Long-time readers know my views on the pseudo-science movement behind intelligent design. Occasionally I get a reader who is unfamiliar with my views, or how long I have been tracking the issues.
So, for those readers new to the blog, I point to this post in which I discuss why it is not legal to teach intelligent design at present, since there is such a great lack of data, hypothesis, or anything else, in support of intelligent design in science. In heated discussion with Dr. Francis Beckwith of Baylor, several months ago, I felt compelled to find a good analogy for his advocacy that it would be legal under the Constitution for a state board of education or other educational entity to put intelligent design into public school science classes. This gives a link to that post.
I hope I’m not being too subtle for anyone: Intelligent Design: A pig that won’t fly.
What? Save you the bother of clicking to the post? Okay, here’s the post:
Gee, I think I first posted this more than a year before the Pennsylvania decision. In any case, the subject has come up once again in another forum: Why don’t we teach intelligent design as an “alternative” idea in public school science classes? The answer is, simply, ID is not science. It’s not an alternative hypothesis, it’s a chunk of minority cult religious dogma.
Most bad science claims recirculate year after year, until they are simply educated out of existence in the public mind. We can hope intelligent design falls into that category. But we might worry that modern creationism, begun as a backlash to the anti-Soviet, National Defense Education Act‘s effects on beefing up science teaching in American schools, survives.
Image: Flying Pig Brewing Co., Everett, Washington
We’re talking past each other now over at Right Reason, on a thread that started out lamenting Baylor’s initial decision to deny Dr. Francis Beckwith tenure last year, but quickly changed once news got out that Beckwith’s appeal of the decision was successful.
I noted that Beckwith’s getting tenure denies ID advocates of an argument that Beckwith is being persecuted for his ID views (wholly apart from the fact that there is zero indication his views on this issue had anything to do with his tenure discussions). Of course, I was wrong there — ID advocates have since continued to claim persecution where none exists. Never let the facts get in the way of a creationism rant, is the first rule of creationism.
Discussion has since turned to the legality of teaching intelligent design in a public school science class. This is well settled law — it’s not legal, not so long as there remains no undisproven science to back ID or any other form of creationism.
Background: The Supreme Court affirmed the law in a 1987 case from Louisiana, Edwards v. Aguillard (482 U.S. 578), affirming a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a state law requiring schools to teach creationism whenever evolution was covered in the curriculum. Summary judgment was issued by the district court because the issues were not materially different from those in an earlier case in Arkansas, McLean vs. Arkansas (529 F. Supp. 1255, 1266 (ED Ark. 1982)). There the court held, after trial, that there is no science in creationism that would allow it to be discussed as science in a classroom, and further that creationism is based in scripture and the advocates of creationism have religious reasons only to make such laws. (During depositions, each creationism advocate was asked, under oath, whether they knew of research that supports creationism; each answered “no.” Then they were asked where creationism comes from, and each answered that it comes from scripture. It is often noted how the testimony changes from creationists, when under oath.)
Especially after the Arkansas trial, it was clear that in order to get creationism into the textbooks, creationists would have to hit the laboratories and the field to do some science to back their claims. Oddly, they have staunchly avoided doing any such work, instead claiming victimhood, usually on religious grounds. To the extent ID differs from all other forms of creationism, the applicability of the law to ID was affirmed late last year in the Pennsylvania case, Kitzmiller v. Dover. (Please go read that case!)
Against this legal background, Dr. Francis Beckwith has been arguing that school boards may legally inject creationism into their curricula. His analysis is long and off the point; among other things he thinks that, philosophically, courts should not inquire into the religious motives of school boards and other legislative bodies when they pass such silly laws. In this argument, Beckwith appears to miss the essential elements upon which the courts rule: That there is no demonstration of science in the various flavors of creationism, and consequently no valid, secular reason to put it into school curricula.
In my days in intercollegiate debate, we called such cases “squirrels.” They depend on one’s roping in the opponent to an off-topic discussion on some point where you actually have a case, in order to avoid arguing on all the issues where you are weak. In the case of creationism, the ID advocates wish to avoid arguing on the issues of whether they’ve done any significant or substantial lab work since 1981, because they haven’t. Having not paid the dues to be called science, having not purchased the research ticket to respectability the courts require, they need to argue something else to stay in the game.
The bottom line is this: Dr. Beckwith claims that it would or should be legal to teach intelligent design (ID) in public school science classes, as science. These claims are predicated on an assumption that science is behind the ideas of intelligent design — and that assumption is completely unwarranted. There is not enough science in ID to get a nomination for the IgNobel Prizes, let alone to warrant teaching it as science to innocent children.
Beckwith doesn’t see it that way, of course. He’s got a book out, Law, Darwinism, and Public Education, in which he argues that ID should be treated like just an alternative proposal, and in which he concludes that if a school district were to make the ruling just right, ID would be found to be good science to be taught to kids. I bought the book a couple of years ago — at a church conference featuring the Discovery Institute’s best videos and books, a science conference being something too scary for intelligent design, it appears — and I have intended at various times to make a good fisking of it. But there are problems: First and foremost, the book is so rife with error that I can’t get more than a couple of pages at a time without throwing it down in disgust at its lack of editing. Nor is there any financial incentive — one more analysis that shows ID is still outdated and bad science, and that the law has not changed since 1788, is not much in demand. Perhaps someday, when I get some real library time, I might fisk it anyway.
In other places I have likened Beckwith’s claim to a claim that, philosophically, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should regulate pig farms in air traffic lanes near major airports, since, if pigs could fly, they might pose a hazard to commercial and general aviation. Such a claim is nearly indistinguishable from Beckwith’s claims in the soundness of their reasoning and arguments, and in the utter failure of the argument due to the error in a major premise. ID isn’t science, and pigs don’t fly.
Pig flight is a good analogy to Beckwith’s claims, I think. Logically, one can make the case that the FAA would have jurisdiction over farms with flying pigs. One can make that case under current law, which charges the FAA with worrying over hazards to aviation, and which in practice requires FAA and airports and airlines to seriously consider risks from birds around airports, as well as things like deer on the runways (hello O’Hare?). So, logically, philosophically, the case makes sense. It is a perfect squirrel case, except for this issue: Pigs don’t fly.
At Panda’s Thumb, earlier, I put it this way:
You have assumed that ID is science. It’s not. You’ve assumed that the science can be well demonstrated in a courtroom. No one has tried. It is unjustified, therefore, to make the leap to the position that teaching ID in a government-sponsored science class could be constitutional. I think the repeating of this canard is part of what makes non-legal scholars, like Tom DeLay, angry when the judges merely apply the law that exists, instead of the law that non-party partisans have told DeLay and others could exist.
One could, philosophically, argue that the Federal Aviation Administration should regulate effluents from pigs, if it can be shown that pigs do fly. The effluents could, arguably, pose a hazard to commercial and recreational aviation, and they could have effects on the ground around pig airports. If the pigs fly in FAA-regulated areas, then the law is pretty clear that they fall into the purview of the FAA.
But if the FAA shows up at an Arkansas pig farm to inspect the pigs, the farmer would be well within his rights to throw them off the farm. Pigs don’t fly, no matter the philosophical validity of the FAA’s having jurisdiction, if they did.
ID is not science. That pig hasn’t even sprouted wings yet.
Dr. Beckwith, later in that thread, came as close as he ever has to dealing with the issue:
Ed. I don’t recognize my arguments in your comments. As you know, if you have read my book, I am not offering legal advice to teachers. I am assessing a debate over Constitutional Law. To employ an illustration, prior to our current First Amendment regime, lawyers argued in law reviews that hard core pornography is protected by the Constitution, even though those lawyers would not advise their individual clients to start purchasing pornography. So, there is a difference between the sort of advice one may give a client, and the more scholarly debate about the nature of our legal regime and what sorts of actions are permissible under it.
The difference between pornography and intelligent design being only that pornography really does exist, and can be found easily, and in some cases may be argued to have socially redeeming value (see, c.f., the Sistine Chapel).
In any case, I think we can conclude that Beckwith and I agree on this: Teachers, administrators, don’t try ID in the classroom. That pig won’t fly.
More, Other Resources:
- Intelligent Design Crowd Whines About Wikipedia ‘Censorship’ (patheos.com)
- Discovery Institute Justifies Vestigial Organs (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
- Four Days of Fusion Chromosome Freak-Out (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- L’Affaire Synthese: Payback for Barbara Forrest’s Crucial Role in the Dover Case? (leiterreports.typepad.com)
- ‘Breathtaking Inanity’: How Intelligent Design Flunked Its Test Case (time.com)
- Why All the Fuss About Chromosomes? (sandwalk.blogspot.com)
- Theistic Evolution is Not a Form of Intelligent Design (scienceblogs.com)
- Does theistic evolution differ from Intelligent Design? (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- COMMENTARY: The right to hallucinate (mindanews.com)
USDA is talking about pigs flying now. Creationism still isn’t a thing, and intelligent design still isn’t smart.
Ok, thank you. In that case, I definitely disagree with many of the ideas ID presents. I do believe though that everything was created by an intelligent Being.
There is no evidence that any intelligence directed evolution at any point. That’s quite a bit different from saying no deity could have been involved; but it’s a direct contradiction to “intelligent design,” which claims things that look as though they might have been designed ARE evidence that they were designed.
Is that too subtle?
ID starts with the assumption that Darwin was opposed to Christianity, which is false; and ID proceeds to posit that science investigations are evil, which is also false.
Darwin did not challenge the concept of God, and carefully avoided making anything close to such a claim. There are those who argue the last paragraph of Darwin’s Origin of Species makes an elegant and poetic paean to God’s creation. See: https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/quote-of-the-moment-charles-darwin-and-the-tangled-bank/
I’m a little confused here as to what ID specifically is or claims as a full idea, but are you basically saying that it’s not possible or rational to believe that our world was, in fact, created by an intelligent Being?
Sometimes I fear it would be easier to get the GOP in Congress to pass a bill to study how to keep excrement from flying pigs off of airplane windshields, than to do something useful, like fund the upgrades to Air Traffic Control computers and peripherals that have been lagging these last 30 years.
Attempting to explain–and teach–actual Science by bending reality to meet an ideology, is akin to the methodology of snake oil salesmen throughout history. Shell games, soothsayers, crystal balls and, voila! Well, if you didn’t see that pig that just flew by, perhaps you weren’t watching close enough. But hey, just Trust Me!
To quote myself:
And the second you say “There’s a creator” the next obvious question becomes “Well who is that creator?”
Sorry, I’m not inclined to have all the non-Christian kids get their asses kicked by their fellow students who happen to be Christian when some student asks “Who is the Creator?” and some right wing Christian teacher is dumb enough to answer “God.” because that is exactly what will happen at the end of your mad little quest, Don Quixote.
Or some non-Christian teacher will be fired when he/she answers that the identity of the Creator is someone other then the Christian God and the parents of some Christian student kvetch to the school board.
Science should remain neutral and your idea blows that concept out of the water. That and ID is under no circumstances science. It’s fake science.
I believe I’ve presented cogent proof that ID is a science, based on that it in fact does have labs, and does publish a number of pro-ID papers
Ok first off those supposed “papers” are nowhere in any peer reviewed and credible scientific journal. Those papers are passed around a small group of supposed scientists who believe that ID is science. That is by definition having the foxes guard the chicken coop. Sorry, if you only have your fellow discovery institute members look at your papers then you’re setting up a situation that is entirely biased.
Until they’re willing to put those papers up for critique by scientists who aren’t IDers those papers are meaningless.
And no ID is not science. It assumes there’s a creator and yet they never provide any evidence of it. Sorry, you can’t negatively prove something. Meaning you can’t say “Well since I can’t disprove a Creator that means there must be a Creator.” Else you just “proved” the existance of unicorns, Dragons, Puff the Magic Dragon, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Cthulu, Sauron, Dunklezahn, Gandalf, Hobbits, Elves, He Who Must Not Be Named, Hogwarts, Vulcans, Romulans, Mimbari, Asari, Shadows, Vorlons, Cylons, etc.
ID is nothing more then religious belief. It is Creationism by another name. It is nothing more then Creationists attempt to get into the science classrooms of public schools by the back door when they’ve been blocked from coming in the front door.
And the second you say “There’s a creator” the next obvious question becomes “Well who is that creator?” And religion finds enough reasons to want to engage in oppression, persecution, discrimination, murder and wars without being stupid enough to have science pick sides.
Then there is the fact that the only supporters of ID are right wing Christians. ID appears nowhere else, in no other culture, in no other part of the world…only in the United States. Sorry it’s kind of hard for you to claim that it isn’t a religious belief when the only supporters of ID are my fellow Christians who are on the far right wing of the spectrum.
So my suggestion to you and all those other Christians is quit being stupid enough to think that the theory of evolution is somehow a threat to God or Christianity.
Sort of a quick hit; still really cramped for time.
Marxist? Not much evidence of that, and wholly irrelevant to this discussion, so long as he’s not a Stalinist in accepting creationism, like Lysenko. You’re arguing the Stalinist view, so I suspect that wasn’t your intention to impugn such nonscience.
Yeah, I know, you didn’t read Lewontin’s book, nor any of his essays, and you think you can dismiss him by citing his politics.
I’ll wager you’re from the anti-science wing of the GOP. What’s the point? Stick to the facts, and don’t make half-citations, and don’t strip quote.
Lewontin said nothing against religion. He was talking about the scientific method, and you still don’t get it.
You didn’t even read his position, and you misdescribed it. Confession is good for the soul, you know.
He’s saying that scientific methods are materialistic, because you can’t disprove something that doesn’t exist, and you can’t disprove a hypothesis you don’t even make.
There’s a difference between materialism as a method of study of things, and materialist philosophy. We’re talking science, you’re confusing it with philosophy and ignoring the science.
If you have a quibble with the scientific method, make it known. But don’t hide behind philosophical misunderstandings, and claim to be indicting science. You’re indicting religious belief, and that’s not science.
You don’t know what Lewontin’s views are, is my point. For all you know, he was critical of people who religiously accept science knowledge.
You’re on foreign ground, pretending to speak the language and know the lay of the land, though all you have is a compass you keep pinned with a magnet.
The only way to test something scientifically is to use materialist methods, yes. It’s not only unfair to ask how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it’s not measurable. Consequently, any answer you propose to that question is not science, regardless how many angels may actually dance on pinheads (pun intended).
You’re reading stuff I didn’t write, and drawing conclusions falsely. I didn’t say the methods of science are not materialistic. I said if you want to study angels, feel free.
Got any evidence?
No, I didn’t think so.
I’m disputing your misquoting what Lewontin said, and misinterpreting on the basis of that misquote what you claim he said. He didn’t say God doesn’t exist. He didn’t say we can’t study efficacy of prayer in healing, nor the existence of angels. He said in order to make a case in science, you must have evidence.
Got evidence that is solid, verifiable, and can be either replicated in other experiments or observed by others under the same circumstances? No, you don’t.
So don’t claim that your lack of evidence is evidence of bias in others. You can’t make the case, and that’s not Lewontin’s bias that says so.
I said: “I didn’t assume any difference between extraterrestrials and anything. You brought the subject up. All assumptions are yours.”
“Do you believe here is some rule in science that says “you can’t study anything supernatural?” Is that the source of your misconception about what is investigated and how science works?”
Clearly you don’t understand evidence, in science, nor in general use. Is there evidence for ID? Where? In Pennsylvania, in federal court, in 2005 whether ID could be taught as valid science hung on the issue of whether anyone could present evidence, not only showing that intelligent design has traction as a discipline, but whether there is any study of that evidence. With the fate of ID resting on the outcome, ID advocates were unable to produce a single publication that even stated a hypothesis of intelligent design. Claims of papers that prove some weight to the idea were dashed on cross examination.
Now, you may believe you’ve got some evidence. Is it from a science lab? Is it published in a juried journal? Does it pose more questions than it answers, especially research questions for future inquiry — or does it close off debate with a “goddidit and we’ll never understand it” answer? More critically, has anyone cited the paper and found it replicable, and been able to base further research on that paper?
No, to all of those questions. Under oath.
So, if you’re claiming otherwise, I assume it’s because you think you can get away with it because you’re not under oath with potential penalties of perjury.
Yes, you’re confused. I didn’t say ID is valid. I didn’t say angels are valid. I offered no statement about God. You’re seeing evidence where none exists, and leaping to erroneous conclusions.
<blockquote,If this is truly your opinion, then rest assured, I will give you a big smiley face, and then link back here whenever atheists tell me that the supernatural just doesn’t belong in science because it’s *super*-natural, not natural. And trust me, I’ve had long conversations with evolution proponents that have made that precise argument.
You’re misunderstanding the issue. The issue is, can you make a claim without evidence?
What evidence have you of angels? What evidence have you of God?
In a more serious, ethical sense, why do you think we call it “faith?” If there were solid evidence of God, Christians would be agnostics, not the “faithful.” Christianity assumes there is not evidence that will stand up to scientific scrutiny. That’s why it’s a leap of faith, and why Christians argue it is a mystery, a sweet and divine mystery.
So, yes, I know you’re confused. You don’t even understand the religious side of the argument, and you’ll misstate that, on your way to misunderstanding the science side.
I’m all about the evidence. ID doesn’t even have a hypothesis (sure, disagree — if you can point me to a simple statement of ID hypothesis that has not been thoroughly disproven).
There is no laboratory working on an ID paradigm, doing ID research, anywhere on earth.
You’ve got contrary evidence? Have you checked out the journals? Have you looked to see whether there is fruit from that claimed science? Remember, claims of fruit that turn out to be false are grounds for Jesus to wither your branches . . .
You’re right in that I’m not acquainted with Richard Lewontin in any meaningful sense. However, I did know that he is a geneticist and a marxist and a world leader in evolutionary biology, according to CMI. So I certainly did know his position. I know what he’s saying. And guess what? He’s saying that science is a priori materialism.
That being said. What’s your point? Was I reviewing his review or his status as a scientist? What difference would it make if he was creationist? Unless you mean to say that means he did not represent scientific culture accurately? *Was* he a creationist? Make your case here dude. I’m not asking about his reasoning. Should I or should I not, accept his explanation, that our science is inherently and exclusively materialistic?
You said it isn’t, Richard said it was. Who do I believe?
I find it amazing that this is being disputed, but it’s your call.
“I didn’t assume any difference between extraterrestrials and anything. You brought the subject up. All assumptions are yours.
Do you believe here is some rule in science that says “you can’t study anything supernatural?” Is that the source of your misconception about what is investigated and how science works?”
Absolutely. That is my belief. Otherwise, why are we arguing? Why didn’t you just say, ‘sure, I agree with you. ID is valid. God is valid. Angels are valid’?
Either one or both of us is confused, or you’ve been unintentionally misleading me. If this is truly your opinion, then rest assured, I will give you a big smiley face, and then link back here whenever atheists tell me that the supernatural just doesn’t belong in science because it’s *super*-natural, not natural. And trust me, I’ve had long conversations with evolution proponents that have made that precise argument.
If I have misjudged your position, then I apologise. I hope that following this post, we shall both be clear about each other’s position.
And ok, let’s keep this simple:
Two ID labs:
Evolutionary Informatics Lab
50+ peer reviewed scientific papers.
I got that just from that link I gave you.
“In 2011, the ID movement counted its 50th peer-reviewed scientific paper and new publications continue to appear. The current boom goes back to 2004, when Discovery Institute senior fellow Stephen Meyer published a groundbreaking paper advocating ID in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. There are multiple hubs of ID-related research.”
And I did read your other thread, ‘Pigs still don’t fly’. I really don’t care if ID is taught in schools or not. I never even heard of it until a coupla years ago. Critical analysis of evolution, sure. Goes without saying. I’m not really concerned about responding or refuting any of that, anything that I want to say, I’m putting right here.
“Lewontin said we cannot allow hypothesis to claim “spirits did it” unless all OTHER hypotheses have been exhausted.
Interestingly, we’ve never reached a point where all other hypotheses have been exhausted — we always find answers before we get there.”
That’s nice. So really, Darwin’s theory should never have been accepted, because we already had the answer of creation? Fascinating.
Okay, trying to simplify this because the dialogue has flopped all over the place into areas I don’t care about. Let me try to sum up.
1) There is nothing to prohibit superhuman intelligence in science.
2) God is a superhuman intelligence.
3) Therefore he is valid in science.
That’s creation. For ID it’s:
1) Design is apparent in nature.
2) Design denotes intelligence.
3) Therefore, nature had an intelligent designer.
You seem to be saying, that because you feel evolutionary design accounts for life better, that that of necessity means that competing theories are invalid.
If you agree with my points, and that there’s no reason that God, or an Intelligent Designer is automatically inapplicable or invalid as science, then that will resolve this debate.
And the fruit of intelligent design is well… fruit. We already have the *results* of intelligent design. It’s in the universe around us. ID is about detecting the design itself, as the best hypothesis, or even just a hypothesis for the apparence of design in nature. If we find alien civilisations, but no aliens, that is us detecting intelligent design. (Read Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels, he makes some cogent remarks on this whole thing, although he’s on the other side, I would say.)
And intelligent design could absolutely and already has yielded results. Just some small examples. It correctly predicted that we would find that ‘junk DNA’ was not a junky as we thought. I personally figured out that there was no way the appendix did nothing, and deduced it was some sort of specialised buffer organ that didn’t see much action on average, when I was a kid and people were telling me it was useless. (Before I even knew there was some sort of controversy going on).
Also, I know of two or so creationist predictions off hand that trumped the orthodoxy. The magnetic field strength of two of our gas planets Voyager II surveyed, and the temperature of Venus before it was surveyed.
Intelligent Design would or will inform us our skills of genetic engineering, and a form of Intelligent Design, i.e the idea that God created the universe, got us all the way to Darwin.
And you seem to grant the influence of evolution with far more credit than it deserves. AIDs and microbiotics only concern *mutation* not evolution. HIV for example, always reverts to it’s original basic type. To my eyes, that looks like a designed responsiveness to biological attack, switching weapons to something more useful.
They’ve dug up viruses that have been hundreds of years old, and it is exactly the same as it always was.
Nobody ‘evolves’ a treatment, because that should be completely impossible, unless we’re saying that species can evolve within hours instead of millions of years.
People *say* that evolution is the most useful thing in medicine, but you’re going to have to show me some examples, since I doubt people really develop medicine by waiting a million years. About the only thing I can think of where evolution has inspired advancement, is software, and that’s just conceptual inspiration.
What I think, is that people are mistaking advanced molecular biology as being evolution, when it’s actually just design. DNA is often spoken of as a ‘blueprint’.
My mother is a microbiologist who runs a lab, and she’s never run into any problems requiring evolution, even if that was possible.
I find it curious that you are (I assume) a bible-believer, yet you think the scriptures will actually defend evolution, or at least refute my straight-forward interpretation of 6-days (and I used to be old-earth, by the by). In fact, if I try hard, I could probably find three or four verses of Paul if not Jesus, about men thinking themselves wise who became fools (you might have been thinking of the same), and ‘you have hidden it from wise men and revealed it to babes’, and the trap and the lie of materialism and material thinking. And stuff like exchanging the glory of god for crappy stuff like idols of wood, etc. I’m sure relevance can be milked out of them. I probably wrote them down in my notebook.
Or how about John 5:45-47? – “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuses you, Moses, in whom you have put your hope. (46) In fact, if you believed Moses you would believe me, for that one wrote about me. (47) But if you do not believe the writings of that one, how will you believe my sayings?”
Even if you can rework the scriptures to tacitly accept evolution (as some do), it would not defend it. I have no problem with you sending missionaries if you like, although I assume you were being rhetorical. I like discussing scripture with whoever. You never know where an important insight might come from.
Since it seems we both actually believe in the bible, I’d suggest we not turn this into a theological war. But again, it’s up to you.
(And by ‘cult’ did you mean creationists or JWs? If I was a ‘non-conformist Christian’ would I still be a cult? Oh, please oh please!)
I apologise if there’s anything in your post that felt I ignored, my focus is divided, and I’m trying to solidify the discussion, here. We’ve expended a great many words that seem like we shooting right past each other.
I believe I’ve presented cogent proof that ID is a science, based on that it in fact does have labs, and does publish a number of pro-ID papers.
We both seem to agree there’s no reason to distinguish between angels and aliens when it comes to science, and that for all purposes they’re pretty much the same.
(The theological distinction comes because Christian folk tend to regard them as non-material, or something beyond the currently observable physics, but scientifically it’s still a question).
And that’s all I would love to have from this. ID is a legitimate science. It may not be the big theory, it may not even be widely accepted, people might think it’s bullsh**, but it is still a legitimate scientific program. Just like SETI, just like string theory, just like dark matter hypothesis, etc, etc, ad nauseum.
(Post really wasn’t as short as I intended. Apologies.)
I didn’t assume any difference between extraterrestrials and anything. You brought the subject up. All assumptions are yours.
Do you believe here is some rule in science that says “you can’t study anything supernatural?” Is that the source of your misconception about what is investigated and how science works?
No such rule. The rule is a bit different, like this: You can’t assume that something affected the outcome of your experiment because you want it to; you must study only those effects that actually occur.
So far as the search for life outside our solar system, it does not matter whether that life calls itself Odin or Zeus, or Thing 2, or Bob. What matters is that it communicates with electromagnetic means that our radio telescopes can pick up.
Of course, you’re aware that no angels have sent any messages, right?
Because you don’t apprehend this methodology, you completely misunderstand what Lewontin said, and why it’s accurate.
What he said is that science doesn’t have any special tools to detect gods, angels, or other spirits. So, we do not assume that any spirit has mucked with an experiment or observation, especially without evidence.
We cannot say we are looking for God, in other words, and then say that light is evidence of God because we don’t know about photons (to pick one point of ignorance obviated in the last century).
Lewontin said we cannot allow hypothesis to claim “spirits did it” unless all OTHER hypotheses have been exhausted.
Interestingly, we’ve never reached a point where all other hypotheses have been exhausted — we always find answers before we get there.
Consequently, as Dr. Lewnontin explains in that book (which, of course, you did not bother to actually read — heavens, you have no clue who Lewontin is, nor why anyone would listen to him; for all you know he’s the chief creationist for Answers in Genesis), people who seek to do science should NEVER say “We’ll stop here and assume Goddidit.” That’s the lazy way out, and it’s been proven wrong on everything that counts.
Now, cast off your yellowed glasses that make you see everything as jaundiced, and read Lewontin’s statement again. He’s saying that one cannot do science if one assumes one knows the answer before forming a hypothesis, and not before getting the data that test the hypothesis.
If, after you’ve found a good question to pursue, you’ve devised the experiment and got it properly controlled, you’ve analyzed the data and removed any bit of bias, you discover the foot in the door is the foot of a god and not your lab assistant who has forgotten her key and wants to stop the door from locking her out, then you’ve got a grand paper.
Do you understand? Not every foot in the door is God’s foot. Not even religious people make that assumption, if they have a lick of common sense and a proper understanding of their duty to seek and tell the truth.
My entire argument is that ID is not science unless it formulates questions, devises experiments to test those questions and hypotheses, and then honestly reports the data from the experiments and observations before moving on to the next question, which probably arose because the experiment provided information non one expected.
As I noted — you would do well, very well, to read the essay I wrote before you go off half-cocked about what I said — there is no lab doing work on an ID hypothesis. Mr. Johnson came up with the idea of intelligent design as an alternative theory, as any criminal defense attorney might propose other ways the crime could have been done by someone other than the attorney’s client. Johnson is an attorney. But that is not the scientific method, and it is not science.
As Jesus said, we know the tree by its fruit. We use evolution every day in the fight against cancer, the fight against AIDS, in the breeding of miracle seeds to speed the existing Green Revolution and bring on another, in our observations of our domestic stock and observations of animals and plants in the wild. There are 10,000 papers published each year under the evolutionary paradigms, advancing science, beating disease, increasing crop yields, defeating weeds and other pests, and generally making our lives better. The fruits of evolution are all around us, from almost all the meats we eat in the U.S. to almost all the fruits and vegetables and grains we consume. You stroll through the produce aisle at the supermarket and you are faced with applied evolution at every turn — corn, tomatoes as big as your fist, artichokes, citrus sweet enough to eat, grapefruit, which did not exist at all 200 years ago, seedless oranges, apples whose pests in the Americans evolved to feed upon them, etc., etc.
And the fruit of intelligent design is . . . . nothing, nowhere.
Jesus was right. If the fruit is rotten the tree is bad. If the fruit is bitter, the tree is bad (though we may be able to alter its offspring . . . ), and if the fruit is non-existent . . . well, you know what Jesus did to that poor little olive tree.
The Bible, the New Testament, already has scripture to deal with fruitless claims like intelligent design, and fruitless claims like “pigs fly.” It’s too bad so many in your cult seem so unfamiliar with Christian scripture. Can we send some missionaries your way?
Please read this before going on: https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/intelligent-design-pigs-still-dont-fly/
“Well good for you. It, however, still isn’t science and is still nothing but a heretical belief.”
FAVOURITE quote of the day! XD
Don’t burn me! o.O
Hahaha, this is fantastic! I’m so glad I managed to find this site again.
Let me, as simply as I can, explain why your responses are awesome.
I am a Christian. One of the religious folk. A good ol’ young earth fundie bible believer.
I was playing, with direct irony, to your own prejudice.
“On what evidenced do you propose that? You made an assumption — wholly unevidenced — that there is some sort of difference between extraterrestrials and angels.”
This is the greatest example of how not to refute me. Since my whole point has been why do *you* assume there’s a difference? Why are ETs a subject of scientific inquiry, but angels are not? So this actually means you agree with me, and my point is completely valid! Kudos!
But let’s continue regardless.
“If “spirits” wish to send a message to the array used to track the signals SETI looks for, let ‘em. You assume such signals cannot be picked up — but again, your assumption is wholly unwarranted.”
Again, lol! Since when did I say that? What you seem to be suggesting is that we are only allowing to use radio-dishes and interpreting star-signals to look for ETs, whether or not it’s the best way, or necessary. I’m not saying that SETI should be shut down. I’m saying that as long as it operates, it makes a case that you need zero-evidence to pursue a science, or look for superhuman intelligence. Drake whipped a number out of his butt, and got funding to look for aliens.
“You imagine some sort of animosity in science to the idea of spirits — you provide no evidence of such animosity — and you imagine, therefore, science somehow distinguishes between spirits religionists hope to see, and other extraterrestrial life. That imagining is, again, without warrant or evidence.
You’re imagining some great conflict. Why, I don’t have a clue. ”
I would love if you are right here. I really want to agree with you. Unfortunately, your entire post and thread here has been an attack on ID, and why it is, on assumption, not a science.
So does this mean, in your view, that the theory that spirits are not outside the realm of science?
Or, the idea that the apparent design in nature, fully enables the the theory that they could be intelligently designed?
I never asked science to look for a specific sort of alien. ID isn’t even about looking for spirits, or even aliens, or gods, or anything of that nature. It’s purely examining material evidence, and making direct conclusions.
“You also said, that if angels appeared, then that is a ‘natural event’.
We both completely agree! If science countenances nothing supernatural, why assume that theories involving God and the angels, must only be interpreted as supernatural? ”
Are you now claiming religious spirits cannot be detected by any mechanism? If so, how could you ever distinguish them from an LSD hallucination? And what’s your kick? We don’t search the universe for such hallucinations, either.”
I don’t even know what that’s responding to. You seem to be accidentally fighting for my side here. I’m saying that if the ooga-booga people looked up, saw an aeroplane, and went ‘wow, look at the big flying spirit-god!’, why would a scientist therefore be forced to not believe in the existence of aeroplanes, because a primitive people labelled it as a spirit?
Do you see what I’m getting at? If you think the testimony of angelic visitation in the bible is disqualified, only because someone waved a ‘spirit’ label at them, it really should not be difficult, to go, ‘well, just because they called it a spirit, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a real live alien visitor’.
Stephen Hawkings thought that the Higgs boson was a myth, or a ‘hallucination’, if you like, and now he has to fork over $100. And we’re not looking for hallucinations, or even just a random idea someone had, we’re looking for contemporary evidence of historical testimony.
And, just to be explicitly clear. I do not believe in the existence of ETs, (aside from God and his angels), though I have nothing against it. That doesn’t stop them from being scientifically valid, according to SETI supporters. And all this, without a scrap of producible evidence. Chemical compounds does not intelligent life make. Or else just seeing a star would be proof of Intelligent Life, since it has all that materials for it, according to cosmology.
“Science doesn’t reject “supernatural.” Science rejects “absolutely no evidence.” If you have no evidence for an entity, in science, you are not allowed to hypothesize that it exists and changes things that do exist.
ID shares that with claims of the supernatural — no evidence exists for either one. That doesn’t mean science confuses them. It means they do not affect science hypotheses.”
Hahaha, science does not reject ‘supernatural’? Then we have no problem. However, it’s patently false. Materialism, and naturalism, are the *constants* of our science.
Here’s a infamous quote you might like:
” ‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” – Richard Lewontin
There absolutely is evidence of intelligent design. Even intelligent design of biological life. Even Dawkins admits that nature ‘appears designed’, but that it’s simply an illusion.
What you are requiring, in order for it to be a valid line of inquiry, a *scientific* one, is *proof* that life is intelligently designed. And in your words, ‘that’s not how science works’. You need to be able to pursue a theory, whether or not man was ‘meant’ to fly.
If you have no evidence for something, then you’re not allowed to hypothesise?
Seriously? SETI, hello?
I don’t mind if you love SETI. Just don’t mess with ID because you don’t like non-material explanations. It’s an irrelevant objection.
“Better scientists don’t. ID advocates and other creationists allow their faith to dictate what they want to see in their experiments, and to skew the results of their experiments. Very simply, that’s why it’s not science. Even ID advocates know that. There is not a single laboratory in the nation (or world) pursing research along a paradigm of intelligent design — not even a good ID hypothesis. With nearly 10,000 papers each year utilizing evolution theories, were ID an important concept in those sciences, we would expect to see dozens, or perhaps hundreds of such papers with an ID hypothesis. Year after year, zero. In the 30 years since the ID hypothesis was propounded (by a lawyer who, thank heaven, did not teach evidence — not by a scientist), only three papers have sneaked into print — two have been retracted.
ID simply is not science.”
I’m not even going to argue your stats, because it is such a perfect example of making my point about bias. (And I’m too lazy to google.)
You managed to throw in every subjective, emotional, unsubstantiated qualifier known to man. Better scientists? And you assume that ID advocates and creationists just skew results? (Of non-existent research, according to you.) And all this with the implication that ‘better scientists’ like atheists and evolutionists, do not?
And considering, as afore mentioned, that there’s at least one agnostic in ID, sort of blows that assertion out. Working on ID does not require faith at all. (Unless it’s faith in science.)
And even assuming all the stats here are perfect, and all that ‘there’s-no-labs’ stuff, you still admitted that there is even now, an ID paper with an ID hypothesis (which you said previously was non-existent, so how does that work?) in circulation. Guess what? It only takes one.
Is it your contention, that even if an ID paper is in circulation and valid, that you can arbitrarily decide that it’s not? (And that’s just ID, I know for a fact that there’s a massive number of creation-supporting papers).
Are you proceeding from your love of rationality, or of your distaste for ID?
And the whole point of this thing, is that the whole, ‘there’s-not-enough-ID-paper’ is because they believe the same as you, that it simply cannot be admitted as science. They’ll dedicate entire books to arguing it, but they don’t want to allow it any *real* intellectual validity.
Actually, I’ll share this tidbit with you, since it’s the most recent I’ve read. Those paragons of scientific virtue:
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against ya, you seem like a wonderfully intelligent and articulate fellow, even if we obviously will inevitably cross blades over these subjects. I don’t expect you to like ID, since it’s been quite effectively represented to the public as Creationism 2.0.
But it would be nice if you didn’t try to nuke it under false pretences of I’m-Just-Being-Rational-Here. We won’t diss your SETI, if you don’t get a boner over schoolyard pick-on-the-nerd mentality. (‘Schuse my language.) That’s the win I’m looking for.
Oh, actually, I did just decide to google anyway, and here’s what I got.
And I missed all the fun. :(
Maybe Christians and religious folk are simply too blinded by prejudice to understand that God and his servants are natural creatures.
*falls over laughing* you attack Christians and religious folk as blinded by prejudice…and yet your very statement so blatantly displays your own bias and prejudice.
And ID is important to me. :)
Well good for you. It, however, still isn’t science and is still nothing but a heretical belief.
On what evidenced do you propose that? You made an assumption — wholly unevidenced — that there is some sort of difference between extraterrestrials and angels. Then you claim that scientists have some sort of bias, because of your unwarranted assumption.
That’s just not the way science works.
SETI is funded by contrbutions from people who think we owe it to ourselves to look for life. Fermi said it’s unlikely life is out there — because we haven’t seen any yet (same way we can be pretty sure time travel doesn’t work: We are not flooded with time travel tourists).
But our observations show the chemicals necessary for life here exist in every corner of the universe. LIfe is very robust, really — it exists in astonishing extremes of temperatures, pressure, acidity and aridity. Is there life out there? No evidence of intelligent life, yet.
If “spirits” wish to send a message to the array used to track the signals SETI looks for, let ’em. You assume such signals cannot be picked up — but again, your assumption is wholly unwarranted.
You imagine some sort of animosity in science to the idea of spirits — you provide no evidence of such animosity — and you imagine, therefore, science somehow distinguishes between spirits religionists hope to see, and other extraterrestrial life. That imagining is, again, without warrant or evidence.
You’re imagining some great conflict. Why, I don’t have a clue.
You can apply statistics to them, simply by counting the number of times they appear in the bible. I can think of at least four, distinctly.
You also said, that if angels appeared, then that is a ‘natural event’.
Are you now claiming religious spirits cannot be detected by any mechanism? If so, how could you ever distinguish them from an LSD hallucination? And what’s your kick? We don’t search the universe for such hallucinations, either.
What do you mean, “according to ID?” There is no ID hypothesis. There is no ID evidence. There is no branch of scientific knowledge called “ID.” Who are you to tell us what a non-existent discipline believes?
Perhaps you’re failing to understand how science works. Science works on what we can observe, and what the numbers show (quantum mechanics is way out there, but at least we seem to have some confirmation of the existence of the Higgs particle).
Science doesn’t reject “supernatural.” Science rejects “absolutely no evidence.” If you have no evidence for an entity, in science, you are not allowed to hypothesize that it exists and changes things that do exist.
ID shares that with claims of the supernatural — no evidence exists for either one. That doesn’t mean science confuses them. It means they do not affect science hypotheses.
Better scientists don’t. ID advocates and other creationists allow their faith to dictate what they want to see in their experiments, and to skew the results of their experiments. Very simply, that’s why it’s not science. Even ID advocates know that. There is not a single laboratory in the nation (or world) pursing research along a paradigm of intelligent design — not even a good ID hypothesis. With nearly 10,000 papers each year utilizing evolution theories, were ID an important concept in those sciences, we would expect to see dozens, or perhaps hundreds of such papers with an ID hypothesis. Year after year, zero. In the 30 years since the ID hypothesis was propounded (by a lawyer who, thank heaven, did not teach evidence — not by a scientist), only three papers have sneaked into print — two have been retracted.
ID simply is not science.
And I am perfectly at ease with my flapping. Generally leads to exciting innovations in transportation.
And ID is important to me. :)
Hahaha, you sort of made my point. There is no scientific data that spirits exist, because we have no idea what constitutes a spirit. So a spirit could be an immaterial substance that has no connection to anything we understand to be a part of the physical world, or it could be a really energetic ball of helium.
This isn’t proceeding from an assumption that the existence of some substance we have no definition of needs to be established before we can consider them ‘fair game’ for thought.
All we really have to go on, from the bible, is that they’re superior to us, and they’re messengers of god, and they have the ability to do amazing things. It does not say that they do it by using fairy dust, or their three wishes, it does not say that the angelic civilisation uses advanced technology to accomplish their needs just as we do?
You touched on it. ‘Without evidence’. Why is science allowing it to be prescribed by our religious and personal convictions?
My absolute, quintessential point, is that the only grounds upon which you can make a distinction between an angel and an alien, non-human extra-terrestrial intelligences, is theological. Since science does not take theology into consideration, then an angel is simply a proposed form of alien life. There is no legitimate, scientific filter to preclude them from consideration, other than someone wrote something about them in a book you cannot pay attention to.
So, I would propose, that you in fact have a religiously motivated bias against the consideration of a legitimate inquiry.
You can apply statistics to them, simply by counting the number of times they appear in the bible. I can think of at least four, distinctly.
You also said, that if angels appeared, then that is a ‘natural event’.
We both completely agree! If science countenances nothing supernatural, why assume that theories involving God and the angels, must only be interpreted as supernatural? Maybe Christians and religious folk are simply too blinded by prejudice to understand that God and his servants are natural creatures.
Since they were here before us, wouldn’t that more properly just make us ‘sub-natural’ at best? A.k.a. artificial? According to ID.
You see why I think the objection of ‘supernatural’ is childish? It’s like a ten year-old hassling people about double-negatives.
And let’s add this up.
The bible lists a number of angelic visitors (or alien, if you like). Quite specific. So, this would be an admission of evidence (not necessarily proof) of the existence of angelic life.
Whereas on the other hand, SETI and number-conjuring fantasists have produced 0 examples of extra-terrestrial life. And so we don’t get picky about chemical compounds, I’ll modify that to e-t intelligent life.
Of the two, the bible has more objective weight in its favour than the generally considered ‘scientific’ SETI.
And also, if you would like to discuss the ‘issues and contradictions’ that trouble you in the bible, I have no problem with it, since I’ve been involved in that sort of debate from day 1 of all this stuff.
And yes, both on the internet and in real life, people often suspect me of being on some kind of permanent hyper-drug. I had a happy-cookie experience once. Except it was that nobody believed that I didn’t eat any of it. I have no explanation, except that I continue to hold in the belief that I am awesome. Because, you know, you can’t stop me. :)
Also, do you have a scintillating whiff of whether dark matter exists? I’d would be fascinated to hear the powerful line of reasoning that distinguishes it as not belonging to the ‘invisible’, ‘mysterious’, ‘undefinable’ categories, save that it makes gravity.
And people seem to have a rather simplistic appreciation of the word ‘faith’.
I have faith in my (earthly) father. Due to powerful and sufficient evidence.It’s not something I spuriously invented so I could tell people how cool Dad is. Faith is not the antonym of reason. It doesn’t disappear at inverse proportions to how likely something becomes. (Though it could play some sort of ambiguous factor. I’m sure there’s a neat Terry Pratchett quote that could be inserted here.)
I can say on faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, barring evil owls and bronchitis. That’s not because I’ve mentally calculated the orbits of the earth and the sun, the gravitational influence of all the planetary bodies in the system, and the effect of starlight. I’m just confident, because of all the intuitive reasons we all believe that it will, because experience tells us it’s pretty reliable, because we intuitively know that people wouldn’t lie about something like that.
I can also tell you on faith that there are over 7 billion people in the world right at this moment, even though I’ve personally seen only a few thousand people in my entire life, and there could have been a horrible meteoric catastrophe in the last 5 seconds.
In Paul’s words:
Hebrew 11:1 –
“Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstrations of realities though not beheld.”
The evident demonstrations… of realities though not beheld. Such as atoms. You can’t see them, but the experiments Rutherford performed demonstrated their existence. Wind.It’s invisible, but there’s not a person on the planet that denies it’s there. And so on, and so forth.
Also, if you wish to get into a discussion about scriptural literature, I have no objections. I would only consider myself a bible student at this stage, but I’m moderately confident I can allay some your fears about the intellectual vulnerability of the bible. One could almost say I have faith.
I should also tell you, that since I have my roots as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’m not using the King James version (though I believe I have it, also). NWT is the bible for me. Plus it’s a bigger version than the KJ. :)
The ‘unicorn’ you refer to, off the top of my head, was actually a form of oxen, straight horns or some such to the point of exquisite bovine perfection. Thus ‘one-horn’. Highly prized among the ancients, it must be assumed.
Of course, I couldn’t swear to it. Maybe there actually were unicorns. They look (according to our reliable sources of legends and fingerpainting) 98 % just like horses. I’m sure evolution could manage a head-bone. :D
Maybe it’s antennapedia! :O
Yeah, look out for the fork.
Here, please read what I wrote about ID. I dealt with some of the issues you raise, and I deal with others you didn’t touch: https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/intelligent-design-pigs-still-dont-fly/
Perhaps. Maybe you should stop flapping about ID, about imagined slights, imagined science and imagined history, and try some social commentary some time.
Haven’t had this kind of experience since the hippie down the hall forgot which brownies he cooked the stuff in, and ate all of them. We had to try to convince him that he didn’t have to attend class in the summer. Ultimately we decided just to let him go to class. He couldn’t find his way off the block, let alone to school.
A couple of days of sleep, he was fine.
Statistics suggest there should be life on other planets, though some (Fermi, famously), think not. But no one has ever seen one. If aliens show up, they will not be supernatural.
Angels not only have no evidence in their favor, there also are no statistics suggesting they should be anywhere. If they show up, that would be a natural event.
But generally, angels are defined by religionists as supernatural because, it is assumed (without evidence) they may defy some of the laws of physics.
Technically speaking, there is no evidence of God. That’s why we call it “faith.”
Who has determined there are spirits of any sort? Show me the paper. There is no evidence of spirits, especially the detectable sort.
Oh, there are unicorns in the Bible, too. If you want to discuss science, don’t start with the Bible, any version of it.
We don’t know. There’s been no hint of a whiff of an iota of a scintilla of evidence that spirits exist.
Wait, people don’t believe in Intelligent Design? So where did cars come from? And cities? From invisible undesigned storks?
I think people deliberately, and with some satisfaction, try not to understand the concept of Intelligent Design too clearly. Kind of like how I wouldn’t want to be seen talking to UFO guys unless I was obviously mocking them. And it’s a lot easier if you can just smoosh it together with creation, because those guys are vulnerable to anti-religion bullets. And we certainly wouldn’t want people thinking ID has any sort of intellectual validity would we? Or else we might have to think that maybe you can’t just brush it off as for the weak intellectual, like… physicists, biologists, philosophers, geologists, etc…
(Not that they couldn’t have weak intellects. It’s apparently a scientific tradition to assume that everyone but your own people, do.)
Or is it simply non-human design responsible for the design of humans that’s being objected to as non-scientific? Then Dawkins has been entertaining some rather unscientific notions. He obviously can’t be trusted. (As has a large proportion of the nerd population, but there you go.)
Just the existence of a non-human (perhaps superior) intelligence? Then they should shut down SETI.
Let’s talk creationism, now.
Explain to me he scientific distinction between an angel and an alien? They’re supernatural? On what authority have they been defined that way? I don’t ever recall them being described that way by the bible. Technically speaking, God would be the *only* ‘natural’ thing.
Angels are spirits? How it been scientifically determined that spirits are not materially detectable? They can obviously interact in some way. There are any number of people who are recorded in the bible as having first-hand detection of them, in both human and spirit forms. How do you know that spirits aren’t also made up of a type of physical matter? Dark matter angels perhaps? Perhaps heaven is that ghostly ‘missing part’ of the universe?
And like it or not, basically anything we know about the universe, is founded upon philosophy and ideas. Science was once known as ‘natural philosophy’. Scientists create scientific experiments, observations etc, in order to test an idea. Creation research, ID, both represent this endeavour.
Our entire field(s) of science is built on the assumption that we know what we’re talking about, that we even have the ability to do useful science, and comprehend that it is useful. You believe that the existence of God is unlikely, then you believe that the universe has the same sense of probabilities that you do. That the universe we percieve isn’t some unidentified reality illusion controlled by little white spiders, or that we’re plugged into the matrix.
The idea is not the science. But the idea is what prompts us to use science in the first place. Some bearded guy sees a star, he wonders what it’s made of. Then astronomy is born, without needing some sort of scientific precedent. It wasn’t invented because people found that looking down would allow one to study the earth. A science was invented for the grand purpose of what science is for, to find an answer to a question. Or to understand the answer better.
And how retarded would it be, if say God came down, chariots blazing, angels singing etc, to play a game of golf with the Pope or something; and it was all caught on film, eyewitnesses, signed documents, what-have-you, and then to CONTINUE saying that you can’t do ‘creation science’ ir ‘ID’ because it just isn’t science. That’s like saying, you can’t use the video-tapes and signed documents and eye-witnesses in court to prove the existence of God, because he’s *legally* unproveable.You’d have to be a lunatic. (Makes me think of ‘Contact’ somehow.)
Cart before the horse.
We kind of want to get started before Armageddon. If you don’t mind.
A more conventional analogy:
If we had a magical (because that’s conventional) video recording of say, a giant meteor that crashed to earth in the 1400s in England, (because we watch Timeline), we could legitimitely perform a geological dig in order to get some corroborating data or evidence.
If we dig up a blade with some weird double-fold technique, then we do a reconstruction to see with what tools and materials such a sword could be made, and thus, where it may have come from. We figure that only the Japanese after a certain century could have made such a weapon, and then we must ask how it ended up in Australia 3000 years ago. (I made that up by the way, just in case you think it’s a thing.)
For creationists, there is a historical record in the bible (or other such texts for the non-Christian dudes).
For ID, it is based upon the principle that life is too complex to be undesigned, and thus had a designer(s). Who or how, is undetermined, being the other end of the equation.
That the two research interests are of value to each other is intuitively obvious. Just like the fields of biology and geology are valuable to each other, archaeology and history, classic physics and quantum physics.
It’s a powerfully repressive culture which is getting in the way of what has to be considered an important field of inquiry, since it’s so often and intensely debated by everyone. Or more accurately, from having the research taken seriously, or allowed to go to the right places, taking monumental effort to share even incidental data.
Wouldn’t we want our top minds free and interested to work on some of the most important questions we have? If there’s even a chance that science could prove or even disprove the existence of God, or if mankind was designed by someone else, if we were an accident or purposed, if there is extra-terrestrial life; we want those guys to be throwing scientific muscle at it, instead of inventing creative ways to prevent them because of our own orthodoxy.
I find it more interesting, that although ID conforms to the narrow standards forced upon the world (or respective countries) as to what sorts of research are and are not permitted, yet people have a specifically religious objection to it. Since ID relies and uses no religion as the basis of its work (I think one of them’s even an agnostic), the religious character belongs entirely to the objectors. So really, it is their objections which are invalid. Just like we can’t prohibit scientists from researching or teaching evolution simply on the basis of it being contrary to our own religious convictions.
The fact is, if you’re atheist or an evolutionist, you just don’t believe in creation or ID. You think it’s ignorant.Therefore, you don’t think anyone should learn it. You want to be the intellectual hero leading the charge into the shining pansexual-cyborg future like in those sci fis we read as kids.
And that’s just honest, that wouldn’t bother me in the least. What I object to people using dishonest methods to further their own agenda. I don’t think any of them/you really cares if creation or ID is scientific or not, they just don’t want it taught, and they don’t want it legitimised. That’s not what should determine fair policy, or good education. If it was, then evolution might never have gotten out of the gate. Or heliocentrism. Or washing your hands.
If ID or creation, or some science that was invented that gave full credibility to a creator or designer, ‘passed muster’ and was announced as a valid and useful science, I doubt very much that the larger portion of materialists would go ‘ohhhhh, okay, that’s all cool then. Good luck guys, hope you find him! Wait, do you need a hand?’
Curiously though, a lot of creationists and most/all ID-ists don’t seem overly concerned about teaching evolution. Sure, we think it’s wrong, and in an ideal world, no-one would need to be learning it, but in the present world, most of them/us that I’ve observed are all for teaching evolution, but teaching it properly, instead of slyly, of allowing for open discussion rather than constricted indoctrination.
Most seem to figure, and I agree, that in such a system, belief in evolution would inevitably fail under open, rational scrutiny, and everybody wins. (In the sense of freedom and better methods of education, anyway.)
I have the feeling that it’s inevitable anyway (even without some sort of divine action), which makes me feel all fuzzy inside tbh. Evolution and naturalism will eventually reach the point where it’s becomes universally obvious as fantastical and spurious far beyond the more simple concept of ‘it looks designed because it is designed’. And then maybe we’ll start paying attention to what the parallels of earth’s oldest myths might be telling us. Depending on our levels of conceit of course. I had a fellow tell me, quite breezily, how it’s ‘not surprising’ that so many ancient cultures spoke of a massive Deluge, because a culture that spent all it’s time outdoors herding animals obviously weren’t capable of distinguishing between the local floods that they frequently endured and survived, and a world-obliterating cataclysm of water that left only one family alive in a big boat. (Or a tree, occasionally.)
To be honest, I find the evidence that the ancient (or pre-) Egyptians had the power of flight to be more persuasive than that of evolution. At least that Abydos thing looks like what people say it looks like (and I’m assuming inspired SG-1). People were telling me for ages that the fossils proved evolution. Then I found out that the fossils looked like creation, and suddenly people were telling me ‘well the fossils aren’t that important for evolution’ (because it only happens when we’re not looking, apparently). Then it turns out that even evolutionists can’t even agree with each other, and we have Graduated vs Punctated (despite the fact that according to Darwin, the Graduated theory should have been falsified by the lack of fossil evidence which has gotten even worse since his time), as well as a myriad of sects on both sides. The only thing they really seem to agree on is that it wasn’t God. Just cos.
So now I have evolutionists are telling me that it doesn’t matter which theory of evo I believe, as long as it’s a state approved theory. No-one’s been making me salute a poster of Dawkins yet, but they’ll probably try it at least once.
So why are evolutionists going around decrying the state of education and the pernicious influence of creationism, if *they* can’t even teach me what the heck it is? I had to learn it on my own.
‘Evolution is a process that takes the accumulation of thousands or millions of years of mutations until it’s another species.’
‘Evolution is when you step on a moth, and now there are less white moths than black ones.’
‘It looks like it’s designed, but honestly it’s not!’
‘Evolution is this thing that you should believe because creation is dumb, and your God sucks.’
You know, I don’t have anything against evolution. If God did it that way, then he did. It would not make me miss a step to believe in evolution, except that it would necessitate a more ‘loose’ interpretation of Genesis. (Causing a cognitive dissonance I wouldn’t enjoy though, to be frank.)
The thing, I just don’t find it convincing. An atheist, or a materialist who doesn’t believe in God, has little choice but to believe that life arose because it did. Because I believe in God, a person of supreme competence, I don’t suffer the same intellectual restrictions.
It doesn’t have the substance even to overcome a teleological appreciation of the universe. Something that even little kids pick up on (as Dawkins will attest). All the stuff that I was told proved evolution, didn’t, and all the things that I’m being told now, requires that I already believe it, against the most in-your-face kind of contradictions.
They look at the fossil of a ancient Coelacanth and go ‘this fish is obviously in the middle of an evolutionary transition, look at its little fishy feets! So cute.’.
Then woah! They yank one up out of the sea and it looks exactly the same. ‘Well, obviously it’s a Lazarus doohickey that hasn’t been evolving for the last 400 million years. ‘
Because environments are obviously uber-stable and contained over 400 million years, and this was before they invented earthquakes or continental shift, or dinosaur hating meteors.
(Except evolution apparently saw fit to make the spine lopsided. Because that’s useful selection. And apparently the reason why they can’t use it for evolutionary analysis anymore. Which is amazing when you think you can use birds to analysis the evolution of dinosaurs. I mean, the answer always turns out wrong, but you can still do it.)
When people defend the Coelacanth, and invoke the rather pitiable, dry, ‘oh reeeeaally’ sort of affectation (because isn’t it *obvious* that [googlesearch] [insert answer]).
Or to the effect of: ‘You know, I thought you might have had something there, but now I see you haven’t. With that said, I’ll decline to engage any further, and just let you assume I’m correct.’
It honestly invokes my pity rather than my ire, it makes me think of people like those Christians who bend over backwards in order to show you how God isn’t reeeeally condemning homosexual conduct, or Ben Kenobi who wasn’t reeeeally lying to Luke. At some point, you gotta realise you’re a douche.
(Just speaking generically, not you specifically, random reader. Ben Kenobi was such a jerk.)
And I’m sure half the people on this thread could give lists of examples of ‘extinct ancient’ flora and fauna that’s been rediscovered and kicking around exactly the same as their ancient evolutionarily primitive ancestors. (So can you, with the wonder that is google search!) Fish, spiders, weeds, and what have you.
I reckon, you could dig up an ‘ancient fossilised’ signpost saying ‘God Was Here 4004 BC. First Day of Creation,’ and scientists will marvel over the bizarre coincidence, and what sort of strange grunty language must the ancient goat-people have really been using. (‘Look Ma, it’s a cow!)
Or, ‘Isn’t it wonderful the marvellous ways in which mother nature can fool us? Experts show…’
Then laugh at the silly creationists who believe in a God. “Where’s your proof? And don’t try and use that creotardy ‘signpost’ thing, scientists debunked that ageees ago.’
They give people crap for thinking dinosaurs and men intersected, and then some dude/chick pulls up basically the oldest animal ever onto the boat. But don’t worry folks, ‘all the evidence in the world points to evolution’, anybody will tell ya. Even when it’s wrong. Let me write it down for you if you’re not sure.
I think I’m done. :) Social commentary is fun. :D
Can we not agree to disagree?
Just as soon as the Creationists/IDers acknowledge reationism/ID isnt science, is not an alternative to the theory of evolution, and should not be taught in any science class on the planet.
You want poetry here? Go to the “search” box, and type in “poetry.”
Or, go to the “categories” box (“bathtub toys”) farther down the right-hand column, use the drop-down menu, select “poetry.”
Here’s a nice collection of poems at this site: “28 poems on living life to the fullest”
Poetry? It’s there if you look and don’t deny it. Like evolution: It’s there if you look and don’t deny it.
Has anyone considered Darwin can coexist with religeon? Yes. We are here. No, we don’t know how we got here, but we are here nonetheless. Can we not agree to disagree? FYI: this site should have the poems on it as was advertised.
It looks like all you have to do to get a mountain of nutcase comments is put the phrases “intelligent design” or “climate change” in your original post.
The commenters don’t know what the hell they’re talking about but if it involves scientific method and fact they’re against it.
Great blog, Ed, I’m so glad I stumbled across it. You perform a wonderful educational service. You might enjoy my husband’s blog, The Solipsistic Me, as well. Our regular contributor did a great post on junk science this week. Cheers, Robert H-S
Just to put my two cents, I agree with evolution but not natural selection.
Which is like saying that you agree that the sun sets in the west but that you think it sets in Hawaii before it sets in Minnesota.
Just to put my two cents, I agree with evolution but not natural selection.
Evolution is NOT blind; it follows a definite mathematical pattern determined by the structure of DNA, and always leads to greater complication.
DNA existed BEFORE life, so the fact that humans share 99% of genes with chimps is irrelevant.
It’s like if you had a certain number of Lego bricks, and could build anything with it, but only add things in a certain sequence.
So the “if you left mud for a billion years it wouldn’t evolve” argument is irrelevant.
However, there is no evidence that natural selection exists.
We know what happens when a group of organisms face a change in environment – they die out.
We know this because we’ve observed it thousands of times.
What happens with bacteria is they multiply so rapidly, the DNA transforms, and they “find a niche”.
However, only very minor changes can be allowed.
A change in temperature, for instance, will lead to extinction.
>Observation 1: Species have great fertility. They make more offspring than can grow to adulthood.
Many species have quite poor fertility in fact. Pandas for instance.
>Observation 2: Populations remain roughly the same size, with modest fluctuations.
How does this comply with observation 1 ?
>Observation 3. Food resources are limited, and are constant most of the time.
Food resources are often abundant. In fact they almost always are during the breeding season.
>Inference A: In such an environment there will be a struggle for survival among individuals.
The struggle is between predator and prey ; only very rarely between the same species.
>Observation 4: No two individuals are identical. Variation is rampant.
Many plants reproduce asexually. They are identical.
>Observation 5: Much of this variation is heritable.
? But many living organisms are identical.
Bruce Coulson said:
Something that cannot be disproven is not science — which automatically lets hypotheses of gods out the door.
There’s a difference between “can’t be disproven,” which is the mark of religion, and “could be disproven, but hasn’t been,” which is the mark of science.
Forgot one thing, Graeme. Lets say ID was taught in a science class.
Exactly how are you going to have teachers answer the inevitable question?
You know…who the identity of this “Creator” is?
Sorry little one, this is not a Christian theocracy. You don’t get to force your religious beliefs down the throats of others using the public schools. If you want to live in a theocracy…..I suggest Iran.
Your rights to your religious beliefs don’t grant you the right to force them on others.
And Intelligent Design is nothing but a religious belief.
Sorry Graeme, I didnt notice you said something to me until well just now.
I’ll ignore your stupid insults as the blatherings of someone who is incapable of engaging in a rational adult conversation.
So I’ll stick to answering your one question. That being this:
Where is you evidence against intervention?
I have no evidence against it. I’m Christian and I believe that God did create the universe. But see unlike you I recognize the difference between evidence and faith. It’s not that we who oppose Intelligent Design have to prove that it didn’t happen…it’s that you and your fellow supporters of ID have to prove that it did happen. Something in science isn’t assumed true until its proven wrong. SOmething in science is assumed unproven until it is proven. And ID simply has not been proven.
Your contention isn’t true merely because you say it. You have to prove your contention right. And if you’re unable to do so then at least be adult enough and mature enough to acknowledge that and recognize ID for what it actually is to you..an article of faith with no evidence.
Because to this Christian ID is nothing more then Creationism by another name. And Creationism is nothing more then the heretical and mutant bastard child of the Creation account in the Bible. The Creation account in the Bible says who and why. It does not say when or how. Creationism at its core, Graeme, says that God is a sociopathic liar. That God created the world and all the evidence of how He did it…but that the evidence…evolution among other scientific theories, is nothing but a lie. Sorry you can’t both believe that God created the world and then turn around and deny how God did it just because it doesn’t match your preconceived notions based on a misinterpretation of a human written book written a mere 6000 years ago. 6000 years ago is a drop in the bucket for the history of humanity, its an even smaller drop in the bucket of the history of this planet.
There’s no evidence disproving that Someone created the entire universe five minutes ago, along with all the necessary evidence establishing a supposedly longer time of existence, either. But I’m not advocating this be taught in the schools as ‘science’, even though it can’t be disproved.
No good Nick.
I know you are the drooling nutball stalls.
No handicaps for your bull—-.
No can you rule out intervention.
Yes or no.
You don’t get a handicap you moron.
Where is you evidence against intervention?
The problem for you is that we don’t have to rule it out. You have it prove that it happened. That is how science works.
And again…humans engaging in “intelligent design” does not prove nor is it evidence of other entities engaging in intelligent design.
So just to be perfectly clear about this, Bird thinks that:
1) Aliens were responsible for the Cambrian explosion.
2) Aliens built the pyramids.
3) Aliens interbred with humans as recently as 900 years ago.
Please, feel free to mock the idiot at will. Clearly, the New Zealand education system has much to answer for.
I don’t know for sure about that Birdlab. But you tell me. Are you able to rule that out, through your knowledge of evolutionary theory, as a possibility?
I don’t think so. Science isn’t about belief Birdlab. Its about methodology. So lets have you put this methodology to work.
Very stupid people follow me around. Thankfully I cannot count these stupid people as my fans. Quite the contrary. I don’t have the PZ Myers curse of knowing that the more stupid one is the more popular you are with them.
What is far more interesting birdlab, is the possibility of terraforming during the Cambrian explosion. The Cambrian explosion is a bit of a mystery when it comes to the dogma of natural selection.
If there is a time when we expect intervention into the human species it would be 200 000 years ago. But the Cambrian explosion is a far more comprehensive leap as far as the development of sudden complexity is concerned. I can think of other possibilities in the case of us humans. Whereas the Cambrian explosion has me quite baffled.
At last the Lunatic Space Cadet gets to the crux of the matter: Aliens intervened in the development of humans.
What a crank. What a whackaloon. What a dingbat.
Graeme, you have all the intelligence and mental agility of a croissant.
I know nothing about alien rapes Cambria. No offspring comes from one species raping another Cambria. You might think a pygmy elephant raping a pig might yield a big-eared porker. But I assure you that nothing would come of such a coupling. New species either take a very long time to come about through evolution. Or they have to be made in the lab. Hybrid species are born in a test-tube and not sired by alien rapists.
Oh lord. Ed Darrel, Tim lambert’s bitch, is here. I hope you’re shorter ED, if that were at all possible, without your chin hitting the ground.
Please tell everyone about these Alien rapes. I’m sure they would like to know more…..
Oh lord. Ed Darrel, Tim lambert’s bitch, is here. I hope you’re shorter ED, if that were at all possible, without your chin hitting the ground.
Please tell everyone about these Alien rapes. I’m sure they would like to know more.
“Tell us again about the Martians Graeme.”
Mars does not have the atmosphere to support indigenous macroscopic animal life.
Intelligent design is intelligent design. Its an identity relationship. It is not possible to break it down further than that. They designed and produced a new species directly. The bacteria did not evolve in the wild. It was produced in the lab. Thats intelligent design.
Its not a matter of me explaining it any more than the above. Its simply a matter of you deciding to stop lying.
Its a shame that you’ve closed down debate by way of relentless lying. Because the feebleness of the mainstream version of evolution is something that really needs to be explored.
I guess it was a little too much for a mindless dogmatist such as yourself to entertain.
I thought you probably can’t explain what intelligent design is, let alone how Ventner’s work qualifies.
You should look up “filibuster” some time. You’ve got it backwards. Quit filibustering and explain, if you can. (No, I don’t think you can.)
Tell us again about the Martians Graeme.
Wrong on everything else hey Birdlab? You see the sort of low-IQ crowd you attract to your side when you abandon the scientific method Ed?
You now have Birdlab supporting you on the idea that an example of intelligent design is NOT an example of intelligent design. You should be very proud you have gotten someone of Birdlab’s quality on your side.
I’ll have to come back in a little while to see if you guys have come clean. A is A. Intelligent design is intelligent design. Hence the example of the Venter team engaging in intelligent design is an example of intelligent design. Its no matter that ought need to be labored. But since Ed is insisting on a filibuster we may be waiting awhile.
My advice to you Ed would be to find out what the problems are, not with evolution, but with the mainstream version of it. One fellow to look at is Berlinski. Now if you were more comfortable with the problems in the mainstream theory you won’t need to go mentally constipated like this again and the discussion can flow easily.
Supposing you were more aware of where the holes in the mainstream version appear to be, you would be able to treat this as an intellectual exercise and not like you are a fundamentalist religious nutball.
What follows from a proper attention to methodology, including definitions …… is that we don’t have direct and repeatable examples of new species creation in the lab. All such new species creation have been examples of intelligent design.
We have to get back to the reality, that those of us who believe in evolution, do so because of massively convergent evidence, each individual strand of which is horribly weak. The bones don’t talk to us. They don’t tell their story. Where we have bones and DNA at the same time thats a much better indication. But generally speaking, individual pieces of evidence supporting the theory of evolution are famously weak.
Sorry Birdbrain, but you’re wrong about me being an economist.
Just as you’re wrong about everything else.
“If Myers is an idiot, we’re all fenceposts.”
Speak for yourself. Myers is a dim bulb. But if you feel he towers above you in intellect, then I’ll accept your personal estimate of your own abilities. But PZ Myers is a real dropkick. One of the dumbest people on the internet. And his following is just incredibly stupid.
Would they be so stupid as to not recognize the intelligent design of the Venter bacteria as an example of intelligent design?
That I don’t know. They are stupid but its not clear that they are insane.
“Here’s your chance: You explain how and why you think Ventner’s creation demonstrates intelligent design.”
Its not about me explaining why ED. Its you owning up. Ending your filibuster and admitting you are wrong. Now just come clean. We have examples of intelligent design. The dog. The Venter bacteria. These at the very least. Most of our agriculture has to come under that category as well. You came up with examples yourself. New species development. But only so far in the lab. Thats intelligent design.
Birdlab is an Australian economist so deranged that he stalks me and has even named himself after me. He is lying of course. I can represent my own conclusions straight, and don’t him to lie about matters.
Now has everyone come clean on the Venter bacteria, the dog, and the products of horticulture, being examples of intelligent design? My guess is the filibuster will have continued. Which will be a shame. Since we cannot go into the subject of evolution on the backs of people lying and being evasive.
Ed, you have to realise that Graeme’s adherence to Intelligent Design stems from his bizarre belief that human beigns are the result of genetic manipulation by a race of alien refugees from Mars.
In other words his ‘science’ derives pretty much full-blown from the script of Battlestar Gallactica.
If Myers is an idiot, we’re all fenceposts.
Here’s your chance: You explain how and why you think Ventner’s creation demonstrates intelligent design. Cite all the Dembski and Nelson papers you care to. Explain exactly how it has anything at all to do with the barely-hypothetical claims of intelligent design.
Go ahead, Graeme. Knock yourself out educating us, yourself, and the entire world.
It was the product of human intelligence working with the tools of life and evolution to make a living thing very much from scratch — but it has nothing whatever to do with the crank science hypotheses of intelligent design. Go ask Ventner, you’ll see.
Come on Graeme. Stop beating about the bush. Why don’t you just come out with your ridiculous ‘aliens interbred with humans’ rubbish and have done with it.
We can then proceed to ridicule you at will, you fat puffed-up galloot.
“Why is it a problem? Pesticide researchers, to pick one area, need to be sure their poisons work on the wild populations. But when populations are separated, as when one is held captive in a lab, nature takes over and creates new species.”
Man captures, isolates, and breeds this isolated critter, under wholly artificial conditions, subjecting it to reelentless one-sided stress … that it would not get for any sustained time in nature, and still survive…..
And your answer to all this?
“Nature takes over.”
Nature reaches into the Lab and just takes it off the stupid scientists hands, who were too dumb to know what they were doing, but did it anyway, and by purely natural processes, created a new species.
THAT YOUR STORY ED?
The idea is not to type so much Ed. Imagine your fingers moving toward the keyboard? Imagined that. Now in your minds eye JUST PULL THEM AWAY. Pull them away before you type stupid stuff.
All the examples of new species creation we have that we can call “testable” are examples of intelligent design. There is almost no point in going further into the debate until you admit this is the case, and obviously so.
Not according to Myers and Venter? By your sayso of their sayso? Or worse still, your sayso OF there Sayso? And notwithstanding that Myers is an idiot!
Look Ed? If you cannot type anything sensible, JUST STOP TYPING FOR AWHILE.
Now we must follow sound methodology. No use teaching dogma to the kids when what was needed was METHOD.
We must lock it in, that the Venter bacteria is an example of intelligent design. As is horticulture. As is the dog.
If you cannot get this right take a break until you can. This is a family blog of yours Ed. Kids are watching. They will see the luxurious lapses in reason. They will see the flippancy you guys have for evidence and logic. Its a bad example to be setting the kids.