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Faithheads on the March

News Night reports on the spread of the virus of faith to Great Britian. Update: It looks like the Brits know what to do when that nasty virus called faith tries to enter the science classroom

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His inability to answer the simple question "Who is your(this) intelligent Designer?" speaks volumes of dishonesty involved in the supposed critical examination of the evidence for Darwin's Theory.

His obvious refusal to answer the same question shows that he knows that his view is a dishonest one and that he just doesn't have the guts to say it outright.

Intelligent design my achin' ass (as Penn would put it).

Why can't the guy simply say "There's no evidence of a designer, and there's lots of evidence that there's no designer" ?

I think this must be theatre.

Accepted scientific theories are accepted and taught because they hold up under scrutiny and testing not because they can't be tested. Scientific theories also evolve as more information becomes available not from lack of information.

Religious people wonder why atheists and people of science are scrutinizing religion. The answer is they have introduced it as a scientific theory and want it taught in schools as science and all scientific theories are scrutinized.

I find the saying "Careful what you ask for you just might get it" applicable.

This is pretty ridiculous.

Science is based on years and years of tests and evaluations and ... DA... DAMNIT, RELIGION AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS BASED ON FAITH. FAITH! GODDAMMIT, IT'S NOT SCIENCE. YOU CAN'T TES... FUCK!

That was my Lewis Black in text form. I apologize.

Well, to be fair, Natural Selection is just a theory. But then Gravity is just a theory too.

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/p67.htm

Accepted scientific theories are accepted and taught because they hold up under scrutiny and testing not because they can't be tested.

I don't see how you can say that they can't be tested and offer a different explanation of what constitutes a scientificly taught theory.

Intelligent Design doesn't offer anything to be tested. Not a thing. What it "predicts" (using that word the most generously and tenuously to what they say, of course) can never be subject to a repeatable test. At all.

Some scientific theories propose tests that I think cannot be done quite yet -- but I also believe most of those are not taught until tested or are at least very stressed that they have not been. But there's a difference between "We have some ideas for tests, but we lack the capability presently to do them" and there simply being no possible way to test your predictions.

Going back to what you said, if you cannot make a repeatable test, you of course cannot offer it any scrutiny. They're a linked case, not a one or the other.

And it's terribly sad that intelligent design is crossing the ocean to England. It's pathetic that we have to deal with it in America at all, let alone that England will have to suffer through it. But if we can fight it off, they should be able to do it in about 30 seconds given they're far better off culture regarding religion and science understanding.

Intelligent Design says that things look designed so therefore they must have been.

Under that same logic, the earth looks flat, so therefore it must be so.

I don't understand why religion now has to be taught in schools. Don't people go to church to learn about religion?

Public schools are funded by the government, and this is just another example of government and church wrongfully mixing together. In my opinion religion (particularly Christianity) feels it is losing patrons to its churches (along with money), so what better way to get those people back than to teach it in a school where it can reach millions and millions of young people?

Keep it in the church and out of the schools. If someone WANTS to learn about it, they are suppose to go to church. School is for teaching facts about life. Belief in a god is not a fact, it is a faith in someone/something without facts.

People who argue that ID needs to be taught alongside evolution are friggin' idiots. The two are already being taught alongside each other. One is in a church and the other is in a school. And that is how it should be, because not everyone wants to be subjected to religion. Anyone who argues that religious people shouldn't be subjected to evolution should also keep in mind that maybe then people shouldn't be subjected to biology and chemistry either.

Theists want to turn this country into a theocracy and change history into having people believe that the U.S. was founded on Christianity. Don't they know that although the Constitution is a secular document, the first Amendment protects their religion?

The title "Professor" used by Andy McIntosh makes it sound like his is an expert in the field (of evolutionary biology). He is NOT. His research is in Combustion Theory and his PhD is in Aerodynamics.. Here is a link to his bio (not sure if URLs are allowed in Comments here)

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/a_mcintosh.asp

On the other hand..

Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London. His research interests are in the mechanisms involved in the development of the embryo.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/articles/wolpert/cv.html

I don't understand why religion now has to be taught in schools. Don't people go to church to learn about religion?

I don't actually believe this. While I'd love to see religion disappear from the face of the world this instance, it won't happen.

One idea that I do like, is Dan Dennett's idea regarding education. Students should be taught basics, tenents, ideas, principles behind ~ALL~ religions (or as many as humanly possible of course), but without any way to convert them obviously. This would be a philosophy class most likely. This way they can be educated in seeing all of religion's offerings (I'm nice so I said that instead of "glaring faults"). The view of atheism would largely be taught through example: "Atheism is none of these religions." But of course I can't see why it wouldn't be taught as topic of philosohpy as well to give it time.

But in the science class, no way. Not a fucking chance. Science class is for science. Intelligent design is a religion. Only place it might be put is a history class for this time period, or a philosophy class -- neither of which should it be taught as a conversion method which is sought.

"The virus of faith" - good choice of words.

Intelligent design? Cancer? Rabies? Aids? Flu? Birth Defects? Ebola? ALS? The Elephant Man. Id say the work was pretty shoddy....

Is it just me or does anyone else find Callandor's posts confusing?

let's just take their words for it shall we?

let us just grant them that it is possible: they may be interested in pushing intelligent design as a philosophical thought into the school curriculum. let us assume their intentions are free of christian or godly connotations or connections. fine. i don't believe that is what they are up to, but i'll grant them the benefit of a doubt.

but we can still not accept intelligent design as a "counter-theory" to darwinism in schools anymore than we can allow aura-magical- healing as an alternative to modern basic medicine. we won't allow the loch ness monster bigfoot and fairies into zoology classes. astrology is not an alternative to astronomy.

why not? "teach the controversy!"

what all these ideas -once considered respectable- have in common (apart from their childish appeal, maybe) is that they are mere myths that have been unseated by accumulated evidence.

in my opinion the point whether intelligent design serves a particular insidious religious purpose is the wrong point to argue. it can be denied access to school's science classes regardless of religious content. any descriptions of nature that we expose young minds to (or impose on?) in science class should obviously be carefully chosen and filtered. we should base the filter on the weight of the evidence behind each proposition. that alone suffices to oust intelligent design.

The dishonesty of the Creation Myth crowd is astonishing and appears to be universal among them. The shifty supporters of this cow flop philosophy, avoid answering the important question re who the designer is, in an honest direct way, because they are pushing religion while maintaining a very thin pretense of not being religiously motivated. So much for the gospel Truth they claim to proclaim.

In the last American trial regarding Intelligent Design, I believe in Pennsylvania (?), the federal judge who ruled against the ID crowd also admonished them for being so blatantly dishonest in the court proceedings.

When I was an active christian, many years ago, I was often disturbed by the easy and frequency with which my christian brothers and sisters would tell intentional lies about themselves and their religious experiences.

I suppose a lie for a cause doesn't feel like a real lie. I could never understand so called believers who would tell fabrications as though they were true, appearantly to save 'sinners' from Satan, AKA, the Father of Lies.

It should be obvious to believers that their all powerful god, the arbiter of truth, the "ultimate truth" himself, would be strongly put out by followers whose faith is so weak, they use the weapons of Satan to 'fight for God'.

Of course, it helps if your political ambitions are deeper and stronger than your so called faith.

When your weapons are lies, you will find that you have dug a trench that will eventually collapse and bury you.

Like Bush and his henchmen, you will be buried under the weight of your many lies.

Thank Zeus and the Great Flying Spegetti monster, I'm an atheist.

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Talk about some intellectual masterbation... Do you guys think Aristotle's First Cause is the Christian God? What about Hegel's Absolute Spirit? Spinza's Substance? Heraclitus' Logos? Socrates' Demiurge? Granted these belong in philosophy class, but your curt dismissal of a First Cause reveals a deep bigotry, as well as a presupposition about the nature of TRUE, REAL, KNOWLEDGE. Humble yourselves.

Talk about intellectual masterbation... Is Aristotle's First Cause the christian God? No. Was it revealed to him through divine revelation? No. Spinoza's substance? No. Hegel's Absolute Spirit? Socrates' Demiurge? Heraclitus' Logos? No NO NO. These belong in philosophy class, but you all wouldn't even consider a First Cause despite a whole history of thinkers that have REASONED to one. Oh, but Dawkins' bigotry and outright dismissal of teleology is sooooo deeeeep. Humble Yourselves and realize YOUR presuppositions.

clearly the ID people are wrong and while one would have wished that all of this silliness would have stayed across the pond, it will die its inevitable death here in not too long. My guess is that the British have a longer history with this kind of thing and will not allow this in science classes. It might get some hearing in Religious Studies classes, which students here must attend as part of the national curriculum. However it should be stated as part of a broader question which Wolpert raised - how is religion to be 'tested'? This seems an easy question as most atheists on this blog seem to believe - the answer is that it is not testable. If religion is taken as a kind of scientific theory (which the ID people seem to want) then this is correct, however it seems very odd to think that religion - which is clearly not scientific - should be tested in scientific ways. One may as well do genetic fingerprints on the Mona Lisa to tell us why the colours were chosen the way they were. Religion should be 'tested' in the same way that other ideologies or moral systems are 'tested'. Kant argued that ethical systems need to pass by pure reason first (that is internal consistency, logic etc) and then must move to practical reason which would be its primary criterion for 'truth'. In this sense let us test religions as moral systems, or more accurately metaphorical wrappers for moral systems. They are clearly not science and thus should have no place in the teaching of science (in that respect, Darwinism proper really ought to be taught in History of Science classes, and merely used and assumed in science classes)

As moral systems religons should be compared with other ideologies which purport to encourage human flourishing - so let religions stand or fall according to how they work in the world, just as democracy, socialism, capitalism, communism, liberalism etc. should be tested. I realise that this may be anathema to some of the more rabid religion baters on this blog, but at least we should compare apples with apples - perhaps then all of this ID stuff would just die.

Yes, more of the crazy intelligent design crowd. I do find it so pleasant that the Brits seem to be able to have conversations/debates on TV and all the US debates I watch are just a shouting match.

A pity, the video ends there..

re: abel's link

Concerning but one of a multitude of error's in Schempp's most ignorant evaluation of the theory of gravity…

The assertion that the tidal effect of the moon cannot explain why tides rise and fall simultaneously on either side of the Earth is humorously absurd. It is not just water that is effected, the whole Earth becomes an ellipsoid, with two bulges, pointing towards and away from the moon.

I think I was taught that fact about the "theory" of gravity in about the 7th grade. The author of the piece you link to must have been absent from class that day and several more given all the other misinformation it contains.

re: will

Oh, that's too funny. Sorry if it wasn't obvious, but that link was supposed to be a sarcastic response to the "intelligent design" debate. Read it again, but this time try and laugh. I thought at least the anti-gravity and airplane bits would have given it away.

Text about that link from Wikipedia: "Schempp's parody of intelligent design arguments, "Warning: Gravity Is 'Only a Theory,'" on a Christian apologetics website"

The argument is of course flawed, but the main point is still valid - gravity is just a theory. I don't think these "intelligent design" people understand the meaning of the word theory in relation to science.

Speaking as a physiologist, I feel left out. The fund-o wack-os spend all their time attacking evolution but they never attack reproductive physiologists and geneticists for establishing that virgin births are impossible. And in any case, Jesus would be haploid.

Where is the outrage?

Hey, come on folks... what's the big deal? I mean why not creationism? I think the next stop is astronomy. There should be counter arguments that earth is the center of the universe, right? I mean it clearly says in the bible that god created Earth THEN the heavens. The billions and billions of stars (actually holes in the night sky revealing the light of heaven), planets, etc.are all out there simply as a canopy for little old Earth.

Actually, that's a point. I don't know very much about astronomy, but surely there must be light from stars that measures more than 6 thousand years? I mean that's speed, distance, time: MEASUREMENT! Anybody have any info? How can a "scientist" bible guy refute that? Unless he discards the speed of light as an acurate measure? has anyone crossed these nuts with that argument?

Scanning Dr McIntosh' site I see he touches upon the creationist problem with distant objects in space. He says they haven't figured that one out yet. But he is sure they will. And he throws out of couple of possible solutions that make your eyes water to read them. Something like god invented light just in time for man to see the stars in the heavens. Really. That nutty.

Marcos, we are not talking about the prime source. We are talking about teaching religion, disguised as science, in public schools.

Why are the arguments put forward by ID supporters always so disingenuous? Red herrings, avoidance, and out right lies when forced to stay on topic.

That alone indicates the utter paucity of objective facts to support the bogus argument of ID aka creationism.

When you check his site, it is plain to see that McIntosh is a strong evangelical believer in the young world idea and that he believes strongly that his god created the universe.

Yet, when directly asked what his prime source is, he refused to answer the question, more than once.

If what you are saying is true, you don't have to lie, prevaricate, or play avoidance and denial games. If it were objectively true, you would back up these outrageous ideas with hard objective facts, not clever ultimately disingenuous PR campaigns.

Note to Abel: I got a huge chuckle from that site. Especially because it was such a good parody of style, I was sucked right in at first. Good stuff.

found a good link on the evidence and arguments for light measurements:

http://www.ibri.org/Tracts/lttmetct.htm

Never new the ridiculous lengths (pun intended) Christian scientists will go to support their cracked beliefs. See "God ADVANCED the light we see from objects more than 100,000 light years away so we would know how big the universe is..." priceless! Where does it say THAT in the bible?

Marcos Gonzalez, as even stated by you, is they are trying to teach it in Science classes like Biology.

They can go hog wild in a Philosophical class for all I care. And I'm pretty sure other would echo this sentiment.

Just a friendly reminder..

Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to explain, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. It is generally accepted to be true and univseral, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They don’t really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true.

Some scientific laws, or laws of nature, include the law of gravity, the law of thermodynamics, and Hook’s law of elasticity.

Hypothesis: This is an educated guess based upon observation. It is a rational explanation of a single event or phenomenon based upon what is observed, but which has not been proved. Most hypotheses can be supported or refuted by experimentation or continued observation.

Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.

Where did the idea come from that some 'faith virus' is in America and is spreading to Britain?

Americans did come from Europe, right?

So the 'faith virus' started there ... right?

Does everything have to be presented with an anti-American spin? Can't the Brits just be stupid in their own way?

re: Rose

Ah. Please forgive my mistake then.

Another humorous take on gravity: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

Anonymous, you really should have stayed awake in history class. While it is true that many early colonialists did come to the west to avoid the religious orthodoxy and state religions that dominated Europe, it is also true that the decendents of those people, are now taking the virus of religious hysteria back to Europe.

You see, Europe out grew this stuff. Religion is a much,much bigger force in America than it is in Europe.

Attempting to push ID in schools is a hallmark of this American evangelical crusade. Look at McIntosh' site, it's all links to American fundies.

So to answer your question, this is being laid on your doorstep because that is where this virus is now coming from. The sick old USA.

Another red herring in the net.

faith is, by definition, belief in something WITHOUT EVER HAVING PROOF. if you have proof, it's no longer faith. believers in intelligent design should not HAVE to prove their belief. likewise, you probably shouldn't be taking on science claiming you can PROVE intelligent design because quite literally, it's impossible.. whether you believe or not.

i kinda wish believers and non-believers would just stop trying to "turn" each other. find your own path and stop trying to force others down it if they don't want to.

If Intelligent Design theorists belive that anything complex enough in nature must be designed, then surely the 'designer' would be at least or more complex and must also have been designed, so "WHO DESIGNED THE DESIGNER"??

Good old Christians. Never short of a tale or two.

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As Richard Dawkins quite rightly says, if there is an 'intelligent designer', then who designed the designer? Did he just magically appear out of nothing?

Evolution is provable and reproducible?

Since evolution is a fact of science, and the scientific method necessitates that all experiments must be able to be reproduced.

I will provide the DIRT you make it a HUMAN, and everything in-between. If you cant do it, then it isn't fact, it fails the scientific method.

"breathtaking inanity" on the ID side... you'd think the IDiots would have given up after the a$$-kicking they got in the courts this past year...

Intelligent Design... talk about your oxymorons...

Regarding "anti-American spin," anonymous, get over yourself. Better still, begone! Your argument is fallacious as ThomasMcCay pointed out.

Interesing flaws about Evolution: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/science/sc0066.html

http://www.dailytrojan.com/media/storage/paper679/news/2006/01/10/Lifestyle/Explaining.The.Unexplainable-1322462.shtml?norewrite200612072127&sourcedomain=www.dailytrojan.com

No theory is perfect and I think its good to keep an open mind and think critically for yourself. Examine everything and keep whats good

In my opinion, it seems that it there is inevitably a point at which science cannot prove nor disprove theism or atheism. No amount of evidence can give absolute proof of any current event, let alone theories of the chain of events that preceded the beginning of the universe. Read Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time', particularly regarding the uncertainty principle, and see what I mean. At the end of the day, regardless of which side you are on, this argument requires a certain degree of faith. Faith in our intellect, faith in what we perceive to be absolute evidence, faith in our limited ability to perceive the past and present.

While we are able to record evidence and derive theories from past events all the way back to the 'Big Bang', none of this evidence can absolutely support theories of the chain of events prior to this critical point.

As a devout evolutionist, Professor Walpert is just as guilty of presupposition of his theory, where Lewis is merely asking that a more balanced, critical view of the theory be conveyed in the UK science curriculum. To me, this is entirely fair. Sure, the teaching of the literal biblical interpretation of the beginnings of the universe in schools may be going a bit far, but it does not seem that Macintosh is asserting this. He is merely asking that the door should not be closed on this possibility.

If evolutionism is imposing the view that God does not exist, it is making the same sort of assertion that theism is. That is, it is asserting something that cannot be absolutely proven with evidence. Consequently, this classifies evolutionism as just as much of a matter of faith in the non-existence of God as theism does about the existence of God, i.e. another religion! You disagree? Look at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion.

Even the basic theory of gravity is being revised and redefined in the realm of quantum physics in its relation to space-time, so why should we be continually assuming that evolution is as cut and dried as modern science arrogantly plays it out as?

For our own sake, it's time we recognized that no-one actually knows which is right; it ultimately is a matter of faith. So, please, Lewis, stop posing as though this is a scientific matter and be a little more open-minded.

Is it just me, or does he keep calling it "evil-ution?"

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Edward:

Is this supposed to be a serious argument? First off as many have stated here a theory is testable and allows for testable predictions. So the fact you request that evidence be presented for a test is a good first step. However, it's usually a good idea that this test actually be something the theory predicts. NO WHERE does evolution say 'dirt' should turn into life, let alone do it within the span of a human lifetime or even a couple generations of human life, which seems to be what you're asking to be shown evidence for.

If you're going to just make up things out of thin air and try and pass them off as something evolutionary theory states, you're not contributing anything useful to this discussion.

When did the christian guy get pwnd?

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I know its not remarkably profound, but isn't it hard to believe that it all came down to chance. Maybe it is just easier to believe that a greater power controls all of this. It certainly gives everything purpose. The overwhelming complexity of it all seems to point to a higher power. (of course, just an opinion)

Why won't these fools just go away? Their arguments are just foolishness. The answer to the fellow promoting "Intelligent Design" should be that the evidence IS being examined in the science classroom......IN THE MANNER OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY.

In the most conservative argument, it is awfully daft of anyone to dismiss something as nonexistent due to lack of evidence, especially if you choose to put your faith solely in science. Discovery is what drives science forward.

It is important to note that there is most definitely no evidence to disprove ID. Perhaps studying it (yes, such as in a philosophy class) would reveal the incredible (read: impossible) odds against its most popular rival, macroevolution. Scientifically, neither has been proven, although the evidence exists to support both; In some cases they even augment one another.

Believe whatever you want, but do your (unbiased) research first.

Simply stating that there can be a God who created the earth has nothing to do with religion.

And why the hell is everyone trying to seperate everything. Science has implication in society, religion, technology, education as well as visa versa. It all works together, it's all in the same world. If you submit religion and science are seperate I submit science and polotics are seperate and therefore you cannot push your "science" into the world of politics because then you would be messing with the moral system that keeps us from killing each other.

Y'know, people who say that things are "just a theory" ought to take a step back and relearn what the word 'theory' means. What most people think the word means is, in actuality, what the word hypothesis means. In the scientific process, a theory is the final answer, and is deemed by the community of researchers as the most likely answer to the question. Most likely and closest to factuality.

Without science there would be no technology, no medicine.. no nothing you see today. So say goodbye to your cellphone, computer, car, etc.

Thing is folks.. we are forgetting what really is important. Our children, and their future. No child in any public school should be taught intelligent design in the science classroom. They can learn about all the religions in a separate class, and at home.

No child should be taught to just accept things as they are "oh it's that way god made it that way". That's is just insanity. What all of the sudden no one is allowed to question? Yes yes, question creationism. They can do so in another class where they are taught about religion. But in the science classroom, a child needs to learn about finding evidence. Making experiments, researching why and how it works. How to fix it, how to make it, how to cure it. With real evidence that can be proven. Things you can see in front of you. No child should learn taking the easy way out on a test by saying.. "well my conclusion is that god made it this way" and get an A for that answer.

There needs to be a separation of religion and science. One is questioning and finding answers to disease's, improving the way of life. The other is for personal questioning and findings, ideas people are free to do so. But they do not need to spread onto others. In particular, a science classroom. Religious freedom and tolerance are never practiced these days.

where did we come from and why are we here? a statistically impossible series of fortunate coincidences takes as much faith as god.

As an agnostics myself, I must say that the creationist makes a very valid point himself.

Evolution and the big bang are just like intelligent design they're simply theories.

Neither one can truly give us the answers of why everything exists.

Sure, evolution can explain to us how we got from germ sludge to humans but it doesn't explain the base origins.

It doesn't explain how nothing became something. We see life as linear everything having a beginning...

Well just as a god must have had a starting point... so must existence itself.

In the end we can KNOW nothing... in the end everything is based on our beliefs... even this reality we perceive is not necessarily 'real'.

Truth is subjective.

"You see, Europe out grew this stuff. Religion is a much,much bigger force in America than it is in Europe."

Your choice of words is funny. Because I would argue it's not about some mythical intellectual 'growth' that you grant to anyone without an American passport, but rather about population density and the proximity of wildly varying cultures.

Europe is very heavily integrated. And there tends to be a more dense population distribution than the US, where there is still a lot of ideological isolation.

Really, what does the average person know or care about Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, etc? Not to slam people from those states but even the next state over we're so uninvolved with each other that it's like different countries. Yet we're supposed to all exist in the same country with the same rules and laws. So we bicker back and forth over issues that bubble up to the top - ID, same-sex marriage, etc.

But I guess the facts aren't as sexy as good ol' USA-hatred. Damn my American-educated, rational brain.

"Another red herring in the net."

I imagine you are so satisfied with your own hand patting your back simply because nobody else has ever been compelled to do it.

My point still clearly stands: the rise of 'faith' in Europe is completely disconnected from any similar rise in America. I'll even go you one further: is the Pope an American?

There is this growing trend for anti-American people to infantilize the rest of the world, so they can lay blame for any misfortune at the feet of big ol' ogre America.

Are the Europeans grownups? Can they make up their own minds? Just because you found a bunch of people who will readily nod their head every time you say something insulting about the US, that doesn't make your lies any more true, or your prejudice any less childish.

And I love the bitter, bitter irony of a self-professed liberal telling me that if I have a different opinion, I should go away. How alike our enemy we become.

To anyone that says scientists and evolutionists are dismissing the possibility of and intelligent designer without giving them a thought:

To be clear and simple, direct quote from Wikipedia, "In science, a theory is a proposed description, explanation, or model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation."

Now lets look at the elements of evolution, shall we? Evolution is an explanation or model of a natural phenomena. Evolution does make predictions. Evolution is testable by repeatable experiment.

Intelligent Design is an explanation or model of a natural phenomena. Intelligent Design does make predictions. Intelligent Design is not testable by repeatable experiment.

So it doesn't qualify as a theory, therefore scientists are allowed to dismiss it as the conjecture and fairy tales it is.

Here's a good website about the whole "it's just a theory" thing:

http://www.notjustatheory.com/

"You see, Europe out grew this stuff. Religion is a much,much bigger force in America than it is in Europe."

Your choice of words is funny. Because I would argue it's not about some mythical intellectual 'growth' that you grant to anyone without an American passport, but rather about population density and the proximity of wildly varying cultures.

Europe is very heavily integrated. And there tends to be a more dense population distribution than the US, where there is still a lot of ideological isolation.

Really, what does the average person know or care about Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, etc? Not to slam people from those states but even the next state over we're so uninvolved with each other that it's like different countries. Yet we're supposed to all exist in the same country with the same rules and laws. So we bicker back and forth over issues that bubble up to the top - ID, same-sex marriage, etc.

But I guess the facts aren't as sexy as good ol' USA-hatred. Damn my American-educated, rational brain.

"Another red herring in the net."

I imagine you are so satisfied with your own hand patting your back simply because nobody else has ever been compelled to do it.

My point still clearly stands: the rise of 'faith' in Europe is completely disconnected from any similar rise in America. I'll even go you one further: is the Pope an American?

There is this growing trend for anti-American people to infantilize the rest of the world, so they can lay blame for any misfortune at the feet of big ol' ogre America.

Are the Europeans grownups? Can they make up their own minds? Just because you found a bunch of people who will readily nod their head every time you say something insulting about the US, that doesn't make your lies any more true, or your prejudice any less childish.

And I love the bitter, bitter irony of a self-professed liberal telling me that if I have a different opinion, I should go away. How alike our enemy we become.

You're all a bunch of dumb shits... Intelligent design is religions enemy, if we are to be fair with scientific study of design this means scientific study of religion and hence automatic rejection instead of pseudo-intellectual gymnastics.

God people are so fucking dumb...

There are logical inconsistencies in both the view that life is the result of design, or non design.

Take 2001 the movie, in the movie 99.999 percent of the population (including scientists) agreed that a polished black slab on the moon was 99.999% positive evidence of other intelligent life or other intelligences besides our own, now apply the same logic to what you just viewed and the darwinist is being totally disingenuous.

A real ID'ist is not a christian, in fact real intelligent design if practiced in a scientific manner points to a designer or designers that are 1) In no way based in religion and 2) completely secular.

Go study the history of the design argument before you open your god damn filthy unintellectual mouth.

Naturalism as a philosophy cannot be scientifically tested, nor can the claim that the universe is self-contained and uniform (the bedrock of naturalist philosophy)

Science is really about causes and effects and their capabilities, it isn't about the naturalism, supernaturalism, etc. Knowledge is a moving target, the environment we exist in informs are knowledge and we've explored less then 0.01 percent of it.

where did we come from and why are we here? a statistically impossible series of fortunate coincidences takes as much faith as god.

Posted by: pete

I believe Dawkins, or someone, in the Beyond Belief videos addressed this. The probability that the you specifically, as an individual, would have come from your parents is so incredibly low as to be next to impossible. Yet there you are. There are thousands, if not millions or more, of other people that could have been you. If you have siblings, they are some of those other people. Had another sperm fertilized that particular egg, you wouldn't exist. Now extend that to every person that has lived on Earth. The chance that humanity would exist as it does today is also impossibly improbable. Yet here we are.

The point being, that we can look back at the history of life on this planet and say that the chance that we would be here is infinitesimal. But we're here none the less.

To anyone that says scientists and evolutionists are dismissing the possibility of and intelligent designer without giving them a thought:

To be clear and simple, direct quote from Wikipedia, "In science, a theory is a proposed description, explanation, or model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation."

Now lets look at the elements of evolution, shall we? Evolution is an explanation or model of a natural phenomena. Evolution does make predictions. Evolution is testable by repeatable experiment.

Intelligent Design is an explanation or model of a natural phenomena. Intelligent Design does make predictions. Intelligent Design is not testable by repeatable experiment.

So it doesn't qualify as a theory, therefore scientists are allowed to dismiss it as the conjecture and fairy tales it is.

Simply put the science is about examining theories. Whether it is be the theory of intelligent design or the theory of evolution. Simply saying that both theories should be examined gives the theories the ability to examined. No stand needs to be taken on either since neither can be proven conclusively as being true. It's preposterous to suggest that one or the other shouldn't be examined unless the parties suggesting such a thing is fearful of what conclusions may be drown after the examination.

In reply to gunstarzero's question:

"I know its not remarkably profound, but isn't it hard to believe that it all came down to chance."

No one is saying it comes down to chance. This is a very popular (and unfairly popularised by the ID'ers) misunderstanding about Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

Evolutionary theory suggests that while the changes may be random only the successful random changes are passed on.

A random change in a gene that produces a dead offspring or one that does not live long enough to reproduce do not get passed on.

Darwin gave this theory a name: Survival of the Fittest.

We can observe and measure this theory in practice the real world right now: Virus are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.

The virus with the successful random mutation which enables them to resist the antibiotic get to survive long enough to pass that mutation onto their siblings.

Anonymous, why don't you go to the McIntosh site. Click on home, look at all of the "events" listed for his organization (AiG). They are all American. then click on "events" tab at the top of the page menu. There you get a map of all the AiG events taking place. They have a map of the USA with dots representing AiG events, mostly in the American south and mid west. No map of England.

The AiG, which McIntosh represents, is an American organization that Prof. McIntosh is attempting to transplant to England.

So, explain that. Drop your American paranoia and look at the bloody facts. This variety of evangelicalism is purely American. The same people operate in Canada. Right wing southern preachers who constantly visit Canadian churches at attempt to politicize them along American lines. With the usual list of complaints. Same sex marriage, anti sex education, and ID crap.

All the links, all the material, and the missonaries all come from the States.

So get off your high horse and deal with the bloody facts.

And bringing up the pope was as silly as it gets. It doesn't alter the fact that Europe is a much, much more secular place than the USA. The pope in Italy has no bearing on the fact that this right wing form of evangelicalism is funded and organized by American Christian organizations.

By the way, I didn't tell you to go away. I told you to go educate yourself and to try sticking to the topic.

The tired old anti-American schtick again? Hey Anon, I thought I told you to get over yourself and begone.

D JEB, obviously you are smarter than I. Quick, economical, and will have pretty much the same effect.

Out Damed Spot!

Sorry, couldn't help myself. :)

It strikes me that most, if not all, of those who claim that the design that they see in nature is only explicable if some kind of designer is invoked, simply need to study more.

As a child, I thought that leaves changing colour was totally beyond logical explanation. That didn't stop me looking for one. Now that I have a botany degree, I can see that it is not only easily explained, it is also highly logical. While the system involved is complicated, there is no reason to believe that it is not a logical consequence of natural selection. I believe that the same goes for all the so called design in the universe. It has a rational explanation. That explanation may not be obvious to people outside of that field, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

Anon, I want to thank you for going away and sparing us your bullocks about anti-Americanism.

Let's forget ID comes from religion for a moment. One could make an arguement that you can teach ID as a hypothese in a science class. When scientiests cannot explain something yet, they put out hypotheses just to see where it may lead them. Unfortunately, ID does not even pass as an interesting hypotheses because it is an intellectual dead-end. There is something so final about ID in the sense that once you accept it you stop asking questions. Interesting hypotheses and theories for that matter make you ask more questions. The more you think you know, the more you don't know.

Evolution and the big bang are just like intelligent design they're simply theories.

Yeah, just like the Theory of Gravity right?

Really nice discussion.

Just a few points to add here.

Frank and óskar, I’d like the way that both of you articulate that ID should not necessarily be seen as a counter-theory to science in there are other counter-theories of panorama or supernatural nature and that Intelligent Design is not really in the same category of knowledge that Science is.

I do agree that ID should be tested, not necessarily by scientific methods, but by the same standards set for philosophies and religion such as via reason (internal logic). Especially when ID proponents have produced no real tests or research to support that case beyond superficial reasoning and logic to critique evolution.

==========

Aaron, your attempt to defend Intelligent Design by the following argument is very misleading.

Aaron on December 7, 2006 7:34 PM: If evolutionism is imposing the view that God does not exist, it is making the same sort of assertion that theism is.

When has evolution imposed the view that God does not exist. Evolution is the study of the process of how different species came to life. That is its focus and this is what is taught in school. However, Christians seems to think that such studies infringed or questions their exclusive truth that God Created everything.

To make their case for the need of a theory or idea of an Intelligent Designer, Christians and ID proponents have to make the dishonest and misleading claim that evolution is against the idea of God or an Intelligent Designer. If you have been to a real biology class, you would know very well that no biology teacher teaches that.

====

mrstrike on December 7, 2006 8:34 PM also makes a misleading and false claim that “there is most definitely no evidence to disprove ID.”

1] We have seen no evidence to prove Intelligent Design. You have to make the case for ID, not wait for people to disapprove it. To be a real science, ID has to be far more than a shallow critique of evolution.

2] ID arguments, case studies or so-called proof has been thoroughly debunked by recent research.

Examples:

Ken Miller on Intelligent Design

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

Intelligent Design’s irreducible complexity claim is debunked by new research on the evolution of the Eye Apr 06

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

http://loom.corante.com/archives/2006/04/10/thefinaladventuresoftheblindlocksmith.php

  • Continued examples of evolution in modern day:

Finches on Galapagos Islands evolving

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060713/aponsc/darwinevolution;ylt=AtN9GseCW8JdXrTxWbNCBMEPLBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--

WASHINGTON - Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution are now helping confirm it — by evolving. A medium sized species of Darwin's finch has evolved a smaller beak to take advantage of different seeds just two decades after the arrival of a larger rival for its original food source.

=======

Study Detects Recent Instance of Human Evolution By NICHOLAS WADE

Published: December 10, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/science/10cnd-evolve.html?em&ex=1165899600&en=b83d7dc6764c13da&ei=5087%0A

A surprisingly recent instance of human evolution has been detected among the peoples of East Africa. It is the ability to digest milk in adulthood, conferred by genetic changes that occurred as recently as 3,000 years ago, a team of geneticists has found.

Mrsktrike, I have to suggest that you take your own advice in this thread: consider doing some unbiased research

======

anonymous, I have some issues with your post on December 7, 2006 11:34 PM. Since when has ThomasMccay said he is a self-professed liberal?

And the fact remains that modern-day Europe has become far more secular with church attendance at an all time low. Please, there was even a debate on whether they should include the word Christianity in the writing of the new European Constitution.

Before you say I’m a liberal, I voted for a conservative party which believes in fiscal discipline, small government and limited spending. I also practice conservative values to an extent that most Christians consider me a prude.

So please do not be so quick to judge any of the regular contributors of this thread as a liberal or fanatically atheist person. All of us come from different walks of life.

The ID proponent here makes an incredibly shallow, misleading and false statement about evolution.

He says that there is a need to examine evolution critically.

My question here is this.

Since when has evolution not been examined critically in school?

In learning biology and other schools of science dependent on evolution, students are not expected to take on faith universal scientifc facts or conclusions.

Students have to do their own tests, experiments and research to arrive at the scientific facts and evidence that they have to learn.

In building on evolution to develop new knowledge, scientists have to re-examine and test what they already know to move to new kinowledge.

So my question here is why is ID needed to test science for science is being tested in schools and in research every day?

For ID to make its case, it must first prove

a] That sicence is not being questioned or tested.

OR

b] That science is not being sufficiently tested or questioned.

How can religious people expect people to take them at face value that ID is needed to test or examine science, as if science is not being tested or examined every day.

That's a totally dishonest case that will be thrown out of the window by any school board in Asia.

How much time have the US school boards wasted chasing this deceptive, baseless and misleading, dumbed down and uncredited verion of the Genesis?

Why not ask the ID people to state the proof, facts and research to qualify ID as a science?

If ID is only a critique of evolution, instead of being a paradigm with a holitic and tested body of evidence, there is no need to forcibly categorise ID as a science.

ID can simply exists as a intellectual critique, philosophical argument that students can look at in their free time.

ID's right to be part of a school criteria has to be measured in also pragmatic and secular terms.

In what ways will ID help a student in his present and future life?

On the empty need to teach the controversy, I have to ask Christians this.

Do you teach the Book from the Church of Satan during Bible Class?

What about Scientology or even Buddhism?

They are all alternative theories, philosophies and religions that are equally valid in their own right as compared to Christianity.

So why not teach other religions during Bible class as a critique of the Bible?

The Bible should be critiqued when you note that Christians and Christianity are responsible for so much suffering and bloodshed in history.

I find it sheer hypocrisy that Christian ID proponents can say that Science and evolution needs to be questioned by Creationism or ID.

When Christians are dissuaded from questioning or testing their faith and the Bible nor are competing religious and philosophical doctrines taught in religious schools and classes as viable alternatives for a critique on Christianity.

On the review of the last segment of the video, the ID proponent keeps saying that the possibility of an Intelligent Designer is not left out.

I have to ask from what source or evidence does this possibility of an Intelligent Designer comes from.

Or does ID proponents think that once students consider such a possibility, religious texts like the Bible and the Genesis can be hinted subtly as a further reading material for a science class?

This is classic bait and switch.

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