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Intelligent design - going away?

Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by Oli, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    oli wrote:

    The fact that some people wish to (perhaps )misuse a theory does not invalidate the theory. The scientific and philosophic basis underlying ID has nothing to do with invalidating evolution or determining school curiculum.
    On the contrary an argument could be made that the process of evolution could be construed to be evidence of intelligent design (though I don't know of anybody pursuing that line of thought) :wink:
     
  2. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    http://www.fun-online.sk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2743

    Read this, then come back to me. :wink:
     
  3. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    The "theory" has been dreamt up, funded and put forward ONLY (as far I've found so far) by those with a "religious" intent. It has no scientific basis and should, therefore not be taught in science class. It is not being misused, it being used as intended by those who formulated it.
    It postulates that God started it (or God looked after certain details) with no evidence for God other than its own circular reasoning and makes no predictions (in the scientific sense) that are testable.
    It is not a "theory" in the scientific sense and never has been. It should never have been entertained.
    It has been introduced for one of two (or maybe both) purposes
    A) increase the credibility of religion
    B) decrease the credibility of science (and bearing in mind the general scientific ignorance of the majority of the population that really makes me despair)
     
  4. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    I wish to know what these poeple think of Erich von Deniken's (i hope i wrote his name right) version of this same theory (aliens created us with genetical ingeenering i.e. God('s) are aliens).
     
  5. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    Von Daniken. Aaargh. I read his books about 30 years ago. He's largely discredited now. But have a look at Raelian Philosophy, they say much the same thing, everything was created by aliens, who created other aliens, who created us, and we'll go on to craete another intellligent (? :grin: ) race. The only thing is, according to them, there was no start - it's aliens all the way down.
    But von Daniken really p*ssed me off. Aliens gave us this, aliens gave us that: according to him we invented/ developed/ devised nearly nothing of our own, the man didn't give his own race sufficient credit.
    Ooops :oops: . You wanted to know what the ID people thought. AFAIK they don't mention alien life and/ or its possibility. But the closest I've seen is that it's God, or the Divine Spirit or Life Force that they credit, not aliens races. More a single "cause" than an entire race.
     
  6. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    roel wrote:

    I read it at the time and commented heavily in it so what is your point?
    In that thread, as in this one, side issues were debated regarding evolution, creationism etc. that are extraneous to the issue of the validity of ID.
    My point is that if you bother to read about ID ( I have read considerably more since that thread) you will find that it is only about detecting intelligence in the design of the universe. No assumptions need be made about the nature of that intelligence. No religion associated with that intelligence is required.
     
  7. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    oli wrote:

    No offense oli but you are making unfounded assumptions. Your comments are not those of someone who has read about ID but rather someone who has read the comments of others who might have read about ID. The founders of the ID movement were explicit in stating that it is not about promoting religion.

    William Dembski had this to say:

     
  8. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    HA, HA, HA :lol: I agree. But i would realy love to hear debate between ID poeple and him :grin:
     
  9. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    The court case settled that ID has fundamental religious intentions and the fact that the "theorists" carefully say "we leave it to you to decide what the prime mover of the design is" still leaves the implication that "Designer" is a synonym for "God". The name change is purely cosmetic.
    Oooh, an all-powerful intelligence that started the universe and created life as we know it, but it's not God it's the Designer. And PS, science is wrong.
    The funding for ID came from religious interests, the majority of ID proponents have religious convictions (whether stated explicitly or implicitly).
    ID is not a science, it does not follow scientific principles, practice, procedures, methodology or anything else. It merely says "something started it and we don't/ can't know who". That is not scientific theory, that's accepting defeat. It invalidates itself.
    It is not about detecting intelligence, they have inferred it from spurious mathematics and sloppy thinking. They have expanded hypotheses without evidence and then used the baseless hypotheses as an argument that, since evolution doesn't provide ALL the answers then, as theirs doesn't either, they both have equal status as science.
    If ID ever gets accepted to be taught in science classes it will be one of the severest blows to rationality, thinking and education that the US has ever suffered. It is relativism at its fuzzy-thinking worst.
     
  10. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    oli wrote:

    You are confusing the theory of ID with the court cases which address political/constitutional questions but do not (and cannot) rule on the scientific validity of the theory.


    Guilt by association? There was no funding for ID as a theory provided by religious interests or anyone else AFAIK since it was a purely intellectual pursuit that has been built upon since the time of the ancient Greeks. Aristotle, Heraclitus etc.

    Are you saying that science does address the question of the ultimate origin of the universe? If so, please tell me about the scientific explanation for the creation of the universe. I would so like to hear about it. :wink:

    It is a legitimate practice to point out logical holes in the prevailing theory when one wishes to propose a new theory.

    I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about what is taught in public schools in the US since most people don't spend much time thinking about such things anyway and those that do will educate themselves beyong what is covered in the limited school curiculum.

    For those who wish to learn more about ID beyond second hand sources and legal wrangling in the courts I would suggest:

    Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton (Alder & Adler, 1986).

    Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson (InterVarsity, 1991)

    Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe (Free Press, 1996)

    Design Inference by William Dembski (Cambridge)
     
  11. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Aside from the fact that in my opinion, Aristotle has done more wrong than he has done right for humanity, can you prove that he was actually looking for intelligence behind the world as we know it? He was looking for ways to explain it, surely; but to look for intelligence, as you describe it, presupposes that such intelligence exists, and there doesn't seem to be any intelligence Aristotle believed in except his own.

    This is also the flaw in your reasoning that ID isn't religious at all; it is actively seeking to explain natural phenomena by a kind of external intelligence that is undefined and unproven. In effect, these scientists practice their profession until they find something they can't explain and then instead of continuing along their path they choose to invent a supernatural being or external force to explain things for them.
     
  12. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    Grieg wrote
    Nevertheless, the court ruling was (from my first post on this thread) that ID has a
    And this one:
    My emphasis added, Washington Post report from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00817.html

    Grieg wrote
    Not true, the funding states that certain topics are not to be considered and certain areas of investigation are to be ignored, on the threat of losing that funding. I'll find the source for that. It was not an intellectual pursuit - it was a specifically-targetted vendetta. Behe states that he thinks God is responsible.

    Grieg wrote
    Of course science addresses the QUESTION. The explanation so far is the big bang - answer to (maybe follow). I don't think anyone has yet claimed that science has all the answers....

    Grieg wrote
    Of course, but it is not rational to claim that "since theirs has holes and since ours has at least as many, the two should be treated on an equal footing". ID does not explain ANY of the results except - the Designer did it. It merely claims that evolution doesn't have all the answers and is therefore somehow not true. The Flying Spaghetti Monster has at least as much legitimacy as a scientific theory on that basis.

    Grieg wrote
    But people will leave school having been taught that a scientific theory has no more validity than ID which answers nothing, not even the questions evolution does, and will therefore not learn critical thinking. Like I said fuzzy relativism at worst - you can't explain everything to me about the world so my theory of invisible pink elephants with sticky trunks is just as rational as your ridiculous speculations about gravity...
    My personal experience is that most people don't think, and a majority of those that claim they do conduct their autodidactism with little verve, criticality or rationality.
    Give me a break
    :lol:
     
  13. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Statements by lawyers (hired guns) do not qualify as legitimate scientific inquiry in my book :wink:




    You don't grasp my point apparently. I'm speaking of ID as a theory that has developed over a long period of time, from the early roots in classical Greece through Thomas Aquinas, Paley et al on to the present. Obviously the people who were wrestling with this intellectual issue were not being funded by the religious organizations you are referring to. You seem to be stuck on this rather narrow legal/constitutional issue being addressed by this particular court case. I'm not referring to that controversy at all but to the question of the scientific validity of the theory.


    Sorry but the Big Bang theory does not address the question of creation. The BBT begins at a point in time at which all the matter and energy that exists in the universe today has already come into being in the form of an infinitely dense singularity (speaking of pseudoscience). The BBT just addresses the process from the time the singularity begins to expand (by some unspecified means) into the universe as we know it.



    What do you have against the Flying Spaghetti Monster(FSM) theory ? Are you saying it isn't true? :grin:


    Ridicule as a debate tactic begins to lose it's impact as it is overused. You have expressed your opinion that you don't accept the science behind the ID theory. There is certainly more to ID theory (as the distinquished proponents throughout history demonstrate) than there is to the FSM theory, for instance. You may choose to believe that it's proponents are insincere and intelectually dishonest and are just trying to scam the unwitting into religious salvation but don't expect everyone to see it your way.

    Instead I attempt to give a spirited debate which doesn't desrespect those with opposing views to my own.
     
  14. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    Okay. The lawyer's statement that
    was not his own words, it has been used by current proponents of ID.

    Of course I'm stuck on the current issue - that's the point of the topic. ID as a historic speculation (oh yeah, came across a bit about Paley, not too impressed so far, he seems to be a teleologist). The theory has no no scientific validity. Science (by definition) has a process, including testability and faslifiability. If a line of enquiry cannot use those methods then by definition it is not scientific.

    Of course Big bang addresses the question of creation, it's just that all we have so far is that far back. If we ever get an answer to the first billionth of a second then the next question will be "where did the original lump come from". It's a process, one step at a time.

    I have to say it again - there is no science behind ID. NO SCIENCE. It gives no answers, provides no lines of enquiry, posits no possible methods of testing, cannot provide a counter-hypothesis for faslifiability... etc.

    Not sure where the "ridicule as a debate tactic comes in". I see no difference in my comment on elephants/ gravity relativism and the ID/ evolution relativism. They have put forward an untestable hypothesis as science and should expect it to get the same rigour as a scientific theory. The excuse that "you can't answer everything so we shouldn't have to provide anything more than this one answer" is not valid. Evolution (or any science) has never claimed to have all the answers, but it does say "this is what we think happened, this is why we think it, and here's the evidence. If it's true this this and this should happen and if that that or that happens we're wrong". ID skips all of that but still wants to be accepted as being as valid as evolution?
    I do not believe ID's proponents are insincere, I do believe they are being intellectually dishonest in the claim that it is science. Philosophy yes, science no.

    I appreciate (and enjoy) the debate, and I certainly intend no disrespect to you.

    Edit: added
    I've just read up some bits by/ about Behe arguments. Basically they boil down to "we can't answer these questions NOW (on the subject of irreducible complexity) therefore they must have been designed." That is not an argument, that is giving up. Will we be able to answer those questions tomorrow, next week, in a hundred years? It appears he's assuming we know now know all we ever will. Scientific argument? I think not.
    Oh, and I'm reading up on Aquinas - and getting to like him less and less for some of his insupportable assertions. Paley stopped asking questions once he found the answer he liked, instead of asking until he'd found THE answer (if there is one).
     
  15. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    The story about Von Daniken I like most concerns an interview he gave. Once the interview was over, the interviewer asked him (off camera): "Why do you keep writing what you must know is complete rubbish?"

    His response was to smile and ask: "Would you like a ride in my Rolls Royce?"

    Proponents of ID do not have such a mercenary attitude, but they certainly have an agenda which is nothing to do with promoting the scientific method. As far as I'm concerned, they're entitled to believe whatever they want, along with the enthusiasts for astrology, reincarnation etc etc, but NOT to demand that their philososphy is taught in schools as a science.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
     
  16. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    The Big Bang theory does not adress the question of the origin of matter or of the universe, however it does specify that there has to be a starting point and this point, in the BBT theory, is found by strictly scientific means. Therefore it is not pseudo-science at all - it wasn't found to answer the question of where the universe came from, it was found to explain the fact that all known celestial bodies move outward from the same center if you calculate their speed and direction backwards. Hence it is based on actual observations; its weakness is purely that it does not have an explanation for why the big concentration of matter exploded.
     
  17. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    Yes, but my point is that once we've managed (if ever) to answer HOW it started the next question will be - "where did the original "blob" come from, and why did it explode?"
    Big bang is an incremental step to the ultimate origin - but:
    A) we may not find answers and
    B) the name will probably change - but it's all the same line of enquiry.
     
  18. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    oli wrote:

    My remarks may be briefer than usual today as I have a full schedule of patients to be seen. It sucks when things like work cuts into your debate time :grin:

    In regard to testability and falsifiablity that line of reasoning may not be a fruitful one because we may then desire that the same test be applied to Darwinism or the Big Bang Theory. :wink:
    If we do that first I think I can make a pretty good case for testability and falsifiability in ID (or at least a better one than can be made for evolution).
     
  19. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    oli wrote:

    Yet in regard to the BBT:


    In other words "something started it but we don't know what it was"?



    In science things are "detected" by being inferred all the time. Subatomic particles anyone? Forensic science detects from inference also. There are more examples than I can list here.
     
  20. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    Nice: I hadn't spotted my semantic slip, what I meant was Behe has said we don't know (and effectively saying we will never know) so the answer MUST be an designer, whereas with the big bang we don't currently know (we may never) but we think we're on the right track: at least we aren't ascribing hypotheses and saying THIS MUST BE THE ANSWER.

    Sub atomic particles are inferred, observed (by their effects) and follow predictions made on their behaviour with an exactness that matches the inferences. Inferences on ID are not testable and experiments cannot be devised that would invalidate the ID theory, which is possible with sub atomic particles. Again, with forensic science, inferences are made. But those inferences are testable - which ID is not. If God did it there is no way to "test God" and no way to devise an experiment that would "invalidate" the hypothesis, the success of an invalidating experiment would be written off as "God didn't want to be detected this time, He is there but he's avioding us at the moment"

    I never thought of being unemployed as a bonus until now :grin:

    Testability of Darwin is ongoing, not as an entire process (AIUI - I'm a physics type not an icky biology type) but as steps in a chain, Big Bang testability is valid and ongoing, again as steps and incremental proofs. Of course the real test of Big Bang would be to create our own, but that might mean if it did work there'd be another universe that we may or may not be able to access... curse, foiled again. :grin: But each link in the chain is testable and is being tested.
     

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