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Author Topic:   What exactly is ID?
Junior Member (Idle past 5284 days)
Posts: 9
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 11-30-2009

Message 751 of 1273 (543909)
01-21-2010 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Son
06-09-2009 2:38 PM

First let me say that I am not an ID advocate (polar opposite) but the questions you have have straight forward answers.
I would like to know what is really ID.
Its a political movement originally created by lawyers and marginally scientifically literate people to mask creationism from legal sanction in the public school systems. It is claimed the be a theory with scientific standing that should be taught in schools on an equal footing with "alternative theories". There is no substantiation whatsoever for this claim as will be made clear in the answers that follow.
The closest thing to a position that ID takes is "there is evidence of design in nature". This is supported by the claim that there are existing mechanisms in nature that are "irreducibly complex" (which directly means that they could not have evolved from prior forms.)
Anyone versed in basic scientific philosophy understands immediately that this is not science. Its an attempt to sound like science via a meta-discussion of science. The existence of evidence for something is not itself science -- that's just partial *support* for what really is science. Furthermore, *positive* evidence is not what constitutes modern science -- surviving a lot of *negative* tests is what constitutes modern science (aka "falsifiability".)
Furthermore proving that something cannot have been evolved or reduced has no way of being satisfied from a scientific point of view (unless they start violating other basic laws of physics, like conservation of energy, in which case yes you could throw out evolution and a lot of other things too -- there are "free energy" people who have plenty of mechanical examples, which will be submitted to scientific review "real soon now"). Because even in ideal cases, it could never be differentiated from organisms that we just don't yet know how they evolved (but nevertheless did).
For any thing to be considered a scientific theory it must present resultant principles which are falsifiable. ID presents no such thing. When challenged on this ID advocate Stephen Meyer claimed that if the entire tree of life is definitively and exhaustively proven to be evolved, then ID would be falsified. This is what I call "you fail at science". The word falsifiable contains the word "ABLE" in it for a reason. The whole point of being falsifiable is to challenge the world to test the theory over and over in many many uncontrolled configurations and to challenge it with very similar theories which might attempt to explain observations more clearly. The validity of a scientific theory is measured precisely by the amount/quality of independent negative testing it has endured (unscathed of course).
By that, I mean for ID:
-what is the age of the earth?
ID is not a theory and has no basic scientific principles. That means it has no ability or capacity to predict anything. For example, suggesting that earth is a nearly perfect sphere might satisfy their position that that looks like design, but it doesn't tell us didly squat about any other properites of the earth, nor does it make any predictions. No age of the earth could be inconsistent with ID (even 2 seconds old works, because a creator could create designed memories and other world state).
-what did the designer create? (species? genus? familiy?)
The ID adage only tells us that things look like they are designed. The inference that there was a designer is intrinsically flawed, as it specifically ignores any other explanation for why things look designed (like the fact that the *lookers* are pattern seeking entities who, in modern times, tend to see a lot of human-designed things around them, and have an ability and tendency to extrapolate).
But worse yet, even if we were to give them their flawed inference that there was a designer, we still can't tell the difference between things that coincidentally look designed but aren't versus those things that truly are. That's what it means to be untestable. So at the very best (for IDers) one can only specify candidates for things that might be designed by a designer.
The ID advocate Michael Behe at one point has suggested that the Bacteria Flagellum, and the blood clotting mechanism were such candidates. Both were supposedly examples of irreducible complexity. Unfortunately for IDers the first was shown to be obviously evolved, and the second is known to be reducible in literature that predates Behe's claim.
The ID idea does not give you a way of knowing that any particular example is truly an example of what they are talking about or not. Each example, at best, is a tentative example just waiting to be shown to be reducible or evolved.
-when did he create life?
You are anthropomorphisizing the creator. While all IDers do this internally, they don't do so publically. So limiting to their claims of what ID is, there is no "he" who created/designed. Just a "designer" for which something like a gender might not apply.
But again, clearly, ID has no way of pinning down a date for something. There are no principles or evidence that could be built from knowing that something was designed that could tell you when it was designed. The designer didn't date its work. ID could at best have to accept geological and fossil evidence, which puts it out of the scope of ID.
-I would also like to know if possible, what are the observations that lead to your answers.
I don't know of any surviving examples. They have often put forward the mouse-trap, as an analogy as if that was good enough, and ignore the fact that mouse traps are neither alive nor self-reproducing, or that small wood planks can be used for making matchsticks or that springs can be used as door hinges or that metal wire could be used for coat hangers.
Of course feel free to give more detail if you have them.
I ask because most IDers say ID is a theory so it would be nice to know what we are talking about before arguing about the evidence.
Well we wouldn't want to over-burden them by forcing them to repeat what they have already written. So a summary of the peer reviewed scientific papers with citations of which journals they were published in would be plenty sufficient. (I know of none.)
All talks about evidence or evolution (like ID says this because evo can't explain it) SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ANOTHER thread.
One does not need to discuss evolution to know what ID is all about. However, I don't understand why discussion of evidence should be sanctioned.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Son, posted 06-09-2009 2:38 PM Son has not replied

Junior Member (Idle past 5284 days)
Posts: 9
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 11-30-2009

Message 752 of 1273 (543912)
01-21-2010 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by LucyTheApe
07-14-2009 2:15 PM

Hi LucyTheApe, my name is Paul, and I am also an ape just like you.
The age of the earth, as far as I am concerned is 6000 years or so. I understand however that there are theistic evolutionists. Theistic evolutionists take into account long ages and can include the ridiculus theory of biological evolution.
So do you think the age of the earth depends on what your opinion or position on the matter is? Do you think it depends on what theistic evolutionists opinion on the matter is? Do you think it depends on my opinion on the matter?
Do you think there could possibly be a different standard, or alternate way of knowing the age of the earth, that isn't dependent on someone's opinion?
The Creator created all Kinds.
I have heard this before, but I don't know what it means. I would ask you to elaborate, but I am not sure that would get us anywhere. When Kent Hovind says this he claims that wolves and dogs are two different "kinds", but he doesn't seem to realize that you can interbreed (some of) them.
So you have to understand that a statement like that has very little meaning, as it does not survive even the most obvous scrutiny without needing further clarification.
You see, stating a position like this, is no better than saying that you like the color green. Its just your opinion, and we can all see that, but we can't follow it up with any sensible rational discourse based on that statement.
Its not just that scientifically literate people disagree with that statement -- its that that statement cannot be made meaningful enough even to have a substantive discussion about it.
He created life in the beginning, male and female too.
Are you aware that single celled organisms don't have male and female?
The evidence that I can refer to is all around us.
When you have conclusions that are not backed by analysis, or accountable to the dynamics of reality, then of course, you can claim anything is evidence for them.
But that's not how evidence works. A mechanism, law or explanation is proposed, then you take evidence to test that mechanism. The idea of the test is that some kinds of evidence could show the mechanism, law or explanation to be false and some could show it to be true. The problem is that for your claims no matter what the state of the evidence is, you can just say it is evidence for your claim. So again we have no path for a rational discourse on the matter.
If you put forward claims that cannot be tested, then you will not be taken seriously. You, by your own choosing, are ending the discussion before its even begun. And the value of your discourse will be assessed commensurately.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by LucyTheApe, posted 07-14-2009 2:15 PM LucyTheApe has not replied

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