« The Dover Intelligent Design Decision, Part I: Of Motive, Effect, and History | Main | The President's "Inherent" Power »

December 23, 2005

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The Law Fairy

Fair enough, Kimball -- I agree with you, but Deborah has been exceedingly rude to me. She's made it clear that there's no point in arguing with her. So while I think her arguments can be defeated, I don't see the point in trying to defeat them. She has been marginally less abusive to you, so it might make sense for you to engage her. But I can only be insulted so many times before I lose interest in continuing the "discussion."

Douglas J. Bender

Law Fairy,


Welcome to sanity.

Nataly

Government will always contradict religious views to some extent by not establishing or honoring them, as it should. However, home schooling is one out here. But to address your concern directly, the perspective of many that evolution is hokum, natural selection is nonexistent, the earth is 10,000 years old and we were placed here as sentient beings is just repudiated by too much evidence from the natural world, just as is the religious view that the our earth is the center of not only our solar system, but also the whole universe as well. While evolution theory is not without its present difficulties and gaps and our understanding is as yet incomplete (matters which can and should be also taught, along with the limitations on scientific knowledge), it is demonstrably right in regard to too much to be discarded as science unworthy to be taught. Moreover, the Cathloic Chruch accepts evolution as not being inconsistent with Church doctrine, contending that Genesis may not be read literally , but must to understood allegorically, because too much good science repudiates a literal reading.

Tom Castle

"...but simply posites it as an unprovable alternative to coincidence..."

Kimball, I'm sure that, as a trial lawyer, you're used to using language precisely. What coincidence are you referring to? What two or more unlikely events seem coincidental to you?

Tom Castle

To pick one example more or less at random from the laundry list of scientists making comments that superficially and tenuously appear at a glance to support something like ID - George Sim Johnson characterizes evolutionary theory as saying that life arose and diversified randomly.

It does no such thing. Natural selection is not random. Nobody with any familiarity at all with natural selection would call it random. Certainly not trained biologists (except for a few inevitable exceptions on the fringe). This is simply a baseless confusion.

Tom Castle

Furthermore, many of the quotes in that laundry list address the origination of life, not of diversity. Since evolutionary theory deals with the origin of species, not life itself, those quotes miss the point entirely.

Tom Castle

Sir Fred Hoyle, British physicist and astronomer:

"The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40,000 nought's after it...It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of Evolution."

This just proves that a British physicist and astronomer can be just as ignorant of evolutionary theory as anybody else (I did note that he's not described as a British biologist, which explains the confusion). The theory of evolution doesn't deal with the "spark of life" at all. Period.

Tom Castle

More shoddy thinking:

"There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.

"The chance that higher life forms might have emerged through evolutionary processes is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material therein."

Since damage from a tornado is more or less random, and evolutionary processes are not, this quote again misses the point entirely and could be easily dispatched in a courtroom setting by any trained biologist.

The formation of snowflakes isn't random, either. Snowflakes are incredibly complex and strike most people who look at them closely as miraculously beautiful and, well, intelligently designed. Does that mean we should throw out everything we know about snowflake formation and say, instead, that God builds snowflakes?

Fred Hoyle hopefully knows more about planet formation than biology. I'd love to ask him under oath how planets formed...specifically, how Saturn formed. It's a beautiful planet with amazing rings around it. People marvel at its complexity and beauty when they look at it.

And I'd as Dr Hoyle what our best scientific understand is of how those rings and the planet they encircle formed. And I doubt *very much* that he'll reply by saying, "God built those rings. They just appeared one day because God told them to."

Does anybody seriously doubt this? Planet formation is *neither* random nor intelligently designed. So Hoyle's random-or-designed dichotomy quoted above is false and absurd on its face.

I agree with Kimball, however, that it would be quite productive to address these arguments in court, under oath.

Joe G

What would an "ID experiment" look like? If a group of scientists went into a lab and designed a flagella would that mean that all flagellum were the product of design?

Dr. Behe proposed an experiment that would demonstrate that a population of bacterium without flagelum could "evolve" into a population with. However it is very telling that the evolutionists are avoiding the experiment like it was the bird flu.

SmDavis

scientists studies on years earth's being are still dreaming in myths!
They have gone on from theory to theory on how earth and living creation came to being. And now they have came up with string theory and such and still hanging on with that "Bang Theory". This is called no faith and this is why they send up space vehicles to try to out-rule that there is a God and shun guilt trips as part of evil that the 1st set of people created. A baby comes into this world as 'precious' soon they have parents ruled by their whims; not all the time but many and they soon have you or others wrapped around their tiny fingers. If you let them rule they will keep it going. I have seen this happen and also those with mental and physical problems. The Word tells that we have it built into us from the time we are consceived. The world will be destroyed as it is stated in the Bible; but not until His people are taken out as well as the dead in Christ. The scientist will give their theory on that like-wise instead of the Real Book that has been around for centuries, The Bible. Yes the sky is falling, the ground is quivvering, the earth's nature is unbalanced, people have over populated and is destroying God's properties for greed and it isn't all the rich people either. I wish the times were in the days of 1700-1800, then lets see if people will buy all the garbage that is being bought today, that is cheap made just to please the eyes. I am always looking up waiting for the things to fall from the sky from the orbit that man placed up there. They will collide. they say that the right combination will take place one day, can you imagine you might type something to inquire about and wow; outer limits just happened or alfred hitchcock thriller. beam me up,huh!!

Lebon

ID is most often and wrongly linked to God and creationism, as opposed to Darwinism and evolutionism. We are there in fact facing an old philosophical problem transposed this time from man to the universe: the difficult and even impossible distinction between what is innate and what is acquired. But the reader of my pages http://controlled-hominization.com/ will perhaps agree that evolutionism is not in contradiction with all forms of ID. As a materialist, I think that the confrontation between both concepts is sterile and that a synthesis is even possible.
If any great complexity of a feature could not exclude evolutionism, science itself could not reject some forms of ID in the evolution of the universe, at least in some steps of the process. After all, man himself is already a local actor in this evolution, an actor showing little intelligence so far (global warming, life sciences …). He could however be led to play a greater and nobler part if he succeeds to survive long enough (dissemination of life in the cosmos, “terraforming” of planets, planetary and even stellar formation, artificial beings…). The development of this kind of “draft ID” could only be limited by our refusal to do so and by our ability to survive. We would be viewed as gods by our ancestors from the middle Ages, and we would also view our descendants as gods if we could return in a few hundreds or thousands years.
By his refusal to consider that intelligence could already have played a significant part in the evolution of this universe, man takes in fact for granted that he is the most advanced being. It is in fact just another way for placing himself once again in the middle of everything, as for the Earth before Galileo. This anthropocentric view is not very rational.
Within the frame of evolutionism, the concept of ID could however be applied to the future man if he manages to survive long enough to be able to play a significant part in the evolution of this solar system, in the galaxy, and why not more. And it could also apply to eventual advanced ET preceding man in this cosmic part, advanced ET who could for instance, thanks to their science, have already played a significant part, even if they were themselves born from random processes.
Without going back to a controversial God, pure intelligence born from random processes is so far too easily ignored in the evolution of this universe, and I think that this choice has more to do with faith in man’s solitude in the universe than with true science. Even if it appears later that the ID concept has yet never been used by other beings in this universe, what could prevent man from applying it in the future? As with the Big Bang, ID would certainly remain in the field of hypotheses, but science progresses that way, and it would not be scientific to exclude one hypothesis that could be quite credible. ID is too easily discarded and laughed at, somewhat like continental drift not long ago, and a lot of other concepts too.
Benoit Lebon

The comments to this entry are closed.