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Author Topic:   A Test for Intelligent Design Proponents
TimChase
Inactive Member


Message 106 of 115 (265401)
12-04-2005 3:18 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by TimChase
12-03-2005 3:09 PM


The Central Problem with Intelligent Design
Can you list the articles published by the ID movement in legitimate academic journals devoted to biology where the articles were specifically devoted to intelligent design?

As far as I know, there is only one article published in a legitimate academic journal devoted to biology (titled "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," author: Stephen Meyer) by the Intelligent Design movement which was devoted specifically to the theory itself in the sixteen years of its existence -- and it was retracted.

Here is a review:

"Meyer's Hopeless Monster"
by Alan Gishlick, Nick Matzke, and Wesley R. Elsberry
http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000430.html

Here is the retraction:

Statement from the Council of the Biological Society of Washington regarding the publication of the paper by Stephen C. Meyer in Volume 117(2) of the Proceedings
http://www.biolsocwash.org/id_statement.html

Have you wondered why?

"In 2004, ID theoretician Paul Nelson wrote in Touchstone, a Christian magazine: 'We don’t have such a theory right now, and that's a problem. Without a theory, it's very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as 'irreducible complexity' and 'specified complexity' – but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.'"

Not Intelligent, Surely Not Science
by Michael Shermer
According to Intelligent Design Theory (IDT)
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/archives/2005/05-04-05.html

Have you wondered why there has been no progress?

Virtually all of the arguments put forward by the intelligent design theorists (from irreducible complexity, to specified complexity, filters and all) suffer from one basic problem: they are negative arguments. They do not seek to explain why something is what it specifically is, they do not predict, but rather, they seek only to argue against any alternative explanations or even the possibility of such explanations in one spot or another. In one way or another, they are all versions of a God-of-the-Gaps, where the gaps are simply those points in which mainstream evolutionary biology has not yet succeeded in explaining the phenomena. But why is this?

The Central Cause of Intelligent Design's Failure

For the intelligent designer to serve as the sort of object which one might venerate as God, it must be infinite and unlimited, but for the proposition that "God exists" to serve as an explanatory, causal principle with predictive power in science, something quite different is required. You cannot reason from an infinite, unlimited cause to a finite, limited effect. The relationship between an infinite cause and a finite effect can be "understood" only by means of faith. For a theory of intelligent design to become scientific so that it may make positive, testable claims, it must transubstanate the intelligent designer whom you regard to be God and the cause of the existence of life into a limited, finite, natural thing. To turn the theory into something scientific, one must not simply mask, but destroy its religious core.

Consider the following from the Kansas trial:

"Daniel Ely and Nancy Bryson gave themselves plenty of room for maneuver, putting the earth's age at somewhere 'between 5,000 and 4.5 billion years.'"
Monkey Trial or Kangaroo Court?
By Stan Cox, AlterNet. Posted May 19, 2005
http://www.alternet.org/story/22042/

Daniel Ely and Nancy Bryson are scientists -- and yet they were trying to accomodate both the young earth creationists and the old earth creationists. This cannot be done. But what is worse is that no scientic theory of intelligent design is even possible. One may hold that there is a transcendental cause of existence -- this after all is one of the possibilities which Dembski had suggested. But such a transcendental cause, where the whole process of evolution takes place naturally would itself render God a non-scientific form of explanation. I myself had suggested just this kind of approach in the following:

"... In an online discussion devoted to the issue, one individual said that he couldn't really understand what the controversy was about. He argued that if God is omniscient, omnipotent, exists outside of the world He creates, and expects us to believe in Him through faith alone, then surely He would not have left any traces in His creation which would provide an empirical alternative to that faith. Viewed this way, the world discovered through science -- including evolution and the big bang -- is simply the divinely opaque means through which God created the world we now see.." (See Religion and Science, where I created my own version of the God-in-the-Gaps counter-argument.)

But this not a scientific theory -- it is a religious view, which nevertheless leaves the rest of what we know intact and open to causal explanations in terms of the empirical, scientific realm.

This message has been edited by TimChase, 12-04-2005 12:14 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by TimChase, posted 12-03-2005 3:09 PM TimChase has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 107 of 115 (265458)
12-04-2005 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by TimChase
12-03-2005 3:09 PM


Re: Looking Back, Moving Forward
i don't think oec is that contensious at all. the bible says that all nature demonstrates god's handiwork. therefore, these individuals don't feel the need to ignore what nature so clearly screams. evolution may or may not come to play in this viewpoint. ( i think theistic evolution is probably a subfield of this group.) but evolution is not demonstrable on a grand scale. you can find plenty of evidence for it, but our temporal handicap makes it impossible to be completely sure. (note: this is no reason to ignore the study.) gravity wells and dark matter could just as easily be the product of some small mathematical assumption being patently false.

at least mathematicians admit that they could be totally off. neither evos nor creos will do that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by TimChase, posted 12-03-2005 3:09 PM TimChase has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by TimChase, posted 12-04-2005 2:44 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

  
TimChase
Inactive Member


Message 108 of 115 (265475)
12-04-2005 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by macaroniandcheese
12-04-2005 1:47 PM


Re: Looking Back, Moving Forward
brennakimi writes:

i don't think oec is that contensious at all. the bible says that all nature demonstrates god's handiwork. therefore, these individuals don't feel the need to ignore what nature so clearly screams. evolution may or may not come to play in this viewpoint. ( i think theistic evolution is probably a subfield of this group.) but evolution is not demonstrable on a grand scale. you can find plenty of evidence for it, but our temporal handicap makes it impossible to be completely sure. (note: this is no reason to ignore the study.) gravity wells and dark matter could just as easily be the product of some small mathematical assumption being patently false.

at least mathematicians admit that they could be totally off. neither evos nor creos will do that.

If you will notice, I have already addressed the issue of a theistic view which is compatible with evolutionary biology in the last three paragraphs of Message 106. However, the central argument which goes deeper than the post you were responding to (Message 105) is in the first paragraph of the section entitled "The Central Cause of Intelligent Design's Failure" in post Message 106.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-04-2005 1:47 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-04-2005 2:48 PM TimChase has responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 109 of 115 (265478)
12-04-2005 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by TimChase
12-04-2005 2:44 PM


Re: Looking Back, Moving Forward
no. i was replying to what i replied to.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by TimChase, posted 12-04-2005 2:44 PM TimChase has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by TimChase, posted 12-05-2005 9:12 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

  
TimChase
Inactive Member


Message 110 of 115 (265700)
12-05-2005 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by macaroniandcheese
12-04-2005 2:48 PM


Re: Looking Back, Moving Forward
brennakimi writes:

no. i was replying to what i replied to.

Alight, then, for the benefit of others, you were responding to Message 105 in Message 107.

Lets go specifically into the problems with this criticism.

You state, "i don't think oec is that contensious at all. the bible says that all nature demonstrates god's handiwork. therefore, these individuals don't feel the need to ignore what nature so clearly screams. evolution may or may not come to play in this viewpoint. ( i think theistic evolution is probably a subfield of this group.)"

Now in this you are making a number of claims. Lets just look at the first, "I don't think oec is that contentious at all." You offer the "bible says..." This is not however the basis for any claim of empirical science. Appeal to the authority of the Bible can form the basis for a religious belief, but not a scientific one.

Then you state, "evolution may or may not come to play in this viewpoint. ( i think theistic evolution is probably a subfield of this group.)" Well, if we are speaking of an "intelligent design theory" which purports to offer a scientific alternative to evolution, then we are necessarily speaking of old earth creationists who hold that a naturalistic theory evolution is false, and moreoever, who claim that some form of theistic creationism can be scientific. This is the form of old earth creationists who I am addressing -- as should be evident due to the fact that I am addressing the claim that the "intelligent design theory" (whatever it is) is somehow a scientific theory, or at least can be made into one. Now while I later admit the possibility of theistic creationism as a religious view -- where God is a transcendental being existing outside of the natural world and who is nevertheless its maker -- this is a religious view, not a scientific one, and as such provides no scientific alternative to evolutionary biology.

Finally, in my last paragraph, I state,

The real tension, however, is between the objectivity required by science and the faith required by religion. This tension is created by the very attempt to make God an object of both domains. For the belief in this God to be scientific, it must be falsifiable by reference to evidence. However, for the belief in this God to be a matter of faith, it must be something which one believes in independently of evidence. The standards of science and standards of religion must necessarily come into conflict to the extent that God belongs to both domains.

If you will notice, in attempting to argue in defense of intelligent design -- or at least old earth creationism, you appealed not to any evidence per se, but to the authority of the Bible. As such, your response actually illustrates the problem, the tension, between the objectivity required by science and the faith required by religion, and thus the very point that this piece was making which in the very last sentence of this paragraph was stated thusly, "The standards of science and standards of religion must necessarily come into conflict to the extent that God belongs to both domains."

Is your belief in God something which is falsifiable by reference to the evidence, or is your belief in God a matter of faith which you hold to independently of the evidence?

It appears that your belief in God is a matter of faith -- as illustrated by your appeal to the authority of the Bible. I do not see anything wrong with this per se -- indeed, if your belief in God were something falsifiable by reference to the evidence, I would consider this to be perverse. However, the belief in God becomes a problem when this faith attempts to present itself as empirical science, as the so-called "theory of intelligent design" is doing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-04-2005 2:48 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-05-2005 9:35 AM TimChase has responded

  
TimChase
Inactive Member


Message 111 of 115 (265708)
12-05-2005 9:32 AM


Calling All Creationists and Intelligent Design Proponents!
In the latter part of Message 105 and in Message 106, I offered two criticisms of your theory or theories to the extent you consider your theory to be a scientific theory rather than simply a religious view. I regard each of these criticisms as fatal.

Currently I am waiting for a response by buzsaw, but having had no response from him as of yet, I would like to offer any and all creationists the opportunity to demonstrate that there is a flaw in either of these arguments.

The only thing which is at stake is the claim that any theory of creationism or intelligent design is or can ever become a scientific theory.

Anyone game?


  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 112 of 115 (265709)
12-05-2005 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by TimChase
12-05-2005 9:12 AM


Re: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Now in this you are making a number of claims. Lets just look at the first, "I don't think oec is that contentious at all." You offer the "bible says..." This is not however the basis for any claim of empirical science. Appeal to the authority of the Bible can form the basis for a religious belief, but not a scientific one.
...
If you will notice, in attempting to argue in defense of intelligent design -- or at least old earth creationism, you appealed not to any evidence per se, but to the authority of the Bible. As such, your response actually illustrates the problem, the tension, between the objectivity required by science and the faith required by religion, and thus the very point that this piece was making which in the very last sentence of this paragraph was stated thusly, "The standards of science and standards of religion must necessarily come into conflict to the extent that God belongs to both domains."

Is your belief in God something which is falsifiable by reference to the evidence, or is your belief in God a matter of faith which you hold to independently of the evidence?

It appears that your belief in God is a matter of faith -- as illustrated by your appeal to the authority of the Bible. I do not see anything wrong with this per se -- indeed, if your belief in God were something falsifiable by reference to the evidence, I would consider this to be perverse. However, the belief in God becomes a problem when this faith attempts to present itself as empirical science, as the so-called "theory of intelligent design" is doing.

*sigh*
no, not at all.
do you seriously see the word bible and shut down? you're no better than they are. I was using the text to explain a position regardless of science (well, actually of openness to science). i wasn't proposing anything empirical at all.

the standards of science and the standards of religion (as you so glamourously term them) needn't come into conflict. they've nothing to do with each other.

my post was mainly a response to mixing your terminology. if you're going to talk about id, talk about id, but know that oec is an entirely different bag. don't lump. it's uncivilized.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by TimChase, posted 12-05-2005 9:12 AM TimChase has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by TimChase, posted 12-05-2005 10:05 AM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

  
TimChase
Inactive Member


Message 113 of 115 (265717)
12-05-2005 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by macaroniandcheese
12-05-2005 9:35 AM


Re: Looking Back, Moving Forward
brennakimi writes:

do you seriously see the word bible and shut down?

When one appeals to the Bible in place of providing empirical evidence or a well-reasoned argument, yes.

brennakimi writes:

my post was mainly a response to mixing your terminology. if you're going to talk about id, talk about id, but know that oec is an entirely different bag. don't lump.

I am concerned with old earth creationism only to the extent that anyone claims it is a scientific theory and not simply a religious view. If you do not make this claim, then we have no issue with one-another.

I will assume that you do not make this claim as you do not attempt to address either of the arguments.

brennakimi writes:

the standards of science and the standards of religion (as you so glamourously term them) needn't come into conflict. they've nothing to do with each other.

By the standards of religion, I mean appeal to faith, the authority of God, or the authority of a holy text, or any other standard which requires the adherent to hold beliefs independently of the evidence.

brennakimi writes:

my post was mainly a response to mixing your terminology. if you're going to talk about id, talk about id, but know that oec is an entirely different bag. don't lump. it's uncivilized.

If the two main branches of the intelligent design movement consist of old earth creationists and young earth creationists, and all other elements are essentially fringe elements, then it is very odd to claim that old earth creationists are an "entirely different bag," or that this is somehow "lumping."

Besides, the division between the two major branches was simply being used for the purpose of illustration in a manner that was fairly incidental to the argument itself.

In the piece that you are responding to, I state:

For the belief in this God to be scientific, it must be falsifiable by reference to evidence. However, for the belief in this God to be a matter of faith, it must be something which one believes in independently of evidence. The standards of science and standards of religion must necessarily come into conflict to the extent that God belongs to both domains.

Message 105

But to this, your only response is (as we have seen previously), "The standards of science and the standards of religion... needn't come into conflict. they've nothing to do with each other."

This is simply a denial of the argument's conclusion, and in no way addresses either the premises or its logic.

This message has been edited by TimChase, 12-05-2005 08:03 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-05-2005 9:35 AM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by AdminNosy, posted 12-05-2005 10:14 AM TimChase has responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 114 of 115 (265718)
12-05-2005 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by TimChase
12-05-2005 10:05 AM


Stick to the topic please
It would not be appropriate or helpful to this forum to respond about OEC in this thread.

If we don't stick to the topic at hand everything becomes one big jumble.

I suggest you work on both your organization of thought and your manners.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by TimChase, posted 12-05-2005 10:05 AM TimChase has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by TimChase, posted 12-05-2005 11:56 AM AdminNosy has not yet responded

  
TimChase
Inactive Member


Message 115 of 115 (265762)
12-05-2005 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by AdminNosy
12-05-2005 10:14 AM


Re: Stick to the topic please
AdminNosy writes:

It would not be appropriate or helpful to this forum to respond about OEC in this thread.

If we don't stick to the topic at hand everything becomes one big jumble.

I suggest you work on both your organization of thought and your manners.

1. For relevance, please see:

In contrast, there are a great many religious individuals who believe that God is not something which one can fit inside a test-tube, and that it is a mistake to treat the belief in God as an empirical hypothesis to be tested inside a lab or a class devoted to science. They believe that the very act of attempting to demonstrate the existence of God is itself destructive of true faith.

"A Test for Intelligent Design Proponents," Introduction, Paragraph III.

What I am offering are two arguments in posts #105 Message 105 and #106 Message 106 which demonstrate that intelligent design is incapable even in principle of being made into a scientific theory because the realms of religion and science cannot overlap. I myself have no problem with old earth creationists except insofar as they purport to have a scientific theory of creationism and they constitute one of the two main branches of intelligent design movement -- which claims to have a scientific theory.

2. Old earth creationists have been brought into the conversation simply because the intelligent design movement almost entirely consists of those who are either young earth creationists and old earth creationists. (Please see #105 Message 105.) This division within the intelligent design movement is relevant to point #1 above as the tension between these two groups is symptomatic of an irreconcilable tension between the standards of religion (e.g., appeal to faith, appeal the authority of God, or the authority of a holy text) which require the adherent to hold beliefs independently of the evidence, and the standards of empirical science which require the adherent to hold beliefs in a way that is dependent upon the evidence and as is moreover falsifiable.

As both the arguments in post #105 Message 105 and in post #106 Message 106 purport to demonstrate, it is a mistake to treat the belief in God as an empirical hypothesis or as the basis for an empirical theory. Moreover, one can easily conclude from either argument that the attempt to do so would be destructive of faith. Whether the latter would be a good thing or a bad thing is quite possibly beside the point -- at least to me, but it may be of some relevance to others.

3. Finally, sometimes individuals will deliberately take offense as a means of avoiding the force of a logical argument. It may not be a reasonable means of discourse, but it is often effective in debate.

Now I have three questions:

1. Do you see why the question of whether the existence of God can be treated as an empirical hypothesis or as the element of an empirical theory would be relevant to this paper?

2. Do you personally see any logical flaw in either the second part of post #105 Message 105 where it begins "So lets move forward...." or in post #106 Message 106?

3. Do you see any problem with offering proponents of intelligent design the opportunity to address what appear to be fatal flaws in any attempt at a scientific theory of intelligent design or a scientific theory of creationism?

Please feel free to email me if you wish. My email address is part of my profile.

This message has been edited by TimChase, 12-05-2005 03:31 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by AdminNosy, posted 12-05-2005 10:14 AM AdminNosy has not yet responded

  
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