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Author Topic:   Current status/developments in Intelligent Design Theory
Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 1 of 112 (179619)
01-22-2005 10:32 AM


While there have been developments within evolutionary theory as well as other sciences, I was wondering what the current status is of the field of Intelligent Design?

This is particularly pointed toward those advocating Intelligent Design. I realize there are developments within the legal/political arena, but I am more interested in the scientific arena.

On the theoretical side, have there been any greater definitions or evidence of what objective complexity is? This would take the form of actual formulas and quantitative calculations/definitions.

On the practical side, have there been any more identified irreducibly complex systems, and this discovery promoting greater research/understanding of that system?

I am not being completely sarcastic with this. I haven't been reading any new ID info, and would like to know if there have been any changes within the field, or if it is remaining a static science.

If there have been no new developments as a science, is this reason for concern?

(I guess this subject belongs in Intelligent Design, though it could be in the Misc Topics thread.)


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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 4 of 112 (179855)
01-23-2005 5:29 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Admin
01-22-2005 10:42 AM


Re: Setting the Ground Rules
Absolutely agreed. I am not interested in vague descriptions of why people might have accepted ID, nor concrete descriptions of political advances.

What I want to discuss is ID as a scientific field. It is described as such by its proponents and science is by nature dynamic not static.

I was wondering what new research (theoretical or applied) is coming out of the ID camp. It doesn't even have to be earthshaking but presumably something is going on in the field besides making documentaries and books based on everything said 10 years ago.

If you are an IDist and do not know of anything going on, that is you are not keeping track, I would ask why you aren't interested in following it? If you are an IDist and know nothing is going on in the field, I would like to know if that seems troublesome?


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"Don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 10 of 112 (179991)
01-23-2005 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by CK
01-23-2005 3:45 PM


Ugh... I hadn't seen the "network" before. I will note that they do say...

Intelligent Design is an intellectual movement that includes a scientific research program for investigating intelligent causes and that challenges naturalistic explanations of origins which currently drive science education and research.

So I guess it is no longer a scientific field, but happens to include a scientific program. All of the activities on the site provided no help regarding actual research, nor did it give information about the status of research.

I went to their link page and found a link to the institute of creation research. Given that ID theorists have been steadfast in denying that they have anything to do with creationists, that link is a pretty interesting piece of counterevidence to that claim. A veritable bone in the wrong strata.

Pressing for actual research info I saw there was a link to an Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center. I figure that would have to have some info on research (at least at the undergrad level).

But their project list had nothing yet, and their mission statement seemed to have some rather odd agendas. I list it here...

Mission Statement
The Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC) is a student organization dedicated to:
1) investigating intelligent design as a viable scientific theory
2) promoting education and critical thinking about neo-Darwinism
3) supporting efforts of those trying to revise school standards to include discussion of the controversy surrounding evolutionary theory
4) providing a forum for high school and college students to present, debate, and discuss their ideas about intelligent design and neo-Darwinism
5) clarifying the debate concerning neo-Darwinism, intelligent design, and creationism
6) encouraging creative exploration of the aesthetic dimensions of design.

So there center really isn't a center but an organization, and they don't actually do research but work on spreading the gospel of ID, as well as exploring "aesthetic elements"? Now I wonder what that could be?

I guess that is how they will sneak in God, he'll be an "aesthetic dimension".

Yep, I would now be interested in an explanation of that, on top of any recent meaningful research which has been produced.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"Don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 14 of 112 (180164)
01-24-2005 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by CK
01-24-2005 8:46 AM


Re: Bump
I love the first response link. Not sure if the person was ID positive or negative, but it was great to point to a page attempting to answer what ID has done lately.

Here is a link to the page of answers of what ID scientists are up to right now. They have more in depth discussions at that page but here is the "short answer"...

The Short Answer: ID has made much progress in its < 10 year existence. This includes refining the methods through which we can detect design, to finding a number of examples of design in biology. Design has also expanded to look for design in the fields of paleontology, systematics, cosmology, and the origin of life. William Dembski identifies 12 areas of intelligent design progress(note that some of these are philosophical contributions): 1) design detection, 2) biological information, 3) evolvability, 4) evolutionary computation, 5) technological evolution, 6) irreducible complexity in biology, 7) natural vs. artificial design in bioterrorism, 8) Steganography and biosteganography, 9) cosmic design, 10) SETI, 11) philosophy of mind, and 12) autonomy vs. guidance.

So before it has even proven the basics for detecting design in general it has expanded to look for design in other fields??? Everything above 7 (and especially 7) just seems like tacked on points.

Indeed what the hell is natural design in bioterrorism? Are they saying how to detect if we are facing a manufactured virus vs a naturally occuring one?

I also love the first sentence of the long answer...

ID has been around for a little less than 10 years. Though funding has scared, much of its work has centered around honing the theoretical mechanisms for detecting design. This was basically settled through William Dembski's The Design Inference (1988).

So let me get this straight, ID has been around for less than 10 years, and much of that time as been spent honing theoretical mechanisms which were in fact settled over 15 years ago? This makes no sense whatsoever.

And as if making a confession instead of promoting ID it goes on to say...

It should be remembered that much work thus far in ID isn't "new"--Behe's Darwin's Black Box and Wells' Icons of Evolution both look at existing knowledge and simply proclaim that Darwinian modes of explanation are bankrupt. Although it isn't "new research" it is hugely significant in setting the stage for motivations to go in a new direction.

Thus admitting that there wasn't really any research that went into the original work as is, and apparently they even realize that Behe and Wells just made a statement without backing things up. At least that is how it reads here. I must admit that is how I felt as I read the noted books.

On a more direct note that page does contain a link to 2003 article by Dembski, listing peer reviewed journal articles supporting ID theory. Here is the link/file...

http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.09.ID_FAQ.pdf

We can of course discuss the list of articles and whether they do indeed contribute to ID research. Let's not just bash them though. Let's approach them in an openminded and friendly manner.

Do those articles look like good beginnings for ID research? I should add, do they count as ID having peer reviewed articles?

This message has been edited by holmes, 01-24-2005 10:22 AM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 17 of 112 (180191)
01-24-2005 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Wounded King
01-24-2005 10:45 AM


Re: Bump
Is that a suitable project for this thread

It could be if we treat it right. Essentially I am asking for the most recent developments. No one said anything here, but that was advanced at the other forum to CK and in essence would be Dembski's contribution to my question.

I suppose tearing them apart in detail would be worth a different thread. But general comments on if these show productive efforts from ID and a direction for research, would be worthwhile.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 23 of 112 (181032)
01-27-2005 5:00 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Delusion
01-27-2005 2:45 AM


Re: Come on IDers!
This thread is beating on a dead horse.

It's not designed to be, and I can say that since I'm the one that started it.

While I agree with your assessment regarding its current status as a scientific field of study, that does not mean that it cannot change or will not change. The question is if anyone in the ID camp is actually trying, and if they are not, or if there is no movement despite their efforts, does this mean something about that field?

Indeed even if what we feel is true, that second question to IDers prevents this thread from just beating on a dead horse. What are their assessments of a field which is static? Does it not have implications, even if just from a practical standpoint?

Any scientific advance in Intelligent Design would require 'complexity' as they define it to be quantized and somehow testable.

This is correct and one of the major challenges they face. Do we see any effort to truly define, measure, and calculate in an objective way, and then test the results? If so, have there been any results worth mentioning?

Again, if not, then should this say something to the IDist?

As a note of consolation to the IDist, it is readily known that in the past there certainly were scientific theories that were unable to get the evidence required for long periods of time, thus lack of success or ability to have success in the here and now, is not the sole criteria for a valid hypothesis which could become a theory.

Perhaps they would avail themselves this life preserver and admit that what they have is not a theory but a hypothesis that requires a lot more work and body of knowledge of biology, before being able to acquire the evidence they need.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 36 of 112 (186941)
02-20-2005 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by JonF
02-20-2005 9:15 AM


Re: Not really the first id article published in a peer-reviewed journal
Actually there is already a thread at EvC detailing the Meyer article controversy. There definitely appears to be something fishy about what happened. Here is the thread titled "Meyer's Hopeless Monster".

To Mick and ALL: This is definitely NOT the kind of article I was wanting to discuss within this thread. Meyers' article is a rehashing of old material, and had nothing to do with productive research. That is what I am concerned with.

I am willing to entertain mathematical research as opposed to purely biological research, but it needs to be progressive and testing itself in some fashion.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 37 of 112 (186942)
02-20-2005 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Brad McFall
02-20-2005 9:36 AM


Re: first id article published in a peer-reviewed journal
I didn't quite get what you were saying in the first post, though it appeared you were driving at the notion that mathematical computations were possible to determine whether biological features involved chance or not.

I do not see how anything in this second post supports the above claim.

Maybe I got something wrong? In any case the images here appear to be more applicable to conservation biology and understanding of biological diversity (perhaps even its movements) rather than evolutionary biology. The first two are about movement and existence of species, while the third is about the emergence of species from within species over time.

I don't see how math from the first two can predict the third.

This message has been edited by holmes, 02-20-2005 11:32 AM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Brad McFall, posted 02-20-2005 9:36 AM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 39 of 112 (186981)
02-20-2005 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Brad McFall
02-20-2005 12:39 PM


Re: first id article published in a peer-reviewed journal
I wasn't trying to suggest you shouldn't have used imagery, nor that you were wrong in responding to Mick's request. Maybe I came off stronger than I meant to.

I just wasn't seeing the connection between the first and second post, especially with relation to mathematics and chance. It was more about wanting clarification.

Would this summary be correct?: The second post contained example material of a way to mathematically "handle" genetic ratios as seen in population/geographic diagrams? If I am still missing it, just let me know. There is a communication gap between us, and I don't blame necessarily blame you. If you don't want to spend time explaining it, that's fine. It was to Mick anyway.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 41 of 112 (187047)
02-20-2005 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Brad McFall
02-20-2005 2:30 PM


Re: first id article published in a peer-reviewed journal
Your summary of my point of view IS correct... and only by relating his method to planimeter mechanics was I able to resolve the motion naturally.

In your posts you refer to 4-D by which I have assumed you mean time. It would seem that would play a very large part in any kind of panbiogeography calculations/simulations you were running, if it were to assess evolutionary aspects.

How do you account for time in calculations such as these when environments can change as well as the species within the environment, especially when then assessing chance?

I have had modelling experience, and even in simple systems (the only kinds I ever modeled) such vast numbers of probabilities add up very fast... and those were in very well known systems (simple known mechanics). It appears there would be some hard limits on what we can reach with computational (even probabilistic) approaches, given that the mechanisms are still not well known and the actors and the environments are not well known either.

My own experience involved not so much creating known results (known probabilities) but developing visual models of systems, including as they reached chaotic and so unpredictable states. It was fascinating to discover the periodicity within/caused by environmental states, such that one could see where chaos and so the line between predictable/unpredictable was likely to occur.

I wonder if anyone has bothered trying to model "life" in that sense, not to determine precisely what numerical chance things have, but rather what conditions are most or least likely to generate life (high probability vs low probability) and under what conditions we such things cannot be predicted at all.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 48 of 112 (205865)
05-07-2005 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Limbo
05-07-2005 1:53 PM


I would also like to point out that ID may be too small yet to deal with both the political issues and continued development at the same time. Could be years before we see anything.

ID began as a political move, before any development. If it will be years before anyone sees anything from ID why is it being pushed at kids using power politics?

One of the first signs that it is not actually science is that it has been married to political agendas and issues since its inception.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 53 of 112 (206058)
05-08-2005 4:57 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Limbo
05-07-2005 5:08 PM


Isn't this a 'chicken or the egg' type thing?

No, science has no connection to politics. If it were a scientific enterprise it would not have first began as a political movement.

If you want a timeline, just start researching the text of ID founders. The task of what would have to be proven or the kind of thing they'd have to not talk about (in order not to be considered creationism by law) was discussed before scientists ever got involved.

I meant it could be years before we seem anything NEW...of whatever it is you're looking for in your OP.

But they haven't showed anything yet. Even Behe, who is arguably the only one who has tried to keep things within the relative bounds of science, admitted there is no conclusive proof of where, if any, design occured, more work had to be done and thus there is no model for ID.

Why has a theory, even if logically possible, been thrust into the educational system by politicians if it has as of today no working model?

Teaching kids to think of science as containing no primary model regarding species diversity, because one day a bunch of religio-politico affiliates may one day get some scientists who will provide a model, does not sound like a good way to teach science.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 54 of 112 (206059)
05-08-2005 4:59 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Limbo
05-07-2005 5:30 PM


A weekly cable program specifically for the ID vs Evolution debate. Each week influencial people from each camp could debate, and update the public on current developments.

Are you serious? You just got done saying it may be years before ID turns out any new research, and yet you want a weekly program discussing developments?

My guess is this would turn out to be a weekly propaganda platform where the same arguments are heard over and over, with no additional merit from the ID camp.

Without a working model, ID is nothing but a phantom of a theory.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 59 of 112 (206352)
05-09-2005 3:45 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Limbo
05-08-2005 6:50 PM


New research is one thing

Yes, that's called science.

developments are another. By developments I mean news...ya'know, things like this:

Yes, that's called a kangaroo court, or power politics at its worst. You devise a court that is inherently biased to your position and have them "review" both sides, then pronounce your side the victor. When the other side refuses to play that game because science is done in the field and lab, not in a board room, the first side says they are trying to hide something.

Yeah I love it, evolutionary scientists with loads of published documents and more on the way are trying to sneak something past everyone...

And Dembski's opinion on all of this means what?

If you cannot see from your dramatic illustration, whether ID is science or politics, then there isn't much more that can be said. You will do what you will.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 71 of 112 (222933)
07-10-2005 11:09 AM


Intelligent Design winning over Catholic Church
Just this week a Cardinal on the Vatican's congregation for Catholic education wrote an op-ed piece, distancing the Catholic Church from its recent support of evolution and backing language from Intelligent Design.

Here is a link to a NY Times article about the op-ed piece and what it means for the future of evolution in Catholic education (apologies to those who don't have a free subscription to NYTimes). Here are some excerpts...

An influential cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, which has long been regarded as an ally of the theory of evolution, is now suggesting that belief in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with Catholic faith.The cardinal, Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, a theologian who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, staked out his position in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Thursday, writing, "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

In a telephone interview from a monastery in Austria, where he was on retreat, the cardinal said that his essay had not been approved by the Vatican, but that two or three weeks before Pope Benedict XVI's election in April, he spoke with the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, about the church's position on evolution. "I said I would like to have a more explicit statement about that, and he encouraged me to go on," said Cardinal Schönborn.

He said that he had been "angry" for years about writers and theologians, many Catholics, who he said had "misrepresented" the church's position as endorsing the idea of evolution as a random process.

This will come as a potential blow to everyone stating that the Church accepts evolution. It is now moving towards ID, and interestingly enough the whole op-ed letter appears to be the result of the Discovery Institute pushing the Cardinal to help them out...

One of the strongest advocates of teaching alternatives to evolution is the Discovery Institute in Seattle...

Mark Ryland, a vice president of the institute, said in an interview that he had urged the cardinal to write the essay. Both Mr. Ryland and Cardinal Schönborn said that an essay in May in The Times... suggested to them that it was time to clarify the church's position on evolution.

The cardinal's essay was submitted to The Times by a Virginia public relations firm, Creative Response Concepts, which also represents the Discovery Institute.

Mr. Ryland, who said he knew the cardinal through the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, where he is chancellor and Mr. Ryland is on the board, said supporters of intelligent design were "very excited" that a church leader had taken a position opposing Darwinian evolution. "It clarified that in some sense the Catholics aren't fine with it," he said.

Bruce Chapman, the institute's president, said the cardinal's essay "helps blunt the claims" that the church "has spoken on Darwinian evolution in a way that's supportive."

I guess this counts as a "current development" in Intelligent Design. No new information, but a new adherent within the Catholic church willing to spread their gospel. I wonder if he ever managed to see some of their writings against Catholicism?


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

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