This Week in Intelligent Design - 08/12/2011

| 6 Comments

Intelligent design news, commentary and discussion from the 2nd of December to the 8th of December, 2011.

It’s well and truly holidays now, and after getting all the fiddly, tricky things out of the way first - such as doing a domain transfer and dealing with responses from the Discovery Institute - it’s time to get back into TWiID and see what the online presence of the intelligent design movement has been like over the past seven days.

What are the notable posts about this week? Why: multiverses; responding - again - to me; the identity of the Designer; and why design in nature may not be so easy to detect after all.

6 Comments

I do hope that the IDiots will come up with a meaningful science of “designer shyness” that can be meaningfully taught in science classes. Something like, “Darwinists are so dishonest that they won’t admit the incontrovertible evidence for design in the life and in the universe. And the only reason why it can never be identified with actual markers of design (rationality, forethought, etc.) is that the designer is very shy. Now go off to the lab and notice how everything looks designed, but nothing can be identified as designed. And be rigorous, unlike those loser Darwinists.”

I guess Klinghoffer showed us. We asked for evidence, and he said that the Designer is too shy to leave any. But they can sure imagine how it’s designed.

Surely a glowing example of the rigor of ID science to be presented in future court cases. It’s like what the Onion would write, but we’d wonder if it was believable enough to work as satire–and then Klinghoffer writes it in all seriousness.

Glen Davidson

Hypothesis: If the Designer is shy, and if her followers regard her as a role model, then they would be shy, too. Actively producing evidence wouldn’t fit that model of behavior.

(Of course, this hypothesis actively ignores the point that advocates of ID tend to be quite vocal about stuff…)

Henry

Casey Luskin Wrote:

In short, the ID deniers try to engage us in a game where heads they win and tails we lose. If we affirm, for example, that the God of the Bible is a very good and logical fit for the agent whose obvious power and intelligence is manifest in the universe they accuse us of “dragging” religion into the scientific realm where it has no place! And if we studiously avoid any reference to who the designer is they accuse of venal dishonesty.

Luskin accusing his critics of playing a “heads I win, tails you lose” game??? That’s enough chutzpah to embarrass the man (Dembski) whose picture ought to be next to the word in the dictionary. As outrageous as Luskin’s projection is, I must say that there’s something we can do that will deprive him the opportunity to fool anyone else with it. And that is to ignore the designer’s identity question altogether, and instead demand that IDers provide testable details of what the designer did, where, when and how, and to support those details on their own merits, not on long-refuted “weaknesses” of “Darwinism.”

Oh, and let me stand on record that I, for one, have never accused the ID scammers of “dragging religion into the scientific realm.” Pseudoscience and political propaganda yes, but not religion. Ironically the one (and probably only) thing that I think they’re honest about is that they are truly unsure whether or not the designer they think (or pretend to think) they caught red-handed, hiding in the “gaps” is the God of the Bible. Several of them have plainly admitted that their belief that it’s God is a personal, untestable one, not unlike their theistic evolutionist critics.

Frank J. -

Oh, and let me stand on record that I, for one, have never accused the ID scammers of “dragging religion into the scientific realm.” Pseudoscience and political propaganda yes, but not religion.

Strong agreement.

Ironically the one (and probably only) thing that I think they’re honest about is that they are truly unsure whether or not the designer they think (or pretend to think) they caught red-handed, hiding in the “gaps” is the God of the Bible.

They probably don’t experience the things that you experience as “being honest” or “feeling unsure”. They probably don’t “pretend” in the sense that you or I would be “pretending” if we advocated a belief we don’t hold (because we would be consciously pretending, and secretly feel anxiety).

They adhere to an authoritarian agenda. This adherence gives them a sense of belonging and power. Their authoritarian agenda has multiple parallel objectives.

Their particular role is 1) to work toward getting sectarian science denial taught as “science” at taxpayer expense, by 2) attacking and denying science in any way possible, until ultimate victory. All of this has an additional benefit, 3) it provides a vast canon of propaganda so that authoritarian follower members of the movement can, when they feel cognitive dissonance, rush to reinforce their own brainwashing by reading the propaganda.

They will use any tactic which either advances the primary goal, or which merely harms and sabotages accurate science education (which is perceived, probably correctly, as indirectly advancing the primary goal).

The theory of evolution has emerged as the symbol of science which must be denied, understood as such even by their most intensely ignorant followers (for completely different reasons, AGW denial has emerged as a similar ritual stance). In the short run, the goal is to say or do anything that could possibly mislead or confuse anyone about the theory of biological evolution.

“Creation science” was overturned by courts, on the absurdly obvious grounds that it purely religious in nature.

The next strategy, which has also failed in court and lost steam in the media, but which persists for now, was simply to play word games, remove directly religious terms and direct “young earth” claims from creation science, and repackage it as “ID”, in the hopes that it would slip past the courts and into the public schools, in violation of the First Amendment.

By necessity, using ID to push fundamentalism is a two-step process. One starts by “convincing” the other person that ID proves that “God is necessary” or some such thing. Then it’s just a matter of saying “now you have to choose a God, and I’ve got a suggestion…”. Although we can easily recognize this as a non sequitur, it is, in fact, a standard type of apologetics that long predates either “creation science” or ID.

How many YEC fundamentalists do you know of who condemn, rather than support, the DI and ID? Very very few, and if those few exist, they exist only because they are rival fund-raisers for creationism who perceive the DI as cutting into their turf. The authoritarian rank and file love ID.

How many teachers caught using ID stuff in the classroom don’t turn out to be fundamentalists? My guess is, essentially none.

Everybody gets it. ID is an attempt to “court proof” creation science/fundamentalism motivated science denial for use in public schools.

Several of them have plainly admitted that their belief that it’s God is a personal, untestable one, not unlike their theistic evolutionist critics.

This is tolerated, because the ID strategy is by necessity a two step process.

The first step is to “deny materialism”, by pretending to argue from a non-sectarian perspective (a step which is seldom achieved, as Lenny Flank used to note).

For THAT step, a few scientists and philosophers declaring “I don’t know who the designer is, how old the earth is, etc, ‘I only know that evolution and abiogenesis are impossible’”.

Should the primary stage succeed, First Amendment protections break down, science be eliminated, etc, which is unlikely, but should it happen, THEN those who are foolish enough to “now know who the designer is or how old the earth is” will be treated very harshly indeed. Today they are either consciously or unconsciously playing a useful role for the movement.

harold Wrote:

The authoritarian rank and file love ID.

As you probably know, I’m second only to you in terms of calling anti-evolution activists “authoritarians.” My problem, though is not with the hard-line authoritarian rank and file, ~99% of whom also “love” Biblical YEC and/or OEC, and equate them with ID (in which case the ID peddlers look the other way, despite throwing tantrums when their “Darwinist” critics do the same thing). My problem is the even larger demographic that just uncritically parrots ID sound bites like “I hear the jury’s still out about evolution” or “it’s only fair to teach both sides.” I fear that we’re just not reaching them, even though most of them are capable of knowing better. They are the leverage that the well-organized minority needs.

harold Wrote:

“Creation science” was overturned by courts, on the absurdly obvious grounds that it purely religious in nature.

The next strategy, which has also failed in court and lost steam in the media, but which persists for now, was simply to play word games, remove directly religious terms and direct “young earth” claims from creation science, and repackage it as “ID”, in the hopes that it would slip past the courts and into the public schools, in violation of the First Amendment.

Actually, the YE claims were removed from the planned textbook (“Pandas”) before the words with “creat” in them were sloppily removed (the infamous “cdesign proponentsists”). IIRC, even the language dealing with “individual origin of ‘kinds’” was minimal and vague in the early drafts. The writers knew that no court could ban the teaching of them no matter how much they smacked of Genesis - if they had the evidence to back them up. So they must have been painfully aware that they simply couldn’t be backed up, especially the YEC versions that most educated creationists found absurd back when creationism was more about honest belief than full-blown pseudoscience (mining evidence and quotes, defining words to suit the argument, baiting-and-switching evolution with abiogenesis, etc.).

As far as the ID perps dislike for the multiverse idea goes it could be more than just the fact that the Bible doesn’t say anything about it. If the type of multiverse exists where infinite universes are spawned each instant most of the ID arguments about how special we are or how improbable everything is would go out the window. No matter how improbable or special things appear to be there would be a universe where such a thing happened. No single universe would notice because everything would look natural and that is just the way things happened. Improbable things wouldn’t happen all the time, but you’d expect them to happen every once in a while.

You have to figure that the vast majority of infinite universes spawned every moment would be of the most probable mundane expected events. So you wouldn’t expect any single universe to notice, but you have the lesser infinity of universes where highly improbable things happen. You just don’t expect the improbable events to compound because those infinite miraculous universes would spawn a vast majority of new universes where the more mundane future things happen and so on. The thing is that once the first step in any progression is taken the next step would be inevitable for some lesser infinity of universes, and the next step, and the next etc.

It likely wouldn’t look much different than how we perceive our current universe. Possibly improbable things like life originating or the Big Bang occurring interspersed with long periods where nothing unusual happens.

Some sharpy might use the ID perps arguments to determine that the multiverse is likely a reality. He’d have to come up with some ways to fix what the ID perps haven’t been able to fix, but it might give someone something to shoot for.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Scanlan published on December 8, 2011 2:32 PM.

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