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Science and Intelligent Design
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, December 27, 2005

University of Colorado Boulder Law prof and Rocky Mountain News columnist Paul Campos is peeved that a Federal court has rejected intelligent design. And, he thinks the arguments against ID aren't compelling.
—Science has refuted theories such as intelligent design, because science is based on the postulate that theories such as intelligent design cannot be true. It says a great deal about the power of orthodox thought that many people of normal intelligence are apparently incapable of seeing what's wrong with this argument. To quote the philosopher Bertrand Russell: "The method of 'postulating' what we want has many advantages. They are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil."
Actually, science doesn't claim to refute ID at all, so, where Prof. Campos gets this idea is unclear. Indeed, science can't ever claim to refute a theory of Intelligent Design, because ID isn't provable or disprovable by science. ID posits the existence of a supernatural designer. Science, being a search for naturalistic explanations—about which, more in due course—cannot address whether a supernatural agent exists or not.
—Intelligent design is not a scientific theory, because it cannot be refuted. This claim is true only in the trivial sense that no scientific theory can be refuted from within the theory itself. Consider the theory of naturalism, which undergirds the argument in the previous paragraph. Naturalism assumes that all events have natural causes. Is there any evidence that could refute this theory in the eyes of someone who adheres to it? Obviously not, since any evidence such a person examines will always and already be interpreted within a framework that excludes the possibility of a supernatural cause.
Science is useful precisely because it seeks naturalistic explanations for phenomena. The trouble is, that ID cannot be refuted from outside science either. God, or, if you prefer, The Designer, is immune to proof or disproof, scientifically or otherwise.

Moroever, naturalism isn't, or shouldn't be, a dirty word. Science cannot address non-naturalistic phenomenon. The whole point of science is that it seeks to find natural explanations for how the world works. And, really, what else can it search for? Supernatural phenomena cannot be explained. They cannot be reproduced. They cannot be disproved. They exist in a realm outside of the natural world. As such, how can they be accessible by science in any way that can provide a useful and reliable explanation? If science must incorporate supernatural phenomenon, then, essentially, we are back to explaining thunderstorms by explaining that the lightning gods are angry.

And science is useful precisely because it seeks naturalistic explanations for phenomena. I mean, look, if you come down with a urinary tract infection, you can pray for healing, or you can take amoxicillin for 18 days. I'm not saying that prayer is useless...but amoxicillin is the way I'd bet.
—Metaphysical orthodoxies about the origins of life, the universe, and everything become something other than a form of religious belief when you use the word "science" instead of the word "God." Even more preposterously, it's asserted that requiring one particular form of metaphysical orthodoxy to be presented in public schools as The Truth allows the government to maintain "neutrality" toward religion.
This is the fundamental confusion about what science is. Science doesn't posit a metaphysical explanation for anything. All science is, is a search for the natural laws and phenomena that we observe in everyday life. Science is silent about whether or not there is a Designer, because the existence of a Designer—or, for that matter, any answers about the purpose and meaning of life—are beyond the realm of science. Science is about what we can observe, can reproduce, and can falsify. Once you have admitted, as Prof. Campos implicitly does, that the Designer belongs in the realm of metaphysics, then you have admitted that the existence of a Designer isn't a matter for science to address.

So, then, why be upset that a court recognizes that, too?

James Q. Wilson's Wall Street Journal Op/Ed makes much the same points. Interestingly, though, RealClearPolitic's Jay Cost thinks that Prof. Wilson's critique gives ID too much credit.

Mr. Costs' analysis is, by the way, absolutely brilliant, and you should read the whole thing. It's too good for excerpting here.
 
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I think all the motivation of ID comes from the fact that "pure" scientists in the past have said "God is dead" or "God does not exist" rather than saying "I don’t know" or "that’s really in the realm of science to address". So basically you have a some scientists that don’t realize (or won’t admit) that athieism is also a religion and takes as much faith as Islam or Christianity.

That doesn’t make ID advocates right. But it doesn’t make God fearing people stupid either.
 
Written By: Richard
URL: http://
..NOT in the realm of science..
 
Written By: Richard
URL: http://
I hope the tide has turned on ID. I recall when the more blatant flavors of creationism-in-the-schools peaked in the 1980s, and were thrown out by the courts. I thought that had settled the arguments, but the creationists simply came back with a better disguised version. Recent events in Dover, PA indicate that the disguise was not good enough to fool either the citizens or the courts there.

It is notable, however, that both Wilson’s and Cost’s essays are intense criticism of ID from the right. Even though the supporters of ID are almost entirely also on the right side, they get no quarter from those on the right who see ID as superstitious nonsense.

Contrast that with arguments on the left. About the only disagreements they have are over tactics, not over philosophy. The wackiest ideas (Bush stole Ohio, for example) are listened to respectfully by others on the left. Those guys would really benefit from some intra-mural squabbles.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
It is notable, however, that both Wilson’s and Cost’s essays are intense criticism of ID from the right. Even though the supporters of ID are almost entirely also on the right side, they get no quarter from those on the right who see ID as superstitious nonsense.
Wrong. No other word for it. Wrong.

There is a mutually beneficial relationship between the religious right and the tiny bit less religious right whereby each partner supports the other’s causes in exchange for support for each partner’s own. Indeed, that is the essence of the right-wing coalition after Goldwater, and especially after Nixon. Is there really still a debate about this? Geez. What are we going to argue about next, gravity?

As for the opposition coming from the right, the most notable aspect of that opposition is that it is NOT primarily or at all concerned with the state forcing religious beliefs upon non-believers. In other words, the political right still believes that the state should be used as a tool to enforce religious orthodoxy and that the purse of the state - collected ultimately at the point of a gun - should be used to further the religious beliefs of a certain plurality or majority. This has always been a defining feature of the political right in the United States. That is what it is at the heart of this debate.

In the end, wingers want schools to enforce religious orthodoxy. I disagree with the position, but respect is due to those who hold it. I, for one, would simply like those on the right to have the courage to admit it. Then we can have a real debate in this country. Do you want your schools to enforce a certain religious orthodoxy or not?

C’mon wingers - admit it. Don’t be ashamed that you want public schools to enforce relgious orthodoxy. Let’s have a real debate.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Contrast that with arguments on the left. About the only disagreements they have are over tactics, not over philosophy. The wackiest ideas (Bush stole Ohio, for example) are listened to respectfully by others on the left. Those guys would really benefit from some intra-mural squabbles.
You are right, Billy. The left doesn’t argue about philosophy. It doesn’t argue about whether there is or is not a right of privacy, or a right to an abortion. It doesn’t argue over whether school children should be forced to recite a prayer or to say a pledge that suggests a nation is under a God. It doesn’t argue anymore over whether the limits on government’s ability to search your property or seize your property under the Fourth Amendment should be as loose as called for by its counterparts on the right. It doesn’t argue anymore over whether the government should have the authority to lock up a United States Citizen indefinitely without charges, access to a judge, a lawyer, or to the regular substantive and procedural due process rights that the Consitution requires be accorded that citizen. The left quit arguing a long time ago about whether a poor person has a right to a lawyer in a criminal proceeding, or whether a suspect’s invocation of his rights under the Sixth Amendment requires the state authorities - funded at taxpayer expense - requires the state’s agents to back off until the suspect has exercised that right. The left also quit arguing long ago about the right to a jury - and the right to have your case heard by a jury.

On the other hand, as you imply, for the political right, all of these issues are still open to debate. You are so open minded.

The bottom line is this: the political right in this country is becoming authoritaritan at a rapid pace. A very rapid pace. The NSA spying issues are a kind of Rosetta Stone for wingers. How do you interpret the issues, Billy? Are you like Jon H., who was attacked the other day by loyal wingers on this site for his views on the issues? Or are you a more old-school authoritarian type in Libertarian clothing? In other words, who’s your daddy?



Or do you really want to know?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Wrong. No other word for it. Wrong.

There is a mutually beneficial relationship between the religious right and the tiny bit less religious right whereby each partner supports the other’s causes in exchange for support for each partner’s own. Indeed, that is the essence of the right-wing coalition after Goldwater, and especially after Nixon. Is there really still a debate about this?
This encapsulates perfectly why you are an idiot. I criticize Prof. Campos for being pro-ID. I then link to an article by Dr. James Q. Wilson, that is also anti-ID. In doing so, I link to Kay Cost, who thinks that Dr. Wilson isn’t anti-ID enough. The commenters here then weigh in—all of whom are signifigantly rightward of you—and they criticize ID.

You then posit that there is no opposition to ID, or religion in the classroom in general—on the right.

I would accuse you of being intentionally obtuse, if I thought you had the intellectual capacity to be so.
You are right, Billy. The left doesn’t argue about philosophy.
Of course not. Leftism is essentially an absolutist religious belief, with its own peculiar catechism and liturgy. Those who question the orthodoxy no longer belong on the Left, and are cast out as heretics, much in the same way Connecticut Democrats are attempting to cast out Joe Lieberman.

Of course, you think that’s a good thing for your co-religionists.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Does it not bother anyone that in this case a judge is given the tacit authority to decide what is "science" and what is "religion"? Even though I agree with his conclusion, I was dissappointed in his opinion.

It should be up to local communities, acting through their representatives on the school board or in the legislature, to decide what is taught in their schools, and to determine for themselves _if_ and _how_ creationism is dealt with.

Even though I agree with the conclusions the judge reached, I do not like the idea of a judge deciding for everyone else what is appropriate for the people to teach their children through an organ (the public schools) that the people pay for, enact and empower.

Also, another thing that bothers me about this debate is the insistence that questions about creationism are not appropriate for a "science class". Since when is any important subject "off limits" in any class? The idea is to edify children. It’s rather stupid to insist that any discussion of creationism is off limits in a science class. That’s a very logical place for the topic to be covered because of the seeming contradiction between the very popular concept of creationism and evolutionary theory.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
Be assured, Fyro, there are others who are uncomfortable with judges making these determinations. What one must realize is that schools have migrated from places of free discussion [which they never really were, but the ideal...] of all ideas to places of political indoctrination of correct thought and liberal judges rule on what is correct thought. That is why liberals are so incensed that ID may be included.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
I agree that ID cannot be proven or disproven, but in the interest of education, tell me why would it not be pertinant to mention, in any discussion of first causes, that there are a lot of people who find this a more vialble explaination than randomness? I beleive that there is a science orthodoxy and that it is sometimes closed minded.

http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
 
Written By: Kyle N
URL: http://
liberal judges rule on what is correct thought
Um...you do know the names of the senator and the president who supported and placed Judge Jones in his current position, don’t you?
I beleive that there is a science orthodoxy and that it is sometimes closed minded.
You are right...the science orthodoxy is closed minded about untestible philosophical ideas being presented as "science." There are other areas within the public school curriculum where those ideas can be presented.
I agree that ID cannot be proven or disproven, but in the interest of education
In the "interest of education" why would you want something that you agree is not scientific taught in a science class?
tell me why would it not be pertinant to mention, in any discussion of first causes
Abiogenesis, or the study of "first causes," is not a part of evolutionary theory. Additionally, ID is about much more than abiogenesis. ID mainly makes claims about speciation, but does not provide any scientific research to support its claims. It is literally "creationism" with a new name as was clearly demonstrated in the Dover trial.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Does it not bother anyone that in this case a judge is given the tacit authority to decide what is "science" and what is "religion"? Even though I agree with his conclusion, I was dissappointed in his opinion.
And there’s the nut of it. Such rullings, of nesessity, end up being personal option cast into law, as much as anything.
Even though I agree with the conclusions the judge reached, I do not like the idea of a judge deciding for everyone else what is appropriate for the people to teach their children through an organ (the public schools) that the people pay for, enact and empower.
I would suggest this is as good a reason as is needed to get the government out of the education business, as one may ever find. Such questions would be moot.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
It should be up to local communities, acting through their representatives on the school board or in the legislature, to decide what is taught in their schools, and to determine for themselves _if_ and _how_ creationism is dealt with.
By some surveys, about half of Americans believe in astrology. So if some of these folks manage to get astrology into the astronomy course, and they have enough votes to keep it there, then what happens?

Or, more to the point, if environmental leftists in San Francisco and Berkeley are in control and they force biology classes in their systems to begin teaching that man-made global warming is a fact and is going to render Florida and much of California uninhabitable in a few years, are the only options to shell out big bucks for private school (which a lot of people can’t do) or move somewhere else?

Now, before we start down Bithead’s road discussing why government doesn’t need to be in this space to begin with, let me note that I agree and that’s why my kids go to private school. But I’m talking about the world we live in, not the one I wish we lived in. As such, while a judge’s decision is not the ideal way to decide these issues, I consider it better than the alternative, in which faith (in whatever form it takes) trumps science.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Dale,

The designer isn’t necessarily supernatural or even omnipotent or omniscient. In fact, there is no such thing as supernatural. Anything that exists that is not synthesized by humans is natural. If ghosts are real (which I don’t believe) then they are natural. If God exists (which I don’t believe) then He is natural.

If the designer was a super intelligent alien - super intelligent but not omnipotent - and there was evidence of its existance, and that evidence could be tested, the IDers would be doing science. For ID to be science it requires testable evidence of The designer. It doesn’t yet have that, but let’s not rule it out in the future.

Richard,

You are confusing faith with religion. You are correct that atheism is a faith because there is no evidence to support it. It, however, is not a religion. At Unscrewing the Inscrutable, one of the boys (don’t remember if it was Brent Rasmussen or DarkSyde) pointed out that if atheism is a religion then baldness is a hair color. Atheism is not a belief in something. It’s a lack of belief.

Also religions have organizations. If you ask a Catholic what organization he/she belongs to, he/she will tell you the Catholic Church. An atheist probably couldn’t answer that. We’re generally not into joining groups.
 
Written By: Doug Purdie
URL: http://www.onlybaseballmatters.com
mk, I’d respond to you too, if I could decipher what you’re trying to say. What little I understand appears to be totally unrelated what I originally wrote about.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
MK says: “Go to law school. For 3 years. Read case after case after case as if your future depended upon doing so. Study for hours on end. Write paper after paper about the law. Sacrifice your sanity, your family, and your friends. Pull your guts out over the injustices of the law and marvel at its brilliance. Take the bar. Practice. A few years later, get reborn and do it all over again. Become a real lawyer.”
Then, when you are a “real lawyer” like MK, people will respond to your arguments with bewildered questions like:
“mk, I’d respond to you too, if I could decipher what you’re trying to say.”
MK, you are a real lawyer in your dreams.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Irony.
“…who’s your daddy? Or do you really want to know?”
“Leftism is essentially an absolutist religious belief, with its own peculiar catechism and liturgy.” [see MK’s rosary beads of liberal accomplishments above].
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
If God exists...then He is natural.
Is He constrained by the same natural laws as the rest of the universe? If not, then He is supernatural.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"You are correct that atheism is a faith because there is no evidence to support it."

"Atheism is not a belief in something. It’s a lack of belief."

These statements directly contradict each other.

There may be a few people who are ’religously atheistic’ but I would guess that comes as a backlash against religous background, or attempted indoctrination.

The majority of ’atheists’ simply conclude that there is no reason to BELIEVE something that there is no evidence for. The difference between an agnostic and an atheist is that the athiest recognizes that all the God propositions are extremely unlikely while the agnostic is still a bit confused. That’s not to say that there could not possibly be a god—it’s just that Thor is every bit as plausible as Jehovah or Allah, as is the notion that the moon is mostly cheese (or all cheese, and NASA just lied about it)

 
Written By: pinbot
URL: http://
Let me start by saying I’m agnostic. I do like thinking outside the box and while I’m always interested in "fringe science" I’m a long way from accepting or "believing" in its claims. Let’s just say I’m open-minded.

That said, I think the arguments against ID are as (un)convincing as the arguments for it. I think a lot of the anti-ID arguments mischaracterize its essence (as do the arguments of its creationist adherents). I, for one, find it a fascinating subject, but I’m not willing to come to any conclusions or "beliefs" yet.

Is ID "Science"? No, not in any strict sense. But the questions it raises say a lot about what we think about science. Discussions of the history or philosophy of science are not "Science" either, yet I don’t think many of us would ban discussions of these subjects in science classrooms. (Btw, I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of a judge banning discussions in any way. To me, this is a huge RED FLAG that anti-IDers are on the wrong track.)

I think Doug was gettng close in his comment above. Sober (anti-creationist) ID doesn’t need to invoke supernatural or metaphysical beings. To me, the questions it raises are the very same questions that science hasn’t been able to answer - or even tried to answer (IMO those having to do with the happy harmony among physical constants as well as with the unrecognized forces that counter entropy and make life possible). And I suspect that because science can’t yet answer these, science advocates become defensive and thus we get this vehement and dishonest (even repressive) backlash.

As I implied, creationists aren’t helping things and probably brought this recent defeat upon themselves.

 
Written By: equitus
URL: http://
Doug,

as far as atheism being a religion, I think it’s really a semantic discussion. My problem regardless of that is I know too many "evangelistic" atheists who want their beliefs taught in schools. I think that’s most peoples problem with ID. If I ask an atheist what religion thy are the short answer will be "I’m athiest". The same being true for asking a bald guy what his hair color is, he’ll say I’m bald. But atheism is not a lack of belief, as though something will fill that place later, it is the belief that there isn’t something. And it is an answer to the same questions that religion is an answer to and it takes faith to believe those things. Sure there is not a church of atheism, but who cares, I’m talking about a belief system not the corporation it should imply. And why won’t my postings accept spacing as far as line spacing/return/enter..?
 
Written By: Richard
URL: http://
The underlying concept of ID has been proven!

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0510/S00279.htm


Hopefully that was over the top enough for you to see my point: As long as schools teach evolution alongside Genetic Engineering and indicate that we have no way to know whether any life form in the past was genetically engineered, they have covered everything. It doesn’t need a special name just a focus on science and doesn’t have to focus on whether it was Mendel who did it first in 1866 or at least observed the potential or some big biotech that learned how to manipulate the actual genetic material or for those with other beliefs some external entity or what - ie as long as evolution as taught as theory whic it is schools don’t need to get into the debate at all just cover what is available in science today.
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://
I’ll note briefly that it really is incorrect to call atheism a "religion" or even "faith". It’s perfectly rational not to believe in something for which there is no evidence.

Lack of belief in god is no more "faith" than lack of belief in Allah, the Loch Ness Monster or Santa Claus is "faith". It’s fairly irrational to believe in something for which there is no evidence, so lacking that belief is not "faith"—it’s simply rational behaviour.

I have a solution for the creationism/ID demand to "teach the controversy", though. I suggest we create some sort of separate entity to which adherents of creationism and Intelligent Design can go, say, once or twice a week. At these places, they can discuss matters related to their faith, and, if they like, even science. The State will have absolutely no power to restrain their attendance, or to restrict their curriculum.

We could call them "church".
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Is He constrained by the same natural laws as the rest of the universe? If not, then He is supernatural.
Not really. More likely, what we’re looking at there is a limitation of our understanding of those laws.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
A few points.

Atheism is not a religion, per se. But if there was a "religion" box in a personal profile, what would you put? "atheist/none". We all know "separation of church and state" cannot be found anywhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, and those documents violate that stricture, in fact. We know that Congress is barred from establishing a religion to the exclusion of others. What the authors of the Constitution didn’t know at that time was that contemporary parsing of language would rise in a more accurate delineation of the language into "belief system" and "religion" (specific type of belief system). I’m not arguing it is a slam dunk, but I think the original intent of the U.S. Constitution was to prevent groups of people from establishing their belief system as the default belief system for the entire nation. Which is what atheism seems to have done.

ID is not a Theory, true. It is a theory, however. The Big Bang Theory used to be just a theory, and was bitterly resisted as being a cover for religionists to inject their non-scientific belief (Christianity, specifically) into science. In fact, the early history of the Big Bang Theory is identical to what we have with ID now. What seems pretty clear to me is that Theories come from the development, discussion, and and consideration of theories. Thus, just because ID is not science now does not mean it will not be science in another 20-30 years. Or 70 years. That won’t happen if typical human protection of sacred cows eradicates it from the dialogue. At the very least, ID is useful in science class as a good example of the difference between Theory and theory. There are some wonderful articles explaining evolution that have been written only in response to the challenges made by ID. And Evolution arose as a Theory amidst a religious setting; do you think children today are so stupid as to be unable to make up their own mind about the world? (Aside: What, then, do you teach them about Santa Claus? I’ve never understood how so many people want to teach their children something they absolutely know is a falsehood)

Which physical laws does God supposedly violate? Newtonian? If you do a little research, you’ll find that the "laws" of physics we all take for granted have, for the most part, been shown to only apply to the section of the time-space continuum we occupy and can measure directly. When it comes to the very massive, the very minute, and the very energetic, the normal laws of physics don’t apply. At all.
What would God be, but not very massive and encompassing unfathomable amounts of energy? Thus, what would seem to you and me to violate the laws of physics would still be in line with Quantum Physics laws.

Even aside from that, we are beings that can move freely in 3 dimensions and inexorably move along a fourth (time). We can only imagine what time travel would be like, and get hung up on all the paradoxes that would create. Cause and effect is a cornerstone of our existence and understanding of the universe. But postulate, if you will/can, a being that can move freely in the 4th dimension (perhaps inexorably bound by a 5th?). Even if still bound by all the other laws of physics, any free action in the time stream (altering the direction of cause and effect) would appear to violate the laws of physics, but would only be a perception problem, not a physics problem. Even more so, if God were able to move freely on a 5th dimension, it would absolutely be beyond our comprehension; we would see the effects in our 3+1 dimensional perceptions without having a clue how they came about. Things like, say, changing water into wine, the dead rising, walking on water, healing with a touch, prayer having power.

Anyway, those are just thoughts.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
I apologize for the grammatical errors in the first paragraph. I changed thoughts mid-stream and didn’t backspace far enough. [sigh]

Jon,
You’ve told me before you have no hostility toward religion. Your comment in this thread is a good example of what I consider low-level hostility, specifically derision. Condescension at best. I’m not offended or anything, but I just thought I’d point it out now in case it ever comes up again.

Specifically, there is a huge difference between "no evidence to believe something" and "no evidence I accept". The latter is a personal judgment call on the strength of the evidence, whereas the former is a flat refusal to accept anyone else’s judgment on the issue as valid. I’d like to think you were just careless in your wording, but I think (without rancor) the statement as worded is an accurate depiction of your view.

I do see a great deal of subjective evidence that God is real, and that the subjective argument for the existence of Jesus as Savior is far more logical, compelling, and rational than that for Greek gods, Norse gods, the moon being made of cheese, or Binky the Space Clown. "Subjective" does not always equate to "false". Some things are subjective, by definition and necessity.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
Nathan,

When I say "evidence", I refer to evidence in the scientific sense. Empirical, verifiable, testable, etc. Seeing "god in nature" is not actually evidence, nor is "feeling the presence of god". (or non-repeatable claims, coincidences or unexplained phenomena)

That lack of evidence is precisely why it’s called "faith". If there was plenty of evidence, there would be no need for faith; without faith, salvation is meaningless. And that leads to the neat little trick wherein God gets to exist only if there’s no actual evidence for his existence.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon,
Oh. Okay, noted, understood, and objection withdrawn.
Book,
That comment was not made in any connection whatsoever to ID in science class, but in connection to faith.

I might add: anyone who says that unfalsifiable concepts don’t belong in science class needs to start with explaining how, exactly, Dark Matter is falsifiable under current science technology.

Sometimes you have to assign an arbitrary value to one variable so you can solve for a second. That’s what the theory (note: small t) of Dark Matter does, and that’s what the theory (again: small t) of ID does.

I’ve argued with dozens of people on this topic, and have yet to see a coherent argument that excludes ID but allows Big Bang, Dark Matter, and Quantum, amont other problematic scientific principles.

Remember: Big Bang was once in the exact same position ID is in now, yet has long ago gained qualified acceptance. And Dark Matter is absolutely unfalsifiable, yet still taught in science class.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
Big Bang was once in the exact same position ID is in now, yet has long ago gained qualified acceptance.
Hmmm...I don’t recall a group of "scientists" trying to use the courts, legislatures, or school boards to WEDGE the concepts of the Big Bang into the classrooms. But maybe I overlooked those news reports. I do recall scientific papers being published and debated, though. Maybe I don’t understand what you mean by "the exact same position."
And Dark Matter is absolutely unfalsifiable, yet still taught in science class.
Could you explain why you declare it "absolutely unfalsifiable?" It is a hypothesis based on certain pieces of evidence, and it makes predictions about what other evidence we should be able to find. Maybe you could compare that to ID for me, and let me know what predictions ID makes about future research and discoveries?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
JWG,
Dark Matter is absolutely unfalsifiable because there is no evidence for its existence other than that mass must be there but unobservable (hence: "dark") to make the equations balance. Okay, you can’t see it, measure it, or observe it, but it exists because scientists say it has to. How is that falsifiable, again? What predictions does it make about future research and discoveries? At this time, all it predicts is that we can’t and won’t find any evidence for it any time soon, if ever...
As for Big Bang, it doesn’t take much internet research to find that when it was first proposed, most scientists (including Einstein) considered it non-scientific, non-falsifiable whackiness that was a thinly-veiled attempt to inject Christianity into science. You don’t remember any news reports because that was something like 75 years ago. Since that time, scientists studying it over the course of years eventually came up with predictions that were eventually borne out. There’s absolutely no reason the same thing couldn’t happen with ID.

Now, I’ll agree with you that I don’t like the idea of people using the courts/lawsuits to force ID into schools. Then again, I don’t like the idea of people using the courts/lawsuits to force ID out of schools, either. I agree with what I read (on this site, I think) that the most important result of the ID lawsuit may be a growing realization that a top-down, one-size-fits-all, federally-mandated education system isn’t really a good bargain.

By the way, scientific papers are being published and debated about ID, too. The people who reject those papers as scientific also identify "scientific" as specifically excluding ID, so there’s a bit of a circular justification going on there.

ID is also a hypothesis based on certain pieces of evidence, and makes predictions about what other evidence we should be able to find. For instance, if ID is a valid Theory, we should see things like systems that are so interdependent that they could not evolve naturally through incremental steps, as in: there’s no way a light-sensitive spot on the skin could evolove into a mostly-separate object floating on a film of lubricant; it’s simply not topologically possible. Or that an organism can’t grow beyond a certain size and survive to pass on genetic material if it doesn’t have a circulatory system...but there’s no way a circulatory system becomes a survival trait unless it grows bigger than that certain size. In other words, a circulatory system is one of those things that can’t function in a partially-developed or incomplete state, necessitating a leap to full functionality that runs counter to Evolution’s incremental change hypothesis. Too many systems are mired in a catch-22 situation in Evolution, but are resolved by assuming a Designer.

If ID is a valid Theory, the Designer (whether it is a god-like being or an alien race genetically engineering our species) will be unable to completely erase his/its tracks, even if they are undetectable at our current level of technology and understanding. Our understanding of genetics is still rather rudimentary on many levels, actually. It will be easier to make predictions on what we might find once we know more about genetics. One example, perhaps, is that once we have genetic sequences for all species mapped out, data analysis will reveal patterns among non-related species that have no other reasonable expectation.

However, I’m not a scientist or an ID proponent. Let’s keep this at a layman discussion level, okay? The concepts should be simple enough to discuss without demanding doctorate-level evidence.

I’m simply more interested in ensuring science keeps an open mind and doesn’t ignore possibly-blind alleys due to socio-political sacred cows. I’m a great believer in the serendipity aspect of science, i.e., that the greatest discoveries come through unexpected channels (like, say, penicillin).
 
Written By: nathan
URL: http://chieflymusing.com/
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and the Cosmological Principle are the basis for the Big Bang Theory. From the very beginning they made very specific predictions about what we should observe in the universe. Those predictions have been published, tested, and verified continually.

How is this similar to ID? Oh, it’s not.

Dark Matter is absolutely unfalsifiable because there is no evidence for its existence other than that mass must be there but unobservable (hence: "dark") to make the equations balance.
The outer planets were unobservable as well, but their existence and locations were predicted based on the fact that other measurements didn’t fit exactly right. The falsification is based on the predictions. Dark matter hypotheses make predictions on how galaxies behave, so those predictions can be falsified. Additionally, there are competing hypotheses against dark matter, so that different outcomes for those predictions will lead scientists to different conclusions. Currently, dark matter hypotheses are inconclusive. You should note, however, that the scientists don’t try to explain the "missing mass" by saying God must have something to do with it.
Too many systems are mired in a catch-22 situation in Evolution
They aren’t. The irreducible complexity argument has been repeatedly shown to be baseless, and in the Dover trial Behe had to admit his examples weren’t irreducibly complex based on published scientific papers.
For instance, if ID is a valid Theory, we should see things like systems that are so interdependent that they could not evolve naturally through incremental steps
Wow...you’re right when you say you’re not a scientist. This is merely an arument saying if you can’t currently explain it, then God must’ve done it.
one of those things that can’t function in a partially-developed or incomplete state, necessitating a leap to full functionality that runs counter to Evolution’s incremental change hypothesis
This argument is only made by those who don’t understand the many ways in which incremental changes can take place. The argument is based on a rudimentary understanding of evolution, which is why it works on the general population reading ID material. This kind of "evidence" doesn’t make it in to the scientific journals because it’s been repeatedly demonstrated to be false.
By the way, scientific papers are being published and debated about ID, too.
Nope, not more than a handful in the past decade. Please provide a publication that has published papers that demonstrate tested hypotheses about ID.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
By the way, scientific papers are being published and debated about ID, too.
Point me to a single pro-ID article published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Further, give me an example of a falsifiable claim that ID makes. A positive claim, not a negative one.
The people who reject those papers as scientific also identify "scientific" as specifically excluding ID, so there’s a bit of a circular justification going on there.
Well, "science" doesn’t specifically exclude ID. It just excludes non-naturalistic explanations, and if ID insists on a non-naturalistic explanation, then it is not -- and cannot be -- science.

The reason people don’t want it taught in science class is not that there might not be a non-naturalistic basis for existence, but that it’s not science. Science should be taught in science class, not the supernatural.

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Things made by man are just as natural as things that are not made by man. ID does not insist upon a non-naturalistic explanation. It insists that complex organisms do not arise ex-niliho by chance. As someone who is a scientist by training (currently retired), evolution as a theory of origins doesn’t cut it. Once you have life, evolution works just fine (and don’t forget, biological organisms do everything they can to repair mutations or negate their effects). Do not forget that there have been many experiments designed to create life from non life using imagined primordial conditions. To date, none have succeeded. Also, biologists historically have ignored the implications of chemistry and physics to their work. One major implication is the fact that even single celled organisms are extremely complex and will not survive if all of the important parts are not present, just as a spring powered watch will not work with the spring removed.
 
Written By: Charles D. Quarles
URL: http://spaces.msn.com/members/cdquarles/

 
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