Friday, August 05, 2005

Intelligent Design pushed by anti-science exremists

The president this week let us know which direction we're headed. Responding to questions, he said that Intelligent Design - warmed-over creationism - should be taught in science classes alongside evolution. His reasoning, if you know nothing about the issue, might sound reasonable: Give kids a chance to weigh both options and let them make up their minds. As if science classes are the right place for popularity contests. It isn't conservative-liberal politics. Prominent conservatives have harshly criticized Intelligent Design. Uberhawk Charles Krauthammer condemned it in a Time Magazine column earlier this week, adding that any creationism-based ridicule heaped upon religion wasn't just expected, but earned. It's also not a traditional conflict between the godless and the religious. Scientists of all disciplines and all faiths jibe beliefs in creation and scientific fact. Of course evolution is a theory. Scientific theories are carefully built on hypothesis, testing, observation, and coming to a conclusion best fitting the facts. They also get reviewed by peers, many times over. Theories are explanations of facts, and it takes longer than a morning cup of coffee to produce one. Intelligent Design can't be tested in the lab, so it's not even a hypothesis.

32 Comments:

At August 05, 2005 10:53 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Fjordman, the only thing that's being debated is whether we came to be in our present state via natural selection of random mutations, or whether an intelligence was directing the process. You don't have to believe in God. You can call it whatever you wish. Maybe aliens from another universe. The fact is that many people just do not believe that we reached our level of complexity purely by chance, and neither of the theories can be proved. That's why they're both just theories. If we humans, as logical creatures, can not be open minded enough to exam all theories, then our civilization is doomed and we're heading towards another "dark age" where certain ideas we don't like aren't talked about.

 
At August 06, 2005 5:03 AM, Blogger panteren said...

Well, the theory about evolution can very simple be tested in controlled conditions and be supported by the results. The theory about intelligent design cannot! Intelligent design is pure guessing and has NOTHING to do with science. Dark ages is when religion is to overrule what can be empiricaly supported.

Intelligent design is as much science as when I state that I am the the last decendant from the great GEUYUÅW and should be worshipped as a god. It's goddamned bullshit!!

 
At August 06, 2005 7:26 AM, Blogger Mike H. said...

Panteren, what's to live for? The only purpose in life is to die at the end of your time, so why work? Is the purpose of life to have a statue built that you won't have the awareness to contemplate after death? It appears that you've lost before you started. Oh well.

 
At August 06, 2005 11:39 AM, Blogger linearthinker said...

panteren, "...the theory about evolution can very simple be tested in controlled conditions and be supported by the results."

If you're right, what's the fuss? Can you point me to the simple tests and supporting results? I'd like to be enlightened. And, I agree with you that you're not the last descendant from the great GEUYUÅW and should be worshipped as a god. You see, that's me.

 
At August 06, 2005 12:12 PM, Blogger Ole said...

Panteren- If the theory of evolution could be "simply tested in controlled conditions and be supported by the results" then it wouldn't be a theory, it would be fact. Which it is not. At least not yet.

 
At August 06, 2005 3:15 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

You see, people have "evolved" to point where they can change the gene of a tomato thus making it larger. Can you really have "faith" that the complexity we see in our world was produced by sheer chance? It takes greater "faith" to believe that we came to where we are by "random mutations". That "faith" has a name, "humanism" and it's god is itself.

So, what difference does it make? If we are our own god, then we can do whatever we wish. There are no holds barred, and therein lies the problem.

 
At August 06, 2005 4:55 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Science is verifiable. Faith is not. Whether there has been some such "intervention", be it from God or aliens, is immaterial. There will always be a subset of people who need an "overseer" of some sort to help them make logical sense of this world. This is how I view religion. The ancient writings were at a time when there needed to be an explanation for the unexplainable(for the time). Religion fit that bill. It is difficult for people to come to grips with the possibility that we are merely star dust and once we expire, we become part of the enormous circle of life, yet again.

Space is enormous and one needs to be familiar with a certain degree of higher level mathematics to understand the enormity of space. Mathematically, there are enough stars and planetoid bodies in space to make it possible of having life on other planets, and even similar to ourselves. Mathematically, it is even possible of having multiple universes with a planet and people who are EXACTLY like us, including another fjordman and ethnocentrist writing on a blog such as this. Mathematics tells us this is a possibility. Mathematics has yet to tell us that God exists, however.

For the reverse, if one was so inclined to believe such things, the phenomenon of deja vu could be thought of as our "spirit" remembering a previous life. I've thought about this for a while and it may be a possibility. Though scientifically it could be explained as neurochemical changes in our brains that cause us to have these visions or sensations. Why do we have them is an even more apropos question.

 
At August 06, 2005 4:58 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Just getting back to the ID topic. I have no problem of it being introduced and discussed, however these faith subjects grow and morph into things we do not necessarily want. Evolution is the primary focus and is verifiable for the most part. ID should be treated as an interesting alternative to the more accepted ideology. They should NOT be given equal weight.

 
At August 06, 2005 6:58 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Keeping on subject, I think it would be wise to teach facts in science classes. Beyond that, if theories are to be taught, then all theories should be examined.

I wish we would not teach any theories. Let people explore their theories in the Universities. If we dropped evolution, maybe that would free up some time and resources to delve more deeply into physics, chemistry, or mathematics.

Have a great weekend!
Sissyblue, BS ChE

 
At August 07, 2005 9:07 PM, Blogger Tim said...

No offense fjordman but you are woefully ill-informed. Darwinism contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, among other things, and cannot explain the irreducible complexity of even the simplest so-called cells. ID theory is indeed scientific but Darwinism has been reduced to a naturalistic philosophy fanatically defended by vested interests. Hardly scientific.

 
At August 07, 2005 11:33 PM, Blogger nouille said...

I would take Darwin over the Bible any day.

I am w/ panteren on this one.

 
At August 07, 2005 11:43 PM, Blogger nouille said...

It is fundamental to a free pluralistic society that any person is free to embrace whatever philosophy he/she so chooses irrespective of how "silly" it might appear to others, so long as those views don't infringe upon the rights of others. The health and growth of a society is inextricably bound up with the ability of dissenters to question the orthodox values of the society, for only through such a process can a society experiment with new ideas and grow.

 
At August 07, 2005 11:57 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

I agree with Nouille, "The health and growth of a society is inextricably bound up with the ability of dissenters to question the orthodox values of the society, for only through such a process can a society experiment with new ideas and grow." and hence the orthodox value of evolution should be questioned, and all sides presented, including ID.

 
At August 08, 2005 12:10 AM, Blogger nouille said...

....question the orthodox values of the society....

which in the U.S. today, seems to be divine creation NOT evolution.

 
At August 08, 2005 12:35 AM, Blogger sissyblue said...

No actually, they teach evolution with the orthodox fervor of the Medival Papacy.

 
At August 08, 2005 2:55 AM, Blogger panteren said...

Mike H. What to live for? Guess we decide that for our selves. Who else could?

linearthinker. Evolution understood as adaptation to surroundings or survival of the fittest can very easily be proven. You can take bacteria’s; simple creatures and the like, everything that has a short lifespan and subdue them too for example poison and see what happen. Voila, quite quickly you have a lot of poison resistant organisms. Well as long as you don’t kill them all of course :)

Ole. It is still called the theory of relativity although every experiment made has supported it. You can’t prove things in science, only make them more and more supported by empirically evidence. I’m not saying that Darwinism is perfect, there seems to be underlying subsystems we are yet to explain.

Sissyblue. Well I agree that there are things about the evolution of life that we are yet to understand. But to say it is god or some other intelligence which is responsible for those things cannot be supported by empirically evidence nor can it be tested (well, at least I can’t think of any way. You have a suggestion how to?) That we can change our selves don’t solve the problem about how we developed to what we are. The worst part about intelligent design is that you explain it by some
divine interception. What if Newton or any other mayor scientist had just dropped all thinking and explained for example the fall of the apple with the will of god? It leads no were.
About not teaching theories, you have to remember ALL science are theories, you can’t prove things in science, only support them empirically until a degree were they are more or less accepted as being right.

Tim. In which way does Darwinism contradict the 2nd law of thermodynamics? As that law is the most widely accepted law among scientist, I’ll doubt that there is a contradiction. Well, at least it would be very strange with the massive support there is for Darwinism. Evolution isn’t intelligent, it’s brutal and wasteful.

noille. Thanks, yes I fully agree with you, but then again it doesn’t mean that everything is equal and holds the same value or “truth”, which some people seem to imply.

 
At August 08, 2005 3:35 AM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Pateran, It's interesting that you should refer to Newton, who was one of the most religious of Christians in the 17th/18th centuries:>) He never locked his brain onto commonly held beliefs of his time, as the evolutionists have done. I predict evolution will one day end up on the same trash heap as communism, and all other idiotic ideologies that humans cling to in quiet desperation.

 
At August 08, 2005 4:06 AM, Blogger panteren said...

Sissyblue. Einstein was Jew and religious, remember his famous „Gott würfelt nicht”, “God does not play dice” quote, Bohr was also Jew but gradually adopted Taoism. Yes, many of the very greatest scientists have been deeply religious, but: What is your point? They never sat down and just said: “well, I don’t understand that” and explained what they saw as gods will, which is what ID is in essence. They developed their own theories based on the reality they experienced.

 
At August 08, 2005 4:23 AM, Blogger Tim said...

panteren: "Heat flows from hot to cold - Heat cannot be completely converted -Isolated systems become disordered". Simply put the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics establishes that everything wears out (entropy) and loses energy; becomes less complex. Darwinism posits the precise opposite - that over time life becomes increasingly complex.Theories are trumped by Laws. Look around you - everything, including you, is wearing out.

 
At August 08, 2005 5:09 AM, Blogger linearthinker said...

panteren, 2 comments.
1. Thanks for the example. I don't think the adaptation of bacteria you noted is sufficient to discredit the challenges made by the ID proponents, but I'll grant you adaptation is real. I'm an engineer, not a biologist, and therefore am cautious making sweeping claims beyond my competency, except of course to note that "I am the the last decendant from the great GEUYUÅW."
2. I perceive an order in the physical and mathematical universe that must be operative for even the mechanisms of evolution, and your example of adaptation, to function. Where do you suppose this order derives? I confess I don't know. But I suggest that the heavy handed dismissal of any alternative ideas by the proponents of Darwinism and evolution is unscientific and will likely lead to their eventual embarassment. I invite you to read David Berlinski on this subject. One of his points, as I recall, is that evolution as presented is seriously flawed, not that this necessarily leads to God as an alternative (although you're free to draw your own conclusions). Just keep an open mind. Sissyblue, ethnocentrist and Tim all make good sense in their comments.

 
At August 08, 2005 12:08 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Linearthinker and Tim have said it well. All ID is saying is that the complexity indicates a designer, something greater than chance guiding the process. Actually, since you brought him up, Einstein believed in God BECAUSE of the intricacy and order of the universe. What sort of God he envisioned is another long debate and completely off topic.

 
At August 08, 2005 4:36 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Simply put the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics establishes that everything wears out (entropy) and loses energy; becomes less complex. Darwinism posits the precise opposite - that over time life becomes increasingly complex.

Tim, the two are not mutually exclusive. One is stating that disorder is the eventual end to all as energy dissipates IF left alone. The other states through long periods of time, things that had a better chance of survival, DID, and continued to do so. Despite this "creation" of more efficient entities, the second still applied to them.

A perfect example to evolution is the dinosaurs. If they did not become extinct, man would have had little chance to evolve. There is an example of how one event affected another in a greatly positive way, while keeping the second law intact.

 
At August 08, 2005 8:12 PM, Blogger Tim said...

ethnocenntrist: your example is pure supposition.

 
At August 09, 2005 1:29 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Tim,

Can you clarify which aspect of my example is supposition? I'm unsure exactly where you have a problem with it or whether it is the whole thing you have a problem with.

 
At August 09, 2005 3:25 AM, Blogger Tim said...

ethnocentrist: "A perfect example to evolution is the dinosaurs. If they did not become extinct, man would have had little chance to evolve."

That statement is an expression of your opinion which is based on incomplete evidence.

I take it that your remarks concerning thermodynamiics keys on the open or closed system. That is another, but valid, argument. You correctly point out that in your scenario time (vast quantites) would be necessary.

You might be interested in an article (Faith-Based Evolution) written by Roy Spencer in today's TCS found at: http://www.techcentralstation.com/080805I.html

 
At August 09, 2005 1:42 PM, Blogger panteren said...

Tim. I’ll get back to you. I don’t think there is any contradiction between the two theories, but I’ll look at it.

linearthinker. Well, I don’t think that anyone will seriously argue that Darwinism is perfect. Not at all, it got mayor flaws, but that has been known for years, and is not something the ID makers have discovered. Adaptation can hardly explain how a bat developed organs to make the high pitch sound, the organs to hear the sound and the brainpower to process the sound into a picture of the surroundings. To develop one of these things would be nothing strange, but all three at the same time is remarkable. Darwinism got flaws no doubt about that. But, the reason why I speak so badly about the ID theory, is that it don’t fulfil the requirements for a scientific theory as it got no hypothesis which can be tested. That it talks about interception of some intelligence don’t make it unscientific, even if this intelligence should be god. But when you can’t test the claim, well then we can’t talk about science. As an idea it is good, it broadens the debate and perhaps gives some researchers an idea which can be tested, but to call it as good as Darwinism and say it should have the same status in school is not defensible from a scientific point of view.

sissyblue. Have you seen the termitaries of the African termite? They are extremely complex, but I can’t see how that makes a termite intelligent.

 
At August 09, 2005 3:38 PM, Blogger panteren said...

Tim. I had to find my quantum mechanics notes, couldn’t remember the definitions. The 2nd law of thermodynamics, state that in a closed system the entropy is increasing or constant. Macroscopic entropy change is given by ΔS = ΔE /T where ΔS is the entropy change, ΔE is the added energy and T is the systems absolute temperature. As all life requires to be added energy and thereby increases the entropy, I really don’t see how Darwinism and this law should interfere

 
At August 09, 2005 10:31 PM, Blogger Tim said...

panteren: Well evolutionists claim that the 2nd Law doesn’t apply to open systems. But this is false. Dr John Ross of Harvard University states:
" … there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. … There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself."

I know this is a valid debate but at this point I can only defer to greater authorities than myself. Suffice it to say that Darwinism only explains microevolution, or more accurately stated, change within a species but does not explain, nor is there any convincing evidence for, macroevolution, or speciation. It fails the test of science as the fossil record clearly demonstrates. Adaptaion is not evidence of evolution (macroevolution).

 
At August 10, 2005 1:20 AM, Blogger sissyblue said...

And nobody has ever been able to create "life", as would have been required.

 
At August 10, 2005 3:59 PM, Blogger chaoticsynapticactivity said...

If you would like some clarity in the history of sciences, get a hold of "A Short History of Nearly Everything".

Except for the rant at the end by the author how evolution is the only way, the book is facinating in it's accounts of how "we" developed and evolved our sciences over the ages. There is example after example of one belief being struck down by a more correct one, which in turn was set aside when either an expedition, or new testing/measurement technology came into the equation. Why is Darwin's theory the only way? Do a little googling on Galleio and the Spanish Inquistiton.

Actually, I think it's mildly comical that it used to be the Church shoving science down the world's throats, now when the Church poses a theory, science is calling the Church "heretics." Don't you see the cosmic irony in all of this?

I found it really interesting how the first use of "tectonic plates" was in 1968. Today, it's just common knowledge. Not all that long ago, we didn't even conceive of these plates "floating" around the planet, and thought the ocean basins were flat and deep, and just filled up with the sediment coming off the land. My, my, my, how things have changed in less than 50 years....

Science is about observation and analysis. To close one's mind, just to hang onto your beliefs is a limitation that is bad for humanity, as well as rejecting the very tennants of what we commissioned scientists to do in society. They are the "scouts" on the fontiers, telling us what is out there, not a group cloistered in an ivory tower, too lazy to venture out and content in repeating the one bit of understanding they got from a few controlled experiments.

I am a Biology major, and I believe in ID. My professional life has made me an engineer, mechanically and in software/systems, and I see intelligent design in all man has done, and the work I had to do to create programs...little "stubs" of code to prove a lower level, to be later included fuction for the end product, to fully integrated testing. It had to be planned. If my cat has a kidney, and I have a kidney, I just think God is the ultimate recycler (and I've worked in that the recycling business, too). What's not to like about that? Greenpeace, I'm sure, would have to buy in...

I spent years as an agnostic, and, with of my scientific training, I could see the incredible intracasies of organisms, so something told me not to let go of those observations.......I've looked to the stars from the open ocean, and used them to navigate by. I have studied astronomy, oceanography, meterology, marine biology. I no longer can submit to a theory (which, is still what it is called) that accounts for all of this because of Brownian motion (which has been clearly demonstrated time and time again in labs). I also believe God is using evolution as part of the design work. My personal understanding of this is evidenced in my software and systems work, which, I will admit, are not my methods, but those of many smart people before me, and accepted industry processes. The projects begin in little pieces and grow, and grow, and grow, and sometimes (well, almost all the time) change along the way, because we realized our design was flawed.

Actually, I see ID not as "creationism warmed over," but reference to that all that is around us had a design to put it in place. Creationism is the concept that God just spoke Adam and Eve into life. Two different issues, yet the "how" they got here part is still in the debate arena of "evolved" or "merely appeared." ID is not how they got here, but whether or not their bodies were designed by a higher intelligence.

If you pull back from your fear of God for a moment, Darwin's theory is one of design, too. In this case, it's a plan to improve the existing. This debate is whether something is behind that, or it just happens. If you're going to add a wing to the hospital, I would hope you'd have an architect plan it first, before you just turn the first shovel of dirt. You may still get the wing on, but it won't propbably meet code, let alone provide the very things you needed it to do. ID points "up" to something far greater than we humans who can't get along more than a few years of time without having significant conflict (which certainly is a plug for entropy), let alone being able to hang the stars in the sky and also design DNA.

When I get to heaven, I'm going to ask to see the engineering library....In the meantime, I think we haven't mastered the book on relationships, so He certainly isn't going to waste His time on us squabbling over building and design codes and procedures He has already worked out....

"If we humans, as logical creatures, can not be open minded enough to exam all theories, then our civilization is doomed and we're heading towards another "dark age" where certain ideas we don't like aren't talked about." - sissyblue

As it was said in the 70s...sissyblue, Right On!

 
At August 10, 2005 4:24 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

chaoticsynapticactivity, Thanks, I obviously agree with all you've said:) Interestingly, I am also an engineer. Maybe it takes a logical mind, a designer, to recognize another.

You know what really drives me crazy? These shows on the Science Channel, History Channel, etc, where they've concocted whole life histories of the apes we've supposedly evolved from. I saw one a while back where they even had assigned names to them. It was hysterical! It showed poor old Maggie the ape, baby Sam clinging to her breast, being chased by a mean old lion. The lion caught her, but baby Sam escaped, and caught up with the family, etc. Blah, blah, blah.

"Sometimes the professor with his bone becomes almost as dangerous as a dog with his bone. And the dog at least does not deduce a theory from it, proving that mankind is going to the dogs - or that it came from them." - G.K. Chesterton

 
At August 10, 2005 7:01 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Oh, Here's another I saw on the History Channel that was funny. They were talking about how the Jews returned from Babylon in the 5th Century BC, and they showed a picture of the priests walking towards Jerusalem and the Temple mount, upon which sat THE DOME OF THE ROCK!!!!! HELLO! The Dome of the Rock wasn't even in existence for another 1300 years! GOOD GRIEF...

 

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