add that “evolution is unfalsifiable and falsified, and that it’s a religion, just like ID, which is science.”

The problem is that only ~25% of the public is so beyond hope that they will make excuses for those antics no matter what how we expose them for what they are. But there’s another ~20% that denies evolution, and another ~20% that thinks it’s fair to “teach the controversy.” Those are the groups we need to reach. Sadly I think we’re doing a poor job, with plenty of foot-shooting (criticizing religion, keeping the debate on psedoscientists’ terms, etc.). And we have no help from a sensationalist media.

Reading these papers of Meyer, Dembski & Marks, and Abel is like reading the same dime novel format; they all have pretty much the same layout and theme. They consist of several distinct parts, each carried out with grotesque excess and melodrama as though this makes each part convincing.

(1) The “lottery winner fallacy” that makes each particular biological example the goal of the lottery.

(2) Mischaracterizations and misconceptions about the laws of physics, chemistry and biology.

(3) Misrepresentation of actual scientific research and evidence.

(4) A “logical deduction” that Nature can’t do it.

(5) Assertions of “higher, transcendent” laws or being that do the job that nature cannot do, and then just make these up as though one is a legitimate authority who can do so.

It is essentially an assertion that Nature could not have done this, therefore God.

This is backwards from science, in which scientists recognize that Nature did in fact do this and then seek to understand how.

DavidK said:

You’ll see, people will focus on the 800 “scientists” who have pledged their first born to support intelligent design.

Of course, even those 800 did nothing of the sort. The statement they signed says nothing at all about intelligent design. This is is in its entirety:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Hey, I could sign that, if I didn’t know it would be misused to support ID. Gould could have signed it. Motoo Kimura could have signed it. Steven Stanley could sign it. This bait & switch is a great example of the DI’s fundamental dishonesty.

Mike Elzinga said: Throughout the paper each paragraph can contain a whole series of assertions, misconceptions and outright falsehoods in quick succession. It appears to be designed deliberately to overwhelm and stun…

That’s the “Gish Gallop” in a nutshell. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop#Debates, first paragraph)

I’ve been debating a YEC who is also a MD - go figure - who came up with “evolutionists have come up with nothing to advance their theory in at least 100 years.” How do you counter such willful ignorance? I responded “Essentially every issue of such respected journals such as “Science” and “Nature” and “Cell” and “Genetics” and many others contain articles advancing our species’ understanding of the fact of evolution.” - but it’s so disconcerting to run into such pathologically delusional debating “techniques.”

raven said:

It was estimated on a recent thread that the IDists spend around $50 million/year. All of this goes for propaganda.

They spend about zero on research even though $50 million could buy a lot of research.

Not only is ID sterile, but they know it is sterile.

That’s the part that even ID supporters should be up in arms over, this squandering of money.

I sent CNN a response to the effect that this op-ed piece was crap & asked why CNN supported such stuff. Then again, they air the likes of Larry King. You might send them a note & ask for space for a rebuttal response. I also added a “comment” to the many folks who disagreed with that Meyer’s jibberish.

Regarding the DI’s funding, I undertand that Meyer once had a Templeton grant but couldn’t produce anything, so it was withdrawn. I also found out through the local paper that Bill Gates/Microsoft (or his foundation) has in the past donated to the DI. I was told they specified it was for the study of transportation issues, though I don’t know that it couldn’t slither down the slope to the ID side. As far as the DI’s approach to transporation studies, all I’ve seen is that they simply regurgitate what’s in the news a day or two past and make it look like it’s some of their original work.

John Harshman said:

DavidK said:

You’ll see, people will focus on the 800 “scientists” who have pledged their first born to support intelligent design.

Of course, even those 800 did nothing of the sort. The statement they signed says nothing at all about intelligent design. This is is in its entirety:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Hey, I could sign that, if I didn’t know it would be misused to support ID. Gould could have signed it. Motoo Kimura could have signed it. Steven Stanley could sign it. This bait & switch is a great example of the DI’s fundamental dishonesty.

For that matter, Charles Darwin could have signed it. It was Darwin who, in 1871, found through careful examination of evidence that variation (what the DI calls “random mutation”) plus natural selection were by themselves unable to account for all the complexities of life. Darwin discovered another mechanism for evolution – namely sexual selection:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_selection

The DI is only 138 years behind the cutting edge of science.

Not only is ID sterile, but they know it is sterile.

As science, it’s not just sterile, it’s teratogenic.

Paul Burnett said:

- but it’s so disconcerting to run into such pathologically delusional debating “techniques.”

Unfortunately this kind of delusional thinking has taken over the Republican Party and parts of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.

It is hard to find a better representation of this than Sarah Palin’s comment that, “Fact checking is oppositional research.”

Where are these peoples’ brains? They appear to be totally cooked.

ben said:

I.D is just begun.

Just begun doing what? Science? Obviously not, they haven’t done any science and I’d bet my house they’re not about to start. Dishonest smear campaigns against science? They’ve been doing that since long before anyone thought to relabel your half-baked creationist claptrap as “ID”.

All the PR progress in the world isn’t going to change the fact that scientifically, your creationist ideas aren’t useful for anything, while the scientific method is. Eventually your lies will be discarded for this reason, however popular you might think they currently are. If you disagree, all you have to do is start using them to generate new knowledge. Go ahead, we’re waiting. We’ve been waiting for thousands of years already.

Long live the scientific method. I love it. i believe its a enemy to most of evolution or more. The great Dr Morris, YEC Martin Luther, said origin issues on any side are not open to the scientific method. When we take on evolution we have no sense we are taking on the science that feeds us, heals us, flys us. or offers dreams of more to us. We are only taking on smaller circles that deal in past and gone events through methods of detection, analysis, and creativity. Yet not science. no testing means no science. so no right to claim the presyige of science behind their conclusions. Its just historians with shovels mostly.

The only audiences for science that matter are the scientists. And creationists can’t crack that barrier.

I understand that boasting and lying as you do are nice for your ego - which has clearly supplanted God in your heart, but no one who actually understands the science cares in the least what you say. You’re a nothing; a nobody; an ignoramus.

Robert Byers said:

Cheryl Shepherd-Adams said:

Robert Byers said:

This YEC will peer-review this Jeffrey Shallit article.

“Peer” doesn’t mean “some bloke off the street who knows nothing about the topic of the paper.”

The peers of peer review aren’t ordinary fellow citizens like what you’d have if you were on trial in front of a “jury of your peers.”

“Peers” in peer review are supposed to be other specialists in the same field, specialists who’d just *love* to knock down your ideas so they go after whatever flaws they can find in the data, methodology, or analysis.

Anyone who considers Byers a “peer” of Shallit would also trust any random breathing person off the street to perform open-heart surgery on their nearest and dearest.

Robert Byers said:

They matter more they[sic] dry papers no one reads.

Yeah, to hell with the diamonds of truth, ‘cause they’re hard to find, difficult to recognize in rough form, and require specialists to polish them up for mass consumption. Let’s rely on the shiny, cheap paste baubles of pseudoscience instead. Who cares if the paste is worthless junk? It’ll still look pretty, at least for a little while.

Publish or perish. Better yet publish to substantial audiences or perish to irrelevant ones.

By the way. While peers might knock down ideas offered they don’t knock down the greater presumptions they live off. Indeed creationism takes on the greater presumptions and so we are unique in out stance. The peers mostly just accept what they were taught in school. Then ambition is attempted in details. We take on the machine. Very well too.

Evolutionary biology uses nothing but the scientific method. Creationism is based on lies, delusions, and stupidity.

Robert Byers said:

ben said:

I.D is just begun.

Just begun doing what? Science? Obviously not, they haven’t done any science and I’d bet my house they’re not about to start. Dishonest smear campaigns against science? They’ve been doing that since long before anyone thought to relabel your half-baked creationist claptrap as “ID”.

All the PR progress in the world isn’t going to change the fact that scientifically, your creationist ideas aren’t useful for anything, while the scientific method is. Eventually your lies will be discarded for this reason, however popular you might think they currently are. If you disagree, all you have to do is start using them to generate new knowledge. Go ahead, we’re waiting. We’ve been waiting for thousands of years already.

Long live the scientific method. I love it. i believe its a enemy to most of evolution or more. The great Dr Morris, YEC Martin Luther, said origin issues on any side are not open to the scientific method. When we take on evolution we have no sense we are taking on the science that feeds us, heals us, flys us. or offers dreams of more to us. We are only taking on smaller circles that deal in past and gone events through methods of detection, analysis, and creativity. Yet not science. no testing means no science. so no right to claim the presyige of science behind their conclusions. Its just historians with shovels mostly.

Rob, there is no evidence for any “higher forces”. None. Zilch. Nada. Stop lying and try learning something about science - you don’t even understand methodological naturalism and the scientific method. Every genotyping is an experiment to confirm or deny evolution. Every fossil excavated is a test of evolution. Everything we discover about biology is a test of evolution (or just about).

On your side is a two thousand year old collection of texts written by ignorant shepherds with no understanding of science.

We have all the facts and all the intelligent people.

We win.

You lose.

Robert Byers said:

SWT said:

Robert, let me give you a clue here.

It’s pretty clear to me that many of the posters here (myself included) are in academic positions. One of the key metrics that determines (a) if untenured faculty keep their jobs and (b) if tenured faculty get promoted is their publication record – how many papers they have published in the peer-reviewed literature, how many other investigators cite their peer-reviewed work, and the quality of the journals in which their work appears. Shallit is simply applying the same standard to ID that academics apply to themselves.

You are incorrect when you say “I.D. is just begun.” The ID movement has been around for decades. Now, when I have a new idea and get funding to explore it (and I have nowhere near the funding the DI claims for “ID research”), I need to show publishable results within a couple of years. Johnson, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Meyer, et al. been at it for decades and have yet to formulate even a clearly stated, testable hypothesis – principally because they have not yet publicly articulated a clear and rigorous theoretical framework that correctly incorporates previously verified results.

I’m still waiting for someone from the ID camp to tell me what observations would be inconsistent with ID. I’ve tried, and I honestly can’t think of anything that would be inconsistent with “design” as presented by, for example, Behe.

It is so still a small though intellectually powerful, circles that deal with the higher concepts of design or God in nature. Yts not above the heaps of subjects that science or origin researchers deal with . In fact many creationists are in these fields but are not doing design work but just advancing knowledge in many subjects.

By definition all these origin issues deal with the present natural world results and then formulate interpretations of how they came about. This is not like real science. In fact all of creationism ends up just attacking the opponents mostly. Your side also is about presumptions and does little actual science on the higher concepts f origins. What can be done? its the same data and then conclusions about methods. I.D folks do a excellent job and have made themselves famous and their ideas prominent. In fact their ideas are about higher concepts then the mere mechanisms others attempt to figure out. I.D deals with the atomic structure, if you will, behind natural mechanisms. Your side deals only with mechanisms and trys to deny their is greater forces at work. This is what its all about.

Good grief; this Byers character reminds me of a guy I knew back in the 1960s who burned out his brain with methamphetamines. He ended up as an emaciated, hollow-eyed hulk barely able to speak.

Rilke’s granddaughter said, to Byers:

The only audiences for science that matter are the scientists. And creationists can’t crack that barrier.

I wish I could agree with this, but unfortunately when it comes to deciding public school science curriculum it’s up to the public, not just the scientists.

The creos exploit that particular flaw in our educational system to bully school boards into accepting their distorted explanation of reality they call “science.”

Why should Byers and his cronies bother doing the *real* work of science when they can just use the political system to impose their flavor of religion on everyone else’s kids? All the creos have to do is spend their $$$ on PR and lobbyists to convince the voters and legislators and school board members. Goebbels, anyone?

Robert Byers said:

By the way. While peers might knock down ideas offered they don’t knock down the greater presumptions they live off.

Go read some *real* science journals, and check out the letters sections. You’ll find plenty of discussions, but my bet is that you won’t even look. Prove me wrong: do it, and show some evidence that you’ve done so. (Unless you’re just some cowardly, idiotic blowhard with no regard for evidence, you’ll put forth at least this minimum effort.)

“the greater presumptions they live off” ??? This is just so much word salad. Can you at least put together a coherent sentence?

Sorry Byers, but what SWT describes has been the standard modus operandi for the sciences and mathematics for nearly two centuries, especially since the early 19th Century. Eve Einstein himself wouldn’t have been published if his theoretical work didn’t pass the muster of scientific peer review. Try reading some good histories of science (Not counting of course the supposed “histories” written by Dishonesty Institue mendacious intellectual pornographer Stephen Meyer - who has a Ph. D. in the history of science from Cambridge University, and IMHO should use his diploma as his toilet tissue the next time he needs to take a “dump” - or other pathetic wannabees like the “esteemed” Dr. Meyer.):

Robert Byers said:

SWT said:

Robert, let me give you a clue here.

It’s pretty clear to me that many of the posters here (myself included) are in academic positions. One of the key metrics that determines (a) if untenured faculty keep their jobs and (b) if tenured faculty get promoted is their publication record – how many papers they have published in the peer-reviewed literature, how many other investigators cite their peer-reviewed work, and the quality of the journals in which their work appears. Shallit is simply applying the same standard to ID that academics apply to themselves.

You are incorrect when you say “I.D. is just begun.” The ID movement has been around for decades. Now, when I have a new idea and get funding to explore it (and I have nowhere near the funding the DI claims for “ID research”), I need to show publishable results within a couple of years. Johnson, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Meyer, et al. been at it for decades and have yet to formulate even a clearly stated, testable hypothesis – principally because they have not yet publicly articulated a clear and rigorous theoretical framework that correctly incorporates previously verified results.

I’m still waiting for someone from the ID camp to tell me what observations would be inconsistent with ID. I’ve tried, and I honestly can’t think of anything that would be inconsistent with “design” as presented by, for example, Behe.

It is so still a small though intellectually powerful, circles that deal with the higher concepts of design or God in nature. Yts not above the heaps of subjects that science or origin researchers deal with . In fact many creationists are in these fields but are not doing design work but just advancing knowledge in many subjects.

By definition all these origin issues deal with the present natural world results and then formulate interpretations of how they came about. This is not like real science. In fact all of creationism ends up just attacking the opponents mostly. Your side also is about presumptions and does little actual science on the higher concepts f origins. What can be done? its the same data and then conclusions about methods. I.D folks do a excellent job and have made themselves famous and their ideas prominent. In fact their ideas are about higher concepts then the mere mechanisms others attempt to figure out. I.D deals with the atomic structure, if you will, behind natural mechanisms. Your side deals only with mechanisms and trys to deny their is greater forces at work. This is what its all about.

Darn, it’s just too early in the morning for me. I meant to say, “Even Einstein himself.…” (see below):

John Kwok said:

Sorry Byers, but what SWT describes has been the standard modus operandi for the sciences and mathematics for nearly two centuries, especially since the early 19th Century. Eve Einstein himself wouldn’t have been published if his theoretical work didn’t pass the muster of scientific peer review. Try reading some good histories of science (Not counting of course the supposed “histories” written by Dishonesty Institue mendacious intellectual pornographer Stephen Meyer - who has a Ph. D. in the history of science from Cambridge University, and IMHO should use his diploma as his toilet tissue the next time he needs to take a “dump” - or other pathetic wannabees like the “esteemed” Dr. Meyer.):

Robert Byers said:

SWT said:

Robert, let me give you a clue here.

It’s pretty clear to me that many of the posters here (myself included) are in academic positions. One of the key metrics that determines (a) if untenured faculty keep their jobs and (b) if tenured faculty get promoted is their publication record – how many papers they have published in the peer-reviewed literature, how many other investigators cite their peer-reviewed work, and the quality of the journals in which their work appears. Shallit is simply applying the same standard to ID that academics apply to themselves.

You are incorrect when you say “I.D. is just begun.” The ID movement has been around for decades. Now, when I have a new idea and get funding to explore it (and I have nowhere near the funding the DI claims for “ID research”), I need to show publishable results within a couple of years. Johnson, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Meyer, et al. been at it for decades and have yet to formulate even a clearly stated, testable hypothesis – principally because they have not yet publicly articulated a clear and rigorous theoretical framework that correctly incorporates previously verified results.

I’m still waiting for someone from the ID camp to tell me what observations would be inconsistent with ID. I’ve tried, and I honestly can’t think of anything that would be inconsistent with “design” as presented by, for example, Behe.

It is so still a small though intellectually powerful, circles that deal with the higher concepts of design or God in nature. Yts not above the heaps of subjects that science or origin researchers deal with . In fact many creationists are in these fields but are not doing design work but just advancing knowledge in many subjects.

By definition all these origin issues deal with the present natural world results and then formulate interpretations of how they came about. This is not like real science. In fact all of creationism ends up just attacking the opponents mostly. Your side also is about presumptions and does little actual science on the higher concepts f origins. What can be done? its the same data and then conclusions about methods. I.D folks do a excellent job and have made themselves famous and their ideas prominent. In fact their ideas are about higher concepts then the mere mechanisms others attempt to figure out. I.D deals with the atomic structure, if you will, behind natural mechanisms. Your side deals only with mechanisms and trys to deny their is greater forces at work. This is what its all about.

Cheryl Shepherd-Adams said:

Rilke’s granddaughter said, to Byers:

The only audiences for science that matter are the scientists. And creationists can’t crack that barrier.

I wish I could agree with this, but unfortunately when it comes to deciding public school science curriculum it’s up to the public, not just the scientists.

The creos exploit that particular flaw in our educational system to bully school boards into accepting their distorted explanation of reality they call “science.”

Why should Byers and his cronies bother doing the *real* work of science when they can just use the political system to impose their flavor of religion on everyone else’s kids? All the creos have to do is spend their $$$ on PR and lobbyists to convince the voters and legislators and school board members. Goebbels, anyone?

It is the evolution crowd that first used government to impose a view or at least of the post WW11 era. It is the law that is , incorrectly, being used to censor the good guys. creationism a little, more to come, are responding to this with political activity. We already can persuade the public to allow equal time. They are not the problem.

Cheryl Shepherd-Adams said:

Robert Byers said:

By the way. While peers might knock down ideas offered they don’t knock down the greater presumptions they live off.

Go read some *real* science journals, and check out the letters sections. You’ll find plenty of discussions, but my bet is that you won’t even look. Prove me wrong: do it, and show some evidence that you’ve done so. (Unless you’re just some cowardly, idiotic blowhard with no regard for evidence, you’ll put forth at least this minimum effort.)

“the greater presumptions they live off” ??? This is just so much word salad. Can you at least put together a coherent sentence?

Einstiens ideas were tested by methods in certain ways and then became celebrated. It was not peer review that did as I understand. Peer review is not testing. its just what other people think. YEC etc always strongly make the case that origin issues deal with past and gone events that by definition are not happening now before ones eyes. There are claims they are but its still based on speculation. This is why geology or biology conclusions in these areas are overthrown so easily by each graduating class. In physics there is no hope of overthrowing present concepts but only expanding them. In geology nothing is settled. Its reasonable to the thinking public that ancient events are not testable or repeatable parts of the scientific method. Its just not true origin conclusions are like ones made by science. Science is meant to eliminate the degree of potential error before a assertive conclusion is made. I know from my readings origin issues don’t do this ever. Thats why creationism can say we don’t take on science but only studies of biological or geological etc history. Its not just no need but no hope to challenge science in medicine or physics, mostly, as these are well tested or proven concepts. There is a difference.

Byers apparently thinks that events in the past cannot be understood from evidence. Byers is a loon, or a Poe. I vote for the latter.

Dave Luckett said:

Byers apparently thinks that events in the past cannot be understood from evidence. Byers is a loon, or a Poe. I vote for the latter.

Yes from evidence but not from the special methodology called the scientific method. This is why evolution and company can not claim the prestige of science when making their case. The great Dr Henry Morris always said origin issues were not science ones though claimed by everyone to be so. I find always in my readings that origin issues are easily overthrown by just a few more facts. Unlike subjects in actual science whose conclusions were solidly based on testing etc of the evidence. Very different.

Byers, there’s nothing special about what you call “origins issues”, and the scientific method is the best and only method to study them. And Henry Morris was a fool whose mind was rusted shut from childhood.

But if “origins issues” can be overthrown by a few more facts, Byers, take your best shot. Show me a few facts - verifiable facts from nature - that can overthrow evolution. Facts, Byers, not airy vapourings about origins issues.

Robert Byers said:

Dave Luckett said:

Byers apparently thinks that events in the past cannot be understood from evidence. Byers is a loon, or a Poe. I vote for the latter.

Yes from evidence but not from the special methodology called the scientific method. This is why evolution and company can not claim the prestige of science when making their case. The great Dr Henry Morris always said origin issues were not science ones though claimed by everyone to be so. I find always in my readings that origin issues are easily overthrown by just a few more facts. Unlike subjects in actual science whose conclusions were solidly based on testing etc of the evidence. Very different.

Sorry for the post above, I hit “submit” instead of “paste” …

Robert Byers said:

I find always in my readings that origin issues are easily overthrown by just a few more facts.

I’m with Dave Luckett on this – let’s see the “few more facts” that will undermine an orgainizing principle of the biological sciences. Time to put up or shut up.

Who has the authority to say what is and is not science and that science has to be “fruitful”? That sounds very theological. I know of Jesus Christ who spoke of being fruitful long before Darwin was around. You people are authoritarian and hypocritical hijackers masquerading as modern day Scientific Pharisees. Just keep making up rules people.

Timcp wrote:

“Who has the authority to say what is and is not science and that science has to be “fruitful”?”

Philosophers and scientists have the authority to say what is and is not science. The government should take their advice when deciding what to include in science classrooms. Judge Jones did exactly that. Why would anyone choose to ignore the judgement of those who are actually doing the research and making the discoveries that have provided us with our modern lifestyle?

Those who pay for science have the authority to demand that the research be fruitful. It should advance our knowledge of nature and hopefully have some practical applications. If not, why would anyone want to pay for it?

You should really be asking why certain people keep bankrolling places like the Discovery Institute which does absolutely nothing to advance our understanding of anything and has never has any practical applications whatsoever. They have their reasons for wasting all that money, but those reasons have nothing to do with science.

Timcp said:

Who has the authority to say what is and is not science and that science has to be “fruitful”? That sounds very theological. I know of Jesus Christ who spoke of being fruitful long before Darwin was around. You people are authoritarian and hypocritical hijackers masquerading as modern day Scientific Pharisees. Just keep making up rules people.

How does one do science with Intelligent Design?

Why should we consider Intelligent Design “science” if no one can do science with it?

Observe the delightful idiocy: this loon is actually objecting to the idea that science should be fruitful.

Even funnier, he’s accusing people who think it should be fruitful of masquerading as Pharisees and of adopting the same principle as Jesus: “by their fruits you shall know them”.

So, we’re really not Pharisees, and we are operating by a principle that Jesus endorsed, but this is authoritarian and hypocritical, and we are hijackers.

Confusion compounded with cluelessness. Each nullifies the other and leaves only a residue of inchoate malice. Risible, and pitiful.

Dave Luckett said:

Observe the delightful idiocy: this loon is actually objecting to the idea that science should be fruitful.

Even funnier, he’s accusing people who think it should be fruitful of masquerading as Pharisees and of adopting the same principle as Jesus: “by their fruits you shall know them”.

So, we’re really not Pharisees, and we are operating by a principle that Jesus endorsed, but this is authoritarian and hypocritical, and we are hijackers.

Confusion compounded with cluelessness. Each nullifies the other and leaves only a residue of inchoate malice. Risible, and pitiful.

If you are incapable of doing scientific research with Intelligent Design, why bother getting upset and snotty when someone points this out?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jeffrey Shallit published on November 30, 2009 8:37 AM.

Meleagris gallopavo was the previous entry in this blog.

Moraxella bovis is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter