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November 13, 2007

Comments

I can't fault your logic.

'For the life of me, I can't figure out why the position of intelligent design is so difficult to understand.'

I have explained ID to so many friends, so often, and as simply as I can. They absolutely refuse to think of it as anything other than tossing aside all facts and believing the exact opposite. It does not matter how many times or how many ways I have brought the topic up - they have their definition of what they THINK we mean when we talk about ID, and it does not matter how well it is explained, they will NOT move from that.

Hi Mo

Have them paraphrase back to you what you said to them and see if that works.

good luck
Todd

I have never seen in modern day academia such fear and such closemindedness when it comes to even discussing evolution and intelligent design. In fact the way things stand today in academia the juxtaposition of the two words in that sentence is as close as they will ever get. I believe as Christians, we must be confident not in of ourselves but in the Lord that he will turn the tide and bring about a revolution of freethinking because frankly the way things are reminds me of the dark ages where people are punished for having certain beliefs or thoughts. Even today you can lose your position or your professorship in school if you are even within proximity of intelligent design. I believe the time will come in the near future when there will be irrefutable evidence that intelligent design belongs in the discussion brought along with evolution and any other discussion. I can only pray and support those people who are on the front lines who are paying the price to further the discussion of intelligent design at the cost of losing their jobs or professorships or grants or being ostracized by the scientific community.

I compare the conflict between illusion and intelligent design to the same conflict that existed hundreds of years ago when they believe that heavier than air machines would never exist and would never fly.

ID/evolution is one of those issues that appears hard to figure when there are apparantly experts on both sides. Maybe God left a message. Or maybe it's just the result of randomness paired with natural selection.

I think a better question might be... Would you believe in a designer if human DNA decoded to "Copyright (C) Stardate 56676 Martian Industries" or (better) "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"?

I know people who would continue in their disbelief even with such evidence. From the tone of the debate, I suspect many others are similarly entrenched. So I think arguing ID versus evolution is often the wrong discussion; philosophical honesty seems more appropriate.

Every time I stick my toe into this debate, I'm reminded of how little I know about biology. I'm skeptical that all of the life we have today could've arisen purely from natural causes, but I can't really defend or refute the view.

But I wanted to question your line of reasoning and hopefully get a response to it. You seem to be arguing that there is always a mind behind information. We know that there is always an intelligent communicator behind words like "help" appear in the sand, and SETI looks for patterns that suggest communication. DNA, I'm guessing, is analogous to writing "help" in the sand or getting messages from aliens.

Here's the problem I have with the analogy. In every case of communication, there are always two minds involved--one to convey the information, and one to recieve it. But in the case of DNA, the language, as far as I know, isn't used to convey information from one mind to another. The language doesn't literally "tell" the cell what to do. The goings on in the cell are blind and mechanistic. The "information" is never received by a mind. If nobody is receiving information, then how can you say "communication" is really happening?

So I question whether the "letters" of the DNA bases can really be considered a "language" in the ordinary sense of the word.

Aren't words like "language," "information," and "communication" just metaphores similar to when a person gets a hungry feeling in their stomach, and they reason, "My stomach is trying to tell me something--get some food"?

Sunday school's topic for class this recent Sunday was naturalism and the influence of naturalism on science. There were quotes from naturalists distributed where they answered the question "what is science". The funny thing was none of the 6-8 quotes agreed with each other, and some even contradicted other ones. The point is that even naturalists cant even agree on what science is and every classification that they would deny ID as legitimate science is being used in the same way by other naturalists.

Faith seems to be a necessary ingredient for "science" to be possible.

Funny how the review excerpt includes as part of its definition of science "something that can be challenged," and yet the challenge presented by ID to more popularly held views is being outrightly denied.

Sam-

Good point. I can think of a situation more closely analogous, though. Take the signals to an RC car, or to the Mars rover. They have their origin in an intelligence, but they boil down to electromagnetic impulses that cause a very mechanistic reaction in the inanimate object they're directed at. It's definitely information, but it's not from one mind to another. However, it upholds the idea that information ultimately comes from a mind.

One could bring up the counter-example of two automated cars communicating with each other and reacting based on those signals, in which case information is seemingly not coming from a mind. However, the signals there are determined directly by the programming (after interpretation of the environment through sensors), and that programming was produced by a mind. So it's essentially the same thing- the signals are just distanced from the mind by one step.

As far as your last paragraph, I'm not able to definitively answer that myself. However, I believe that the relevant technical definitions of at least some of those terms (certainly information and most likely communication) don't invalidate the arguments proposed. I'm an aeronautical engineer- people frequently refer to pressure fluctuations in a flow as containing information, which I regard that as a sloppy use of the word. However, electrical signals are most likely properly defined as containing information. You may be able to discern the difference in an intuitive way, which is all I have to offer.

Sam,

The DNA "language" is a like set of instructions for a machine. When I write a program for my computer, the computer uses the instructions in a blind and mechanistic way, just as the cell does with the DNA instructions. The computer program, like the DNA code, is not meant to convey information from one mind to another.

Yet you could never conclude that the computer was programmed by anything other than some intelligent programmer.

DNA is information but that does not necessarily imply design. There could have been a naturalistic process that brung it about that was wholly mindless. The point is that science has to assume that whatever happened, it was through a natural material process because science works with causality in the physical realm. Methodological naturalism is inevitable in the practice of science.

Thus, ID can never be considered a real scientific theory or be taught about in the classroom. It can bolster the teleological argument but that's a religiou/spiritual question, not a scientific one.

"DNA is information but that does not necessarily imply design."

Well if methodological naturalism is the only cause that can ever be considered, can the information content of DNA ever imply design?

Sounds like "science" is stacking the deck to me?

Sorry I take that back. It's not the fault of science, just the philosophical view of various scientists.

>>The DNA "language" is a like set of instructions for a machine. When I write a program for my computer, the computer uses the instructions in a blind and mechanistic way, just as the cell does with the DNA instructions.

Exactly. Well said.

>>DNA is information but that does not necessarily imply design. There could have been a naturalistic process that brung it about that was wholly mindless.

Anonymous, you're misunderstanding the nature of meaningful information. If you put a thousand monkeys in a room with computers for a thousand years, they would never randomly come up with one meaningful sentence, let alone an entire book, because the pattern of letters would be random. Yet there's as much meaningful information in DNA as there is in the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. To say that happened randomly is not scientific because it goes against everything we know about the world--kind of a "materialism of the gaps." That is, it's saying, "random forces did it"--when we have no scientific evidence that randomness could do such a thing--merely because you want to maintain your naturalistic view of the world.

Secondly, every single time we have observed the presence of meaningful information in this world, it has been the result of a mind. Every single time.

Thirdly, science often concludes that minds are behind certain things, so why would we disallow that possibility only in this case? It seems to me that scientists should look for the truth, not for what fits ideas they've assumed for their own purposes. It's not like we're merely pronouncing that it all happened by magic and you just must accept it. We're saying that what we see before us--what we can observe firsthand in this world--bears all the marks we find in designed objects only. Therefore, based on what we know about how intelligence works and how to tell if something in the world is the result of intelligence, it would seem that a mind is behind the design of this universe. I fail to see how any of that is unscientific.

Ironically, it's a naturalistic view of the world that will ultimately destroy science, not a view that includes God. I say this because only a created, purposed world can ultimately have real order that can be discovered. This is why science developed in the Judeo-Christian Western world. I heard a debate on secular radio the other day between a Christian and an atheist where the atheist insisted there was no real order in the universe--only what we imposed on it with our minds. You want to know what will destroy science? THAT idea will destroy science, and it's what one must conclude if we live in a random, non-created world.

(I credit Greg with the "materialism of the gaps" idea, by the way. He threw that out at a staff meeting once and I think it describes the situation perfectly. Although I think he preferred the term "ignorance of the gaps": "We don't know how meaningful information can come about randomly, but someday we'll figure it out!")

"DNA is information but that does not necessarily imply design. There could have been a naturalistic process that brung it about that was wholly mindless."

Can you give one non-question-begging example of information that has been demonstrated to not have come from an intelligent source?

"The point is that science has to assume that whatever happened, it was through a natural material process because science works with causality in the physical realm. Methodological naturalism is inevitable in the practice of science."

And this assumption is detrimental to the practice of science, for it does not follow the evidence but predetermines what evidence will be admissable.

Dennis and Mike, those are much better analogies. Yes, I can see the point, now. Thanks.

Having read the decision and some of the testimony, I was curious to see how this thread went after the program aired. The silence is impressive.

The thread started with inference and unsupported assumptions about DNA and seems mired there. The reality is that ID stands or falls on the validity of irreducible complexity as a provable hypothesis and IR has been pretty throughly debunked.

The program was a fair relation of the trial and the trial was devastating to ID as a scientific concept. Behe has never recovered and has become something of a joke in the scientific community. Pharyngula has a good summary:

"First, it made the case that Intelligent Design is not science. This is the part that I liked best; scientists came on, schooled the court on the basics of evolutionary biology, and showed them what science is, by empirical example. The documentary supplemented that with lovely animations and diagrams that illustrated the points well. Then they showed that the witnesses for Intelligent Design failed to even come close to the standards of good science, and were in fact trying to rewrite the meaning of science to sneak their doctrines into the classroom.

Second, it showed that Intelligent Design is religion in disguise. The proponents of the changes in Dover, Bonsell and Buckingham, were young earth creationists with a patent religious agenda. The book, Of Pandas and People, which was written by people associated with the Discovery Institute and which was promoted by the DI, was rooted in creationism and got a face lift in response to court decisions that ruled against creationism. And the Discovery Institute itself was founded with a sectarian religious purpose (the first words in the Wedge document are "The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built.")"

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/11/the_morning_after_judgment_day.php#more

PZ live blogs here:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/11/judgment_day_liveblogging.php#more

More on JD (scroll down):

http://pandasthumb.org/

An interesting story if one assiduously follows the links:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/11/an-open-letter-6.html#more

>>The thread started with inference and unsupported assumptions about DNA and seems mired there.

Do you deny that DNA contains meaningful information?

>>The reality is that ID stands or falls on the validity of irreducible complexity as a provable hypothesis and IR has been pretty throughly debunked.

This post was not about IR or the trial, it was about intelligence as the only source of information. Timbo had a good question, and I would be interested in hearing your response:

"Can you give one non-question-begging example of information that has been demonstrated to not have come from an intelligent source?"

"...incorporating an untestable theory based on faith..."

While the ID movement has philosophically sound arguments, it lacks the voice of a testable model to compete in the scientific arena, and will continue, I believe, to be marginalized and discredited.

Astronomer Hugh Ross's recent book, "Creation As Science", introduces the Reasons To Believe (RTB) Testable Creation Model. He argues that "any account (or model) of how the universe, life, and humans came to be deserves serious consideration if and only if it is verifiable/falsifiable. A valid model must stand or fall by the scientific method. It must address the why questions and successfully predict what ongoing research will reveal." His model incorporates the latest scientific research with biblical data to give explanatory and predictive answers to the big questions of origins.

The scientific method is "the crucial tool for testing all theories and the only real hope for progress toward resolution of the creation/evolution hostilities".

The book contains two detailed tables of "Predictive Tests for Creation/Evolution Models" (Complex Sciences and Theology/Philosophy)for four different models: RTB, Naturalism, Young Earth, and Theistic Evolution.

Ross's book is an essential read for anyone wanting to participate intelligently in the creation/evolution debate.

"While the ID movement has philosophically sound arguments, it lacks the voice of a testable model to compete in the scientific arena..."

So evolution has a testable model? I wasn't aware that any macro evolution has been tested (ie repeated) in science or any other arena for that matter.

I did not see the program and have not followed the court case.

That being said, I see nothing wrong with students being exposed to intelligent design. I am sure that any latter day Madelyn Murry OHares would have kittens that being the case but frankly the students won't die from exposure to ID.

An enterprising teacher could turn it into a great exercise in critical thinking. Lay ID beside the flavor-of-the-day for the Big Bangers and analyze the facts of both sides. I find my high school senior not having been given much teaching/practice in critical analysis of written or other materials.


---Methodological naturalism is inevitable in the practice of science."
And this assumption is detrimental to the practice of science, for it does not follow the evidence but predetermines what evidence will be admissable.---

I think this somes it up. Science is not a thing in itself to be discovered, this is the flaw I see in the statement: evolution is science, ID is not science. Science is a process that leads to an end, not the end in itself.

But I do have a little formulaic challenge to any one who holds the big bang began it all materialist worldview.

as you go back in history the universe is traced back to an absolutely dense singularity of static mass and time, which exploded(how this action could occur without time yet in motion is beyond me) and caused everything we know. heres how it would look in math:

0+1=1

this is what materialsim leads to as the cause of the universe. That 0 (nothing) was all that existed at zero hour(before time), then something (material and time, space, etc..) appeared, in other words something out of nothing. You can't get from 0 to 1 without adding something, and in an existience of only 0, where is the 1 going to come from. I argued this on a forum and the best reply I got was "well numbers are functions of mind and since there was no mind in an existence of nothing how can we label points in time and things"
This argument falls flat because all it suggests is that a mind was needed: enter God

This only points to the obvious something out of nothing can not exist in the materialist worldview yet this would be required for the big bang to be the cause of all things. This flys in the face of all known laws that govern the universe. Ironically this is what both sides of the issue ultimately must believe in order to be consistent with observable evidence and laws: that the universe began to exist, and could not have come from another thing or have been caused by anything material. hence the only logical step is, material things came from a non material source.

Something from nothing is illogical

something from someone, works

then they will ask you: Who created God?.... And I would refer them to Aristotles unmoved mover.

If you go back you end up with an action that requires a cause which cannot exist in the material realm.

As supernatural source of all things fits the big bang model better than anything it seems to me.

Maybe you can help me refine my logic but I think this fits.

Having seen the show I cannot say that I saw anything new. The Dover trial was a disaster for the ID proponents. It is clear that that the Dover school board had religious motivations and to some respects so did the Discovery Institute. That being said the merits or lack thereof of ID should not be decided ad-hominim. Let the evidence go wherever it leads as many say. It is not clear that to me that Behe's IR theory has been debunked. Just because organelles share certain protien parts doesn't mean that they can't be IR. What wasn't touched on during the show heavily was the information aspect of DNA as previously posted by others or the origins issue. I'm not sure where I stand on the whole ID-natural selection debate, and there is merit to parts of both theories. I will continue to watch and see where the evidence leads.

To All,

Science is not about the search for truth in the metaphysical sense because it is limited to testing only the physical realm. Some of you said that this presupposes materialism and is thus unfair because it "loads the dice" so to speak. Perhaps, so but there is no way around this. "God did it," is not a hypothesis that can be adequately tested on the physical level. Only physical causes can be sought after because that's what science sets out to do by definition. Science is only concerned about the physical mechanism and thus must assume that there are always physical mechanisms in play behind the way things work. If science didn't assume this then we'd still think that thunder is caused by Zeus's anger.

I just lost a lot of respect for this site. Do you seriously think intellegent design should be taught in public schools? It's just creationism with a new name, it's biased and religiously motivated and has no place whatsoever in public school. Every analogy, every "proof" of creationism and intellegent design is a logical fallacy. They say the forces of the universe conspired in a precise way to make life possible and if anything were slightly different we wouldn't exist. This is an untestable hypothosis and an assumption based on ignorance. They compare life with computers, saying that complex things must have complex creators. Comparing animate and inanimate objects makes no sense, biology is not mechanical engineering. Also this idea leads to the question "who created God?" and the answer to that question is some theological mumbo-jumbo that REALLY doesn't belong in schools. If you want to home school your kids or send them to a private school where they can learn creationism or intellegent design and make a distinction between macro and micro evolution, go ahead. But no one, religious or not, should support the idea that this religiously motivated quasi-science called intellegent design should be taught to everyone. If you consider the implications of broadening the definition of science to include a creator, you are equally opening the door to faries, leprachauns, astrology and other rediculous ideas. The Discovery Institute has admitted this in court.

Steve:

"Also this idea leads to the question "who created God?" and the answer to that question is some theological mumbo-jumbo that REALLY doesn't belong in schools."

Do you believe "something" always existed, or did nothing exist before, and now there is something?

sincerely,
Todd
(sorry for the tangent folks)

What respect for this site was that, Steve? I've seen very little as I've read many of your posts and replied. (Some of which I've given up waiting for responses on!)

You certainly show none in your words here. These are the same old shallow arguments against ID - 'biased' and 'religiously motivated' that I mentioned in my other post that I have to deal with on a frequent basis.

People have brought up some good points here, and yet you tossed that right out as if it didn't even happen. Very little respect, indeed.

Here is the Answers In Genesis article on the PBS special.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/11/14/over-after-d
over

"I just lost a lot of respect for this site....This is an untestable hypothosis....If you consider the implications of broadening the definition of science to include a creator, you are equally opening the door to faries, leprachauns, astrology and other rediculous ideas."

I just lost a lot of respect for your spell-checker, Steve. Seriously, though, to say that by allowing ID we are opening the door to faries and the like is to beg the question against ID. In making the comparison, you are presuming a priori that the evidence for a designer is analogous to that for faries and leprechauns, which is exactly what is being challenged. I have no problem opening a door which no faries and leprechauns will travel through ('cause they don't exist) to allow people to investigate the evidence for the design around them. Why do you have a problem with it if ID is as fallacious as you say it is? And to ask you the question I posed to an anonymous commenter...

Can you give one non-question-begging example of information that has been demonstrated to not have come from an intelligent source?

If Darwinists were able to sufficiently answer this question, I suspect that ID would become extinct within the span of about six literal 24-hour days.

A couple of things that caught me (I think you may have raised them Alan?)

The first one was about IR.
I don't know how IR has been debunked? Behe's mousetrap analogy is a good example of IR, but of course it is only intended to be representative of systems many times more complex. The best attempt I have seen evolutionists make is the co-option argument to explain the bacterial flagellum. But this doesn't work either, as most of the parts in the flagellum motor contains parts that don't exist elsewhere. But even given this you still need assembly instructions. Are they meant to "evolve" simultaneously?

The next one was about the attempt to change the meaning of science. As I have pointed out on this blog in the past, ID loses absolutely nothing whether it is accepted as part of the scientific enterprise or not. The definition of what science is changed at least three times in the 20th alone (Del Ratsch, Philosophy of Science). Undoubtedly then, it will change again. It changed for Newton, it changed for Darwin, it's changed many more times since and no doubt will again. So what does the definition of science have to do with the truthfulness of ID, seriously? The point is moot.

To borrow (in-part), from Douglas Wilson, why should we care that the guardians of the academy believe that [ID] is not intellectually respectable? They believe that the moose, the sperm whale and the meadowlark are all blood relations. Why do we want their seal of approval on our intellectual abilities? It's like asking Fidel Castro to comment on the economic viability of Microsoft.

I can't believe in all of this discussion no one has mentioned Francis Collins' book The Language of God! At the end of that decidedly Christian book, he mourns the inevitable death of ID and offers incredible evidence that it has used God to explain gaps in science.

Collins continues to say, "Advances in science ultimately fill in those gaps, to the dismay of those who had attached their faith to them." And he cites one example in the recently disproven ID argument surrounding bacterial flagellum.

Has anyone here read that book? I'd be curious what folks think of Collins' proposal to consider theistic evolution rather than ID.

Mark, I haven't read the book yet, but here is a review that responds to the ID/God of the gaps charge:

http://www.discovery.org/a/3749

Good one Mark

Theistic evolution will become mainstream Christian thought in the near future. ID is just such an insult to God. Christians who reduce the creator to a designer simply do not have a clue what the creation is all about. God creates ends God does not design means. For what end or purpose does the creation serve?
For us Christian revolutionaries it is simple. We are the creators of souls for the dimension of God, heaven if you like. Was that not the covenant that Jesus brought? The time of the covenants for land that God made with the sons of Abraham has past. That revelation puts a different light on things like abortion and homosexuality. If we were to fulfill that purpose there would be no abortions. To come together as one flush and create a soul would probably put a dent in divorces also. While I doubt that homosexuality puts you on a fast tract into the abyss, in can not please God that you waste the opportunity to create a soul. But then I do not look for splinters in my brother’s eye and ignore the telephone pole in my own. I will bet the Pharisees will call that blasphemy.

>>Science is not about the search for truth in the metaphysical sense because it is limited to testing only the physical realm.

In reference to this post you're commenting on, can you tell me what I suggested that we test in the non-physical realm? I spoke only of evidence within the physical realm and included examples of how scientists often come to the conclusion that an intelligent being created a physical object--and further, that there are specific things they look for in order to determine this.

>>Perhaps, so but there is no way around this [only allowing for non-intelligent causes]

I'll respond to this in a post on the main page today. Be sure to look for it!

>>Only physical causes can be sought after because that's what science sets out to do by definition.

Let's change the discussion from "physical" to "intelligent" because that is much more specific. Science determines intelligent causes all the time, just as I explained. Just because science can't determine anything about the intelligent cause itself, that doesn't mean science can't recognize an intelligent cause. For example, the SETI project may receive a message and know absolutely nothing about the intelligent source. But they're absolutely certain that they will know an intelligent cause when they see it. This is all ID can determine.

"I did not see the program and have not followed the court case.

That being said, I see nothing wrong with students being exposed to intelligent design..."

Hi Z, maybe you should read the decision and go to the PBS website and watch the program.

"Can you give one non-question-begging example of information that has been demonstrated to not have come from an intelligent source?"

Folks, this turns things upside down. You say DNA is information and you have an assertion about the nature of information. All I have seen so far is analogies to computer programs and programmers. How about, instead of relying on someone else proving a negative, giving us one testable hypothesis coming from this insight about the nature of information?

Steve,

>>Every analogy, every "proof" of creationism and intellegent design is a logical fallacy.

Great! I'd love to hear your analysis of the logical fallacies of the argument I made in this post about intelligence and information (not about teaching anything in schools). Then we can debate the merits of our respective positions.

>>Also this idea leads to the question "who created God?" and the answer to that question is some theological mumbo-jumbo that REALLY doesn't belong in schools.

As it happens, I just wrote a post on this on my other blog. It's not mumbo-jumbo, or even theological, but it is logical philosophy. Go check it out:

http://ateam.blogware.com/blog/
_archives/2007/11/13/3349945.html

There was an interesting discussion a while back on several blogs. If one googles "leiter+vandyke" one can follow it. It is very informative.

I don't get using SETI as an example as it is basically a hypothesis in process that has yet to produce results. Using an unproven hypothesis as an example to validate an unprovable idea seems a bit of a reach.

As for geology and human artifacts, there are, in fact, often disagreements at the margins. With well defined artifacts like Clovis points, we find other artifacts like bones with striations that match the tools and, of course we are dealing with relatively recent events. We also can duplicate the technology involved in the manufacture of these tools. That is, we have evidence and can formulate testable hypothesis; we have science. ID has yet to come up with the science part.

>>How about, instead of relying on someone else proving a negative, giving us one testable hypothesis

Alan, here's a general hypothsis that resulted from thinking that an intelligent designer created the world: Modern science came about in the Western world because theists began with the understanding that God, rather than random forces, created the universe. As a result, their hypothesis was that the universe is ordered and purposeful and as such, they would be able to discover rules about how things work.

This hypothesis has been tested and proven time and time again.

>>I don't get using SETI as an example as it is basically a hypothesis in process that has yet to produce results. Using an unproven hypothesis as an example to validate an unprovable idea seems a bit of a reach.

All I'm trying to show is that their methodology of determining intelligent design is considered to be science by the scientific community. That means that they recognize the valid possibility of determining intelligent design.

>> How about, instead of relying on someone else proving a negative, giving us one testable hypothesis coming from this insight about the nature of information?

I can do this, but I'll need you to agree with me on 2 points so as to avoid defining evidence out of existence. They are:

1. Information exists
2. Information is metaphysical in nature

#1 will tell me whether you have your own understanding of the word "intelligence"; #2 will tell me whether you make a distinction between "information" and "mechanism" (hope I explained that ok)

Even though I know you already agree with 1 & 2, the way you worded your post suggests that you misunderstand what science, according to the popular definition, is capable of proving; and, therefore, I thought it would be helpful to begin my response at the level of first principles.

"What respect for this site was that, Steve?"

I respect what Greg Koukl and others say against relativism. I liked the post about Luther, I'm greatful for the things he did to challenge the authority of the corrupt Catholic church. I guess that's about it since most of the rest of what I've found here is biased, bigoted attacks on other people's faiths and "logical" arguements to justify your own beliefs and give yourself a pat on the back for chosing the "right" religion.

"I just lost a lot of respect for your spell-checker, Steve."

Ouch, insulting my spelling, I'm so hurt. What's next? You gonna tell me I have cooties? Throw gravel at me?

I'm not a scientist, but Ken Miller is, he's also believes in God, shocking! I agree with what he has to say about ID in this presentation. http://youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

I've got nothing against the private practice of religion, this is different. If you want religious ideas to be taught in school to balance out the "evil" science, it should be a class labeled as world religions a class where the history of religion and the broad spectrum of spirituality is fully explored in the same way that science fully explores the natural world. If you haven't noticed, other religions, Muslims, Hindus, etc. think that science proves their world view just like you. Why shouldn't their opinions get taught in school too? ID crosses the line of separation of church and state, a line that's been slowly crumbling away, and the more it crumbles, the more this country will become overtly Christian and less religiously free.

>>it "loads the dice" so to speak. Perhaps, so but there is no way around this. "God did it," is not a hypothesis that can be adequately tested on the physical level.

My post responding to this is up now:

http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2007/11/philosophical-n.html

Steve, I'm genuinely interested not in engaging in "biased attacks," but in hearing which specific "logical fallacies" you find in my post and then discussing them with you.

>>If you haven't noticed, other religions, Muslims, Hindus, etc. think that science proves their world view just like you. Why shouldn't their opinions get taught in school too?

To clarify, all science can point to is the existence of an intelligent designer; it can't say anything about the designer's identity. (For that, you would need to go into other disciplines.) In other words, ID scientists can't prove Christian opinions with science alone, nor are they trying to, as scientists.

What they say could agree with many religions or even non-religious beliefs in an alien society from another universe. The specific scientists hold different views about the identity of the designer, but their views on this are irrelevant. Only their scientific opinions on the marks of intelligent design in the physical universe are relevant.

Listen to yourself. ID is not a science, it's a philosophy, it's entirely metaphysical, and it's fairly obvious that it's just a white washed version of Christianity mixed with biology. If you haven't noticed, science is about the physical world, it makes no comment on supernatural or metaphysical. If you want intellegent desingn taught in schools it should be as a religious or philosophical idea, it is not science.

"Geologists can easily spot the difference between a natural rock formation and an ancient human artifact because they recognize a standard for determining intelligent design."

True, but there is a disagreement when it comes to biology. The disagreement is not between two equal theories, it's between evolution, an idea that has been tested, researched and supported by evidence for many years, and intellegent design, a recently crafted theory that came about because Christians feel threatened by science. Instead of facing the implications of evolution head on and admit that it's not compatible with their religious beliefs, they want to instead turn it around, twist the facts and reinterpret the evidence to protect their beliefs. But doing this would polute the foundation of science, stretching the scientific method to include assumptions based on religious beliefs. The people behind intellegent design are not alone, the Mormon organization known as FARMS reinterprets the archeology found on the American continent to support the Book of Mormon. Why shouldn't their ideas get taught in school too? They're just as valid as intelligent design.

Steve,

In the same paragraph you say you respect what Greg Koukl has taught on relativism and then seem to chastise Christians for believing their religion is the "right" one.

Also, you must be kidding when you say the separation of church and state line is crumbling. If anything, that line is much too pronounced now. It was never the intent of the Constitution to restrict religious freedom. It was always to restrict government interference in religious practice. It was a one-way wall if you want to call it a wall. It is contained in the "Bill of Rights." These are rights given to citizens and restrictions placed on government, not restrictions on people and rights given to the federal government.

Here is the first amendment,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Notice the restriction is on Congress. If you conclude that religion doesn't belong in schools in any form, you must also conclude that free speech and the press and peaceable demonstrations have no place on government property either. They are in the same amendment.

Another thought, prior to 1867 with the creation of the Dept. of Education, education was solely within the domain of state and local authorities.

Amendment 10 gives the states the authority to do anything not expressly forbade by the Constitution, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Your idea of education is the product of a 20th and 21st century fallacious notion of separation of church and state. Correctly understood, education was not originally in the domain of the federal government, the entity restricted in the first amendment.

You cannot use the public good argument for education resting within the federal government's domain for that is an argument for things that would not happen but for government involvement. I don't think anyone would argue that schools would not arise in the private and religious sector to educate the nation's children. We have those already!

Steve,

You write, "evolution, an idea that has been tested". How so? Please provide an example of macro-evolution testing, not micro-evolution for you'll find no argument there.

There is no test. And if there were, what you'd have is the product of an intelligent being (the scientist in this case) not random chance.

The distinction between micro evolution and macro evolution cracks me up. It's nice to see that creationists actually understand evolution. It would be nice if they would also learn some math and logic and admit that lots of little changes over a long period of time can turn into big changes.

Steve,

"It would be nice if they would also learn some math and logic and admit that lots of little changes over a long period of time can turn into big changes" is not an example of macro-evolution.

Rather that is an admission of two things:

1)Macro-evolution has not been tested as you asserted in a previous post.

2)Your position is a position of faith -- essentially "one can imagine how many small changes amount to large changes"

Well, one can imagine anything they want. But this is not demonstrable, therefore creationists are under no compulsion to admit that which has not been demonstrated. That would be a leap of faith in my view.

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