Is Evolutionary Theory Undermined by Creationist Claims?

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In summary, your friend sent you an article from the website drdino.com, claiming that it disproves the theory of evolution. However, after researching and reading responses from other biologists, you discovered that the claims made in the article have been refuted by evolutionists. You also found that the article confuses the theory of evolution with the origin of life, which are two separate concepts. Furthermore, you explained that Louis Pasteur's experiments did not test the origin of life, but rather showed that microorganisms in the air can contaminate sterile solutions. The validity of the theory of evolution is not dependent on man's ability to create living cells, and the Miller-Urey experiment has also been refuted. In addition, you
  • #176
It's unfortunate that the term has been used for creationists to hide behind, as I think the resulting confusion transcends some mere lexical ambiguity. The thing is that because they've tried to characterise it as science, it's important to explain that it isn't and why it isn't, because the fact that it isn't is part of the ideas fundamental structural weakness in a rational argument. (Where I'm again referring to ID in the Beheian sense -yes, I did just make the word "Beheian" up.)

To clear things up a bit, is it worthwhile introducing some terminology to differentiate between the different things we're talking about? I can identify 3 categories into which ideas, together with their sources, fall:
Box 1: Good old-fashioned honest bible-bashing creationism. Hovind et al.
Box 2: "Intelligent Design", as a specific doctrine making particular reference to irreducible complexity. Creationism in disguise.
Box 3: A sense of theistic involvement in natural processes which themselves can be formulated independently of religious or metaphysical entities.
Feel free to give names to these ideas if you think it will help, I'm just labelling.

The problem as I see it, then, is to explain to people who are open to ideas that they consider might reside in Box 3 that the subject matter of box 2 is a quite separate beast that requires special treatment, and is equivalent in substance if not in style to the material in box 1. Agreed?

Edit: thanks Evo, it's nice to know I'm not the only person who has been automatically associating ID with that particular movement!
 
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  • #177
TheStatutoryApe said:
I've already tried multiple times in this thread to point out the fact that ID (in general) is nothing new and has many interpretations of meaning just like any other philosophical or religious idea. People hearing about this discussion over intelligent design and catching a youtube video or news article here and there often think that it is interesting and that these people may have a point. I have heard plenty of relatively intelligent religious individuals say that they think ID is possible and that scientists may not have the whole story on evolution. And these are the people who are turned off by the evolutionists position when they blow off ID (something these people have decided to believe is possible) as nothing but ridiculous non-science (read: something that only fools take seriously). Then the IDers pull the "arrogant closed minded scientists" card and there you go, an incredibly large subsection of the population has been made to not trust what scientists have to say. I am absolutely flabberghasted that so many intelligent people can not see this happening and continue to spout ridicule and anti-religious comments as if this is supposed to help somehow. You'll even notice that a rather significant percentage of people in this thread seem to think that if a person has begun to think that ID is plausible they are obviously lost to ignorance and not worth wasting your breath on.

I have to agree with what Evo wrote (reference msg.175) I've debated with proponents of the Intelligent Design movement on the ARN board before the Dover trial along with many great scientists. I've debated with them (I.D. folk) since 2003 on many websites. The current year is September 2009. Whatever proponents of ID may think is still not based on science. I can't begin to tell you the ill-mannered treatment that I experienced from them. I'd like to forget the past and move forward with hope they would simply face the truth that they have been defeated, but unfortunately this isn't the case. Please let's not forget the grief they have caused the scientific community and tax payers. (You may like to review some of my earlier posts.) By the way, evolution isn't a story. Evolution is a theory and fact.

I will tell you this much, as a woman, I've been poked fun of by many so-called men that were proponents of ID. And least I forget to mention the Young Earther's and the list of others. I guess they figured a hetrosexual woman wasn't capable of battle. At this point in my life, I'm taking a long deserved break. :)
 
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  • #178
DaveC426913 said:
If "our way" truly is more enlightened, then we must be enlightened. To do otherwise is to accept Creationists as equal opponents (us vs. them) on a level playing field. It's not anti-this versus pro-this; it's ignorance versus education. Right?
Unfortunately, wrong. The vast majority of creationists are merely repeating garbage they have heard from people they respect. Those people who most creationists respect who dole out this garbage do not play on an even playing field. They are adept at every fallacy known to the ancient world plus some new ones. If people like Behe, Hovind, Hannity, Limbaugh, Colter et al were selling a commercial product they would be put in jail. They are not in jail only because the fact that their arguments are religious in nature gives them a get out of jail free card. (Which doesn't always work. You can write to Hovind at the Federal Correctional Institution, Edgefield South Carolina for details.)

The garbage I am talking about is garbage like "if we evolved from monkeys (sic), then why are there still monkeys around", which I have heard come out of the mouths of Sannity, Limbaugh, and others (yes, I listen to conservative radio sometimes :blushing:).

Garbage like this (kudos, muppet):
drdino.com said:
Critics of creationism often say that creationism is simply religion, whereas evolutionism is based on science. The Bible says in Genesis 1 that all creatures reproduce "after their kind"(no change to another kind, i.e., no transitional forms). So the complete absence of transitional forms in the fossil record supports creationism.
This is of course utter garbage. Scientists have now found lots and lots of "transitionary species". (This ignores the fact that every species dead and alive is a "transitionary species".) The problem is that every time a paleobiologist finds a transitionary species, creationists chime in that this proves nothing. In fact, there are now two more transitionary species that must be found.
DaveC426913 said:
The options are not so black & white. The fossil evidence is open to interpretation (i.e. grey area), and they have interpreted it differently.

There are people out there who believe the Earth is flat. They have zero credibility. The fossil evidence is no more open to interpretation than is the evidence of planetary orbits. Sure, biologists will argue about nuances of evolution, just as physicists argue about the nuances of gravity. That does not mean evolution is not a fact. Saying that it isn't, that there is some gray, is akin to saying that the Earth and Sun do not attract one another gravitationally.
 
  • #179
muppet said:
Sorry, does the above post make it sound like I don't think they are?

I was trying to back up what you said.
 
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  • #180
Evo said:
Intelligent Design, as it is popularly used today, is the religious creation of Charles Thaxton and Stephen C. Meyer in June 1988. Since Intelligent Design was created in order to challenge the teaching of evolution in schools and disguise religion as science, we need to make it clear that the term "Intelligent Design", for reasons of keeping everyone on the same topic, refers to this attempt at undermining the teaching of science in schools in favor of teaching religion. See "The Wedge" document if you are not aware of this.



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

Because "Intelligent Design" is part of Christian religion, we do not allow discussion of their religious beliefs. Discussion of ID falls under the religious discussion guidelines. It's not science. It's sad that people are being duped into thinking it is.
ViewsofMars said:
I have to agree with what Evo wrote (reference msg.175) I've debated with proponents of the Intelligent Design movement on the ARN board before the Dover trial along with many great scientists. I've debated with them (I.D. folk) since 2003 on many websites. The current year is September 2009. Whatever proponents of ID may think is still not based on science. I can't begin to tell you the ill-mannered treatment that I experienced from them. I'd like to forget the past and move forward with hope they would simply face the truth that they have been defeated, but unfortunately this isn't the case. Please let's not forget the grief they have caused the scientific community and tax payers. (You may like to review some of my earlier posts.) By the way, evolution isn't a story. Evolution is a theory and fact.

I will tell you this much, as a woman, I've been poked fun of by many so-called men that were proponents of ID. And least I forget to mention the Young Earther's and the list of others. I guess they figured a hetrosexual woman wasn't capable of battle. At this point in my life, I'm taking a long deserved break. :)
Sorry, I guess I'm just delusional or being duped by highly intelligent conspirators of the religious right. Its obvious to me now that the family, friends, and random acquaintances I've discussed ID with were really plants or hallucinations who were hiding from me the immensely popular fact that everyone knows ID is just Creationism LiteTM.



Seriously, if the vast majority of people here have no desire to realize that the vast majority of people out there don't know these things and have thoughts and ideas of their own but rather just want to use these threads as an excuse to bash on other people's ideas and beliefs then we should just lock them all and have done with it since I'm pretty sure its against forum guidelines.

To hell then with actually discussing how to effectively try to educate the people in our lives who are confused about evolution.
 
  • #181
muppet said:
I really don't think it's intrinsically offensive to the listener to call ID proponents liars. Consider the following 3 statements:
1. I have a grandmother in Liverpool who is blind.
2. I have an aunt in London who has cancer.
3. I have a cousin in Bristol who has eczema.
One of those statements is false. How are you supposed to know which one?

When an ID proponent calling himself Dr Hovind tells you that there are no transitional fossils and an evolutionist calling himself Dr Miller states that there are, there's no way around the fact that one of them isn't right. EITHER Dr Miller is lying about the existence of fossils or "Dr" Hovind is lying about the non-existence of fossils or somehow, despite arguing with evolutionists for a living, no-one has ever told "Dr" Hovind of the existence of transitional fossils. (I suppose, if you really, really wanted to, you could claim that paelentologists have been collectively lying to Dr Miller, along with everyone else, but the nature of his claim is such that you can't say he's ignorant of the non-existence of such fossils). I'd suggest that it's really much less offensive for someone to be the victim of a deception than to have bought into a dumb argument.


It is important that people understand that it has no scientific basis whatsoever. I couldn't agree more that it's important to explain why. The only reason I mentioned the personal disingenuity of some of the more prominent IDers was because you said you figured an out-and-out creationist would identify themselves as such, and I lamented that we weren't dealing with honest people. Ideally, of course it's best to make the arguments that the evolution of the bacterial flagellar motor has arisen from other much simpler systems that have been cobbled together from doing other jobs; that the "irreducibly complex" blood clotting system in humans has been found with one fewer component in dolphins and wales, and with four fewer components in puffer fish, and that Darwin predicted the existence of an intermediate between birds and dinosaurs before Archaeopterix was discovered, and that palaentolgists know perfectly well that C-14 dating isn't a reliable way to assess the age of anything more than a few thousand years old, and that you can see evolution happening in systems like bacteria today, and that... etc.

However, when people are being told things by different people that directly contradict each other, I think it's necessary to explain honestly why the conflict arises. Theoretically anyone can go and find the evidence for all of this stuff, but in practice I'd guess that I wouldn't be able to read a professional biologist's paper on the topic, and I'll never have access to a lab or an archaeological dig. People who want to accquire a broad picture of how the world works sooner or later have to put their trust in someone; it takes at least 6 years from beginning university to getting a PhD in the UK, and usually more like 8. You simply can't know it all.


I agree entirely that you shouldn't insult the listener's intelligence, and that it's easy to come across as negative, arrogant or vitriolic when you're speaking about a proposal that is essentially devoid of all merit, apart perhaps from by some aesthetic criteria. I'm also fully aware that sentences like that one are derisive, but I don't think it's an overstatement, and the truthfulness of ID is not something that we're discussing here, so I don't see any harm in it.

To my mind, the absolute textbook demonstration of how to treat the topic can be found here. It's the lecture by Ken Miller that I've already alluded to repeatedly in this thread. The lecture is an hour long with another hour of Q and A, but if you've got the time it's fantastic stuff. He is himself religious, so he's not an atheistic tub-thumper. He has an excellent sense of humour and a great way of communicating the evidence; he doesn't come across as arrogant or condescending. But he's absolutely unequivocal about the strength of the case for evolution, about the weakness of ID, and about the disingenuity of the proponents of ID.

Very good video. Watched it all today. Thanks for the link.
 
  • #182
wildman said:
Evolution is a mathematical model built on stochastic processes. It is no different from physics or any other science in that respect. The math IS the science. The rest is experimental or observational evidence to back up the model. Period.

Whether God (or little green men) guided the process or not makes no difference to the model. This means that creationism (or ID) which is consistent with the evidence and the model is consistent with science.

You were good until you got to this sentence. ID is not consistent with the evidence, and hence not consistent with the science.
 
  • #183
TheStatutoryApe said:
Sorry, I guess I'm just delusional or being duped by highly intelligent conspirators of the religious right. Its obvious to me now that the family, friends, and random acquaintances I've discussed ID with were really plants or hallucinations who were hiding from me the immensely popular fact that everyone knows ID is just Creationism LiteTM.

Seriously, if the vast majority of people here have no desire to realize that the vast majority of people out there don't know these things and have thoughts and ideas of their own but rather just want to use these threads as an excuse to bash on other people's ideas and beliefs then we should just lock them all and have done with it since I'm pretty sure its against forum guidelines.

To hell then with actually discussing how to effectively try to educate the people in our lives who are confused about evolution.

Please see my previous post #176, it's just as applicable to this. I really think we're arguing over the meaning of words here.
 
  • #184
muppet said:
Daneel_Olivaw: I'm afraid I have precisely zero knowledge of editing videos, but I've started working on it. At present I appear to be suffering from codec issues...
Thanks a lot for trying. :)
Please let me know if you succeed (or have you given up?). I really wanted to see that video. :(
 
  • #185
Daneel...: It might take me a while I'm afraid!

TheStatutoryApe: There's one further point I'd like to make explicit. Whilst no-one is denying that the people with whom you are personally accquainted are not "DietTM Creationists", the very terminology of ID comes from a particular movement that are known to be closet creationists with a catalogued history of deception. Compare these quotes taken from the Centre for Science and Culture:
3.Is intelligent design based on the bible? No. The idea that human beings can observe signs of intelligent design in nature reaches back to the foundations of both science and civilization.
4. Is intelligent design theory the same as creationism?
No. ... Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text. Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism.

with these taken from the aforementioned Wedge document:
The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civillisation was built. ... This cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science... this materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture... Discovery institute's Center for the renewal of science and culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. ... the theory of intelligent design (ID) promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.
To read that document is to become hostile to the ID movement. The Discovery Institute's own response to the publication can be found here.
 
  • #186
The only non-evolution (specific) argument that holds water (in the context of this debate) is maybe Earth is an alien petri dish. It eliminates the relevance of the timeline, keeps the door open for other possibilities and doesn't challenge faith/belief (entirely).
 
  • #187
WhoWee said:
The only non-evolution (specific) argument that holds water (in the context of this debate) is maybe Earth is an alien petri dish. It eliminates the relevance of the timeline, keeps the door open for other possibilities and doesn't challenge faith/belief (entirely).

Are you referring to the theory of Panspermia?

In the context of education, for all the debate, the tried and true methods of scientific discovery is how we will discover the truths we cannot know...yet. I think open minds are vastly important. Reclassifying ID as a science fails to meet the criteria/standards currently used in the scientific method. This is the issue. It isn't meant to hurt feelings, insult or do otherwise but merely point out that we risk much by altering those standards that, to date, have proven over time and with diligence, to serve well.
 
  • #188
WhoWee said:
The only non-evolution (specific) argument that holds water (in the context of this debate) is maybe Earth is an alien petri dish. It eliminates the relevance of the timeline, keeps the door open for other possibilities and doesn't challenge faith/belief (entirely).

There's a sense in which this is preferable to the standard contentions of ID, which is that aliens could be described within the framework of methodological naturalism. Theoretically, we could turn our scientific analysis and apply it to aliens in a way that we couldn't to an unspecified "designer".

That being said, I don't think it's a good idea to entertain the topic, and certainly wouldn't describe the idea as "holding water". For one thing, it suggests that "intelligent design" -taken at face value- is in fact a viable proposition, wheras all the evidence thus far points to the contrary. It's important to emphasise that the appearance of design in nature is wholly illusory to the best of our knowledge, and that the theory of evolution is just as damming of the idea that we're the lab rats of little green men as it is of religiously motivated design theories. Otherwise, you're selling evolution short.
 
  • #189
TheStatutoryApe said:
You're still equating ID with creationism and religious fanaticism.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm
A Gallup poll shows that apparently approximately 9% of people believe in naturalistic evolution, 47% believe in biblical creation, and 40% believe that evolution has occurred but guided by the hand of god.
That's nearly half of the population who believe that evolution is true but at least 40% likely give credence to the idea that ID is possibly true as well and they are not creationists.
No one is talking about appeasing any one, I have no idea where you are getting that, we are talking about these 40% (or more) who can be spoken to and possibly swayed so long as you are not insulting their beliefs or calling them the little deluded dupes of creationist conspirators and liars. Its not 'appeasement' to be polite and truly attempt to educate without resorting to ridicule and improper or dismissive arguments.

I beg to differ, it is appeasement. What you speak of is the result of the wedge issue, not the result of science or scientific theory. You are appealing to emotional poling and not facts and thus it continues to support my argument that ID is Creationism and Creationism is someones faith in how they have to justify their belief through pseudoscience.

I'm not meaning to rub this concept into anyones face by any means. However this issue is entirely fabricated by the emotional debates of creationists and not through factual evidence as described through the scientific process.

If its not an appeasement to ones emotional needs, what is ID then and how is it not based upon ones faith or beliefs in something greater?

In fact, I'm willing to say that faith in and of itself is 100% behind the controversy of evolution and it is an appeasement to faith to accept, acknowledge or even appease creationists.

Edit: not that having faith is bad in and of itself though ;)
 
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  • #190
muppet said:
That being said, I don't think it's a good idea to entertain the topic, and certainly wouldn't describe the idea as "holding water". For one thing, it suggests that "intelligent design" -taken at face value- is in fact a viable proposition, wheras all the evidence thus far points to the contrary. It's important to emphasise that the appearance of design in nature is wholly illusory to the best of our knowledge, and that the theory of evolution is just as damming of the idea that we're the lab rats of little green men as it is of religiously motivated design theories. Otherwise, you're selling evolution short.

Isn't that the irony of it all? I'd rather think I'm an evolved monkey then a lab rat with a granted free will meant to sin.

However that statement proves the point I'm trying to make in that no matter how you polish a turd, its still a turd. ID is creationism with turtle wax on it. It still stinks of the same bias towards faith than fact.
 
  • #191
I really think that TheStatutoryApe and DaveC have made an important point about how we should deal with open-minded people have come across these ideas, perhaps second or third hand. Namely, that whilst someone in possession of the facts knows what ID, in its original inception, is- a religiously motivated deliberate attempt to derail well-established scientific consensus without an adequate empirical or theoretical basis, promulgated by people who are quite prepared to prevaricate and muddle the issue with hackneyed caricatures of the philosophy of science- someone unfamiliar with the "substance" of the ideas or their originators might well have their own idea about what ID means, which might be quite different from the ID familiar to those who've argued with its most prominent proponents. They will also, upon going to the Discovery Institute's website, read explicit claims that ID is not religiously motivated.

There's then a very real risk that such a person will perceive someone like me as baldly asserting that "Anyone who challenges scientific orthodoxy is a Bible-bashing fruitcake". This is, as has already been pointed out, the very image that ID proponents use to deflect criticism without answering its substance. Not only is the assertion incorrect, it portrays our scientific understanding as a dogma that is shielded from scrutiny by labelling all criticisms of it as "delusional" a priori.

The topic of debate, really, is how to avoid this pitfall without "appeasing" ID, which is a posteriori a half-baked idea. For me, the important thing is to clarify the situation and separate out the many different issues- religion vs atheism, methodological naturalism as distinct from philosophical naturalism, the evidence for evolution vs the failures of ID proponents to demonstrate irreducible complexity, etc.-and be clear about which ones are under discussion at any given time. Once these ambiguities have been cleared up, it's apparent just how empty of content the idea is.
 
  • #192
muppet said:
I really think that TheStatutoryApe and DaveC have made an important point about how we should deal with open-minded people have come across these ideas, perhaps second or third hand.

I agree.. However, when i debate an open minded person there is usually a sense of enthusiasm when presented with facts and a whole-heartedly and candidly acceptance of evolution. As with any science when you discover the body of knowledge and recognize the beauty of that knowledge its highly enlightening to an open minded person.

My issues with Intelligent Design/Creationism are not with open minded people. If someone assumes intellectualism is elitism then they're FAR from open minded and to me categorically in the lost cause column of not just science but often times humanity itself. (just my 2 cents) - those are the type of proponents we're usually up against.

When Carl Segan said "We are made of star stuff" millions of open minded people probably cried and millions were more could feel the enlightenment in their heart. Its not only sad, its CRAZY we can't convey science in that very same enlightening approach to our children because creationists have decided to create a political issue out of it.

Some great higher education teachers and college teachers keep up that humanistic approach of teaching the value of science but more often than not, they're preaching to the choir much like we are here :)

The topic of debate, really, is how to avoid this pitfall without "appeasing" ID, which is a posteriori a half-baked idea. For me, the important thing is to clarify the situation and separate out the many different issues- religion vs atheism, methodological naturalism as distinct from philosophical naturalism, the evidence for evolution vs the failures of ID proponents to demonstrate irreducible complexity, etc.-and be clear about which ones are under discussion at any given time. Once these ambiguities have been cleared up, it's apparent just how empty of content the idea is.

Great way of putting in.. in fact your whole comment was spot on, just using bigger words than i would ever used ;)
 
  • #193
muppet said:
Daneel...: It might take me a while I'm afraid!
No worries; take your time. :)

I'm really enjoying the discussion/debate here.
 
  • #194
muppet said:
portrays our scientific understanding as a dogma that is shielded from scrutiny by labelling all criticisms of it as "delusional" a priori.
I submit that every time you cite "religious motivation" as a reason for rejecting ID without even considering the topic, then you are portraying science as dogmatic.
 
  • #195
Hurkyl said:
I submit that every time you cite "religious motivation" as a reason for rejecting ID without even considering the topic, then you are portraying science as dogmatic.

Well put. Thank you for saying it.
 
  • #196
Hurkyl said:
I submit that every time you cite "religious motivation" as a reason for rejecting ID without even considering the topic, then you are portraying science as dogmatic.

That statement makes me want to barf. Seriously.

Stephen C. Meyer once said:

"Intelligent design is an inference from biological data, not a deduction from religious authority."

That got his paper published at one point, however the publisher quickly retracted the paper.

From Wikipedia:

In August of 2004, Meyer's article "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”, appeared in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, making it the first article in support of intelligent design to be published in a peer reviewed journal. [5] Shortly thereafter, the journal's publisher released a statement retracting the article, stating it had not met the journal's scientific standards and had not been properly peer reviewed. [6] The statement also endorsed American Association for the Advancement of Science's resolution that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID.

Oddly enough Mr Meyer is considered a "Philosopher of Science" which last time i checked is:
"Philosophy of science focuses on metaphysical, epistemic and semantic aspects of science."

Have any other papers been published in any esteemed journal? not that I'm aware of.

Anyway, this Mr Meyer is also an "esteemed associate" of the Discovery Institute that created the "Wedge Strategy" and also published the Books that were recently banned from Dover PA schools because court records found that the books in their original publishing were worded creationism but edits over the years have shown search & replace from creationism to Intelligent Design.

Beyond this damning evidence and circle of deceit the fact is that the Discovery Institute isn't promoting science but rather the idea of controversy over the science and is thus creating an issue out of a non issue. There *IS* no controversy over evolution if you exclude theological beliefs and that is the problem i have with the above statement.

More importantly, science isn't dogmatic Science is not moral, science is not religious, political or based upon opinions or beliefs.

Evolution has withstood 150 years of trials and still holds true as FACT and you call that fact being dogmatic? puhhhhleeease

What you suggest is akin to hating me because I'm smart and calling me out of dogmas you, yourself can't get over and once again re-writing the very definition of science to fit your agenda.

Now with all that said, its in no way shape or form an attack on you but facts that are readily available, been tried in court and have made many a science fan feel the same way as me. disgusted :)
 
  • #197
Hurkyl said:
I submit that every time you cite "religious motivation" as a reason for rejecting ID without even considering the topic, then you are portraying science as dogmatic.

If any religion has ever turned out to be right on even one issue, much less right more often than science, I might just agree you. But that's beside the point. The ID'ers themselves agree that religion shouldn't interfere with science by claiming ID is not religiously motivated. If ID is in fact religiously-motivated, that means the ID'ers are lying to achieve an ulterior motive. Although lying and having an ignoble goal (spreading religion) can't automatically destroy ID, it certainly destroys the credibility of the liar.
 
  • #198
byronm said:
That statement makes me want to barf. Seriously.

More importantly, science isn't dogmatic Science is not moral, science is not religious, political or based upon opinions or beliefs.

What you suggest is akin to hating me because I'm smart and calling me out of dogmas you, yourself can't get over and once again re-writing the very definition of science to fit your agenda.

Now with all that said, its in no way shape or form an attack on you but facts that are readily available, been tried in court and have made many a science fan feel the same way as me. disgusted :)

He is just saying that any rejection of ideas by insinuation or by defaming those whose propose them is dogmatic. The only non-dogmatic way to deal with ideas is to discuss them objectively - scientifically.

Further, while science by definition does not adopt dogmas, scientists and the scientific community certainly can from time to time and can make "scientific" assertions that lead to politics, social policy, and prejudice. The Eugenics movement is a prime example.
 
  • #199
Hurkyl said:
I submit that every time you cite "religious motivation" as a reason for rejecting ID without even considering the topic, then you are portraying science as dogmatic.

I hoped I'd been clear on this point, but evidently not. I do think, however, that you'll find I've never actually cited religious motivation as a reason to dismiss it summarily, although I can see that you might have inferred this from my repeatedly saying that ID was religiously motivated. Let me state now explicitly that I think religion was probably one of the driving forces behind the development of science proper in the 16th century, in a spirit of illuminating the greater glory of God's creation; thus, some people would consider that science itself was religiously motivated!

The reason I have repeatedly characterised ID as "religiously motivated" is rather to emphasise that the majority of its backers have not been persuaded by evidence in favour of the theory, but rather have clung to the theory in spite of the evidence against it, because they consider their moral and metaphysical worldview to be threatened by evolution. This, I submit, is the reason that arguments that have been considered, on their scientific content, and rejected, on the evidence, repeatedly, continue to surface. I have in mind the particular example of proposed irreducible complexity in the bacterial flagellar motor.

Let me now make the distinction that whilst religious motivation is not a reason to reject something, clinging to an idea that accepted scientific practice would otherwise discard categorically is irrational and an obstacle to scientific process. Similarly, I'd reaffirm the central role played by methodological naturalism- science should always seek an explanation of a phenomena that can described entirely without reference to "supernatural" causes; this is not anti-religious, but is necessary to ensure that we further our understanding of the material world around us to the fullest possible extent by directing our scrutiny solely upon it. This point is, I trust, uncontroversial. This stands in contrast to philosophical naturalism, which asserts that such supernatural entities do not exist. (This is a position to which I additionally adhere, but one I believe that should never be introduced into discussions about science, which simply doesn't- due to methodological naturalism- have any tools with which to address the question, any more than it can address moral or aesthetic questions).
 
  • #200
wofsy said:
He is just saying that any rejection of ideas by insinuation or by defaming those whose propose them is dogmatic. The only non-dogmatic way to deal with ideas is to discuss them objectively - scientifically.

Further, while science by definition does not adopt dogmas, scientists and the scientific community certainly can from time to time and can make "scientific" assertions that lead to politics, social policy, and prejudice. The Eugenics movement is a prime example.

Seconded.
 
  • #201
Hurkyl said:
I submit that every time you cite "religious motivation" as a reason for rejecting ID without even considering the topic, then you are portraying science as dogmatic.
Hurkyl the problem with ID is that it was created by a group of people, which is well known and documented, specifically to get their religious agenda into public schools by pretending it's science. It's gone to court, it's lost. Basically, you could say it all started as an elaborate hoax.
 
  • #202
Evo said:
Hurkyl the problem with ID is that it was created by a group of people, which is well known and documented, specifically to get their religious agenda into public schools by pretending it's science. It's gone to court, it's lost. Basically, you could say it all started as an elaborate hoax.

Can I wonder aloud if Moderators REALLY HATE threads like this? :biggrin:

Again, I think it's one of those distinctions that needs clarifying. If Hurkyl thinks I'm religion-bashing here and wofsy thinks he has a point, then that should be addressed. (Quite apart from wanting to be rational, I could also get banned from PF if too many people take me the wrong way :-p)

Hopefully my post before last cleared things up.
 
  • #203
Evo said:
Hurkyl the problem with ID is that it was created by a group of people, which is well known and documented, specifically to get their religious agenda into public schools by pretending it's science. It's gone to court, it's lost. Basically, you could say it all started as an elaborate hoax.

While I agree that ID today is a cynical hoax - that does not change Hurky's point that ideas should be considered on their merits not on the motivations of those who popularize them

I think, Id in form or another is a key idea in the history of ideas and as we have already seen on this thread, it takes a good scientific argument to over come the hypothesis of irreducible complexity, one of the main arguments against descent through modification.
 
  • #204
ID is completely unnecessary, and more importantly, it is utterly untestable. ID is not science.
 
  • #205
D H said:
ID is completely unnecessary, and more importantly, it is utterly untestable. ID is not science.

That, at least, I think everyone here agrees upon :biggrin:
 
  • #206
How would you treat the idea that everything we observe is created by Nature, but God is behind the existence of all of Nature? Is this ID? Just want to know on which side of the debate i am standing.
 
  • #207
We were created either way, either nature created us, or a higher power created us. So I don't see how you can argue against creationism.


Woops, I guess that's what happens when you walk away from the computer for a bit in the middle of a reply.
 
  • #208
wofsy said:
I think, Id in form or another is a key idea in the history of ideas and as we have already seen on this thread, it takes a good scientific argument to over come the hypothesis of irreducible complexity, one of the main arguments against descent through modification.

But the problem is that all (at least as far I know) examples of "irreducible complexity" used by ID proponents has been shown not to be "irreducibly" at all, specfically because either a there is a known evolutionary "pathway" where on each step the developeing trait gives an evolutionary benefit to the host (the eye would be an example; which even has evolved several times) or because one can show that a mechanism could very well orginally have evolved for another "purpose" and the complex task it now performs might be a relatively recent "assignment".
 
  • #209
WaveJumper said:
How would you treat the idea that everything we observe is created by Nature, but God is behind the existence of all of Nature? Is this ID? Just want to know on which side of the debate i am standing.

As long as one does not postulate the interference of god in the process and accepts the fact that it happens through natural means then this is, IMO, not in any way opposed to evolution by means of natural selection and other natural processes. It's a purely theological idea that remains purely theological and does not in any way attempt to cross over into the realm of science. Hence, it is completely consistent with the scientific mindset.
 
  • #210
wofsy said:
He is just saying that any rejection of ideas by insinuation or by defaming those whose propose them is dogmatic. The only non-dogmatic way to deal with ideas is to discuss them objectively - scientifically.

I know what you're saying. I just feel your supporting the ideology of Shoot the messenger, not the message and willfully ignoring the facts at hand as to not hurt ones feelings. When i say ID has obvious religious undertones I'm not making fun of religious people, merely pointing out facts that have even been upheld in the court of law.

I may not be the best at saying it, but that doesn't invalidate what I'm saying. What you suggest is to appeal to them in such a fashion that it means they get to debate ME vs the facts.

Further, while science by definition does not adopt dogmas, scientists and the scientific community certainly can from time to time and can make "scientific" assertions that lead to politics, social policy, and prejudice. The Eugenics movement is a prime example.

My point is that science happens regardless of morality, dogma. History has proven that humans can't really comprehend that - even to this day there are people in America who believe that Katrina hit New Orleans because people were immoral and god was punishing them. To me, that is very synonomous with people pushing creationism. Should we give them credibility and the light of day for there obviously biased and non factual views?

Sure, that may be an over reaching concept to relate the two, but it still points to the same people who push Intelligent design and still supports the obvious fact that instead of appealing to those facts they appeal to people who can destroy the messenger and ignore the message.

I guess my final point in regards to discussing the messenger vs the message is that you can't claim the one presenting the facts is lacking objectivity if someone is willfully ignoring those facts.
 

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