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Author Topic:   Biased accounts of intelligent design
Posts: 5069
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.7

Message 9 of 150 (861149)
08-18-2019 3:29 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Tangle
08-18-2019 3:14 AM

Nah, it's drive-by spam. If he doesn't come back it should be deleted.

I prefer the term from Mrs. Doubtfire: "It was a run-by fruiting!"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Tangle, posted 08-18-2019 3:14 AM Tangle has taken no action

Posts: 5069
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.7

Message 45 of 150 (861238)
08-18-2019 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Faith
08-18-2019 7:50 AM

Too bad. I've never been very clear what the differences are between ID and YEC.

I think that a lot of that confusion is due to YECs having replaced their young-earth claims with ID claims and arguments after Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) blew "creation science's" cover and exposed it as religious in nature -- remember that the purpose of "creation science" was to fool the courts and the public by pretending that their objections to evolution were for "purely scientific reasons, nothing religious about it."

Both YEC and ID are part of the anti-evolution movement whose roots go back to the early 20th century, but each had a different history and a different approach -- at first.

The YEC approach is firmly based on a literalist interpretation of the Bible and is overtly based on sectarian Christian beliefs. I don't know how staunchly the YEC position was held early in the movement (eg, its 1920's heyday), but I've read indications of that community becoming polarized during the 50's and 60's (eg, YECs Drs. Morris & Gish leaving the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) to form their own YEC creationist groups when the ASA wouldn't take a hard-enough line against evolution and an old earth), such that when the movement was remobilized after Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) overturned the "monkey laws" and brought evolution back into the classroom (and also made the "creation science" deception necessary for creationists).

We hadn't heard much about ID before Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), but before then I did see lawyer and ID co-founder Phillip Johnson on NOVA demanding that evolution and science follow courtroom standards for evidence, which immediately informed me that he did not understand how science works -- this was not stated by him, but that would be analogous to requiring all police investigations at all levels to follow courtroom standards, in which case no investigation could ever follow clues nor form hypotheses.

Ostensibly, ID objects to evolution on philosophy grounds. Basically, they misrepresent science as adhering to an atheistic philosophical naturalism which teaches that the physical universe is all that exists; ie, no God. Instead, the reality is that science practices methodological naturalism in which science does not try to use non-natural explanations (eg, the supernatural) solely because there is no way in which science can work with such explanations (eg, we cannot observe, measure, test, verify, nor even detect the existence of the supernatural).

In reality, many IDists' religious beliefs also factor into their opposition to evolution, such as Phillip Johnson's remark that he opposes evolution "because it leaves God with nothing to do". But, just as the YECs would hide their religious motives from the public with "creation science" (AKA "The Game of 'Hide the Bible'"), IDists also hide their religious motives from the public. Yet both YECs and IDists would speak very openly in private groups about their religious motives. Both groups would publically allow for a Creator other than their own particular god (eg, YEC "public school edition" educational materials defining the "creation model" as involving an "unnamed Creator", ID rhetoric that the Designer could be anything including aliens) all with a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?, know what I mean?", all while in private among themselves (and religious groups) they would state outright that they are talking only about the Christian god.

IDists would conduct outreach presentations to the YECs trying to build a coalition to oppose evolution. But then with Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) destroying their ability to continue using "creation science", YECs adopted ID arguments. For example, YECs dealing with the public will no longer try to use young-earth claims and will even do everything they can to avoid presenting one (eg, a staunch YEC I corresponded with over a period of 20 years absolutely refused to ever present or discuss even a single young-earth claim), but rather almost all of their arguments are about complexity (ignoring the inconvenient fact that the most common byproduct of evolutionary processes is high levels of complexity). And the most famous case of this adoption of ID terminology is Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005) about the book, Of Pandas and People, whose conversion from a creationist to an ID book was substituting all occurrences of "creationists" with "design proponents" resulting in the smoking gun, "cdesign proponentsists".

So I submit that one of the main reasons why it can be so hard to differentiate between YEC and ID is because most of the ID claims and arguments that we encounter are from YECs.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Faith, posted 08-18-2019 7:50 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by JonF, posted 08-18-2019 4:57 PM dwise1 has taken no action
 Message 48 by Faith, posted 08-18-2019 5:32 PM dwise1 has replied

Posts: 5069
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.7

Message 52 of 150 (861248)
08-18-2019 8:23 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Faith
08-18-2019 5:32 PM

DWise1 writes:

-- remember that the purpose of "creation science" was to fool the courts and the public by pretending that their objections to evolution were for "purely scientific reasons, nothing religious about it."

But the questions YEC addresses are not "religious" and the methods used have to do with the actual phenomena, not religious principles, so it's not quite fair to accuse them of trying to "fool" anyone by "pretending" something.

Faith, please read what I actually wrote.

I was talking specifically about "creation science", not about YEC in general as you took it to be. "CREATION SCIENCE". Even though "creation science" was derived from YEC, it is not the same thing. YEC is a religious belief, whereas "creation science" is a deliberately crafted legalistic deception. Not the same thing!

Since I'm in a rush now to go meet my friend for her birthday dinner, I'll copy from my site's index page, DWISE1'S CREATION / EVOLUTION HOME PAGE (apologies for not having the time to correct for some loss of formatting, especially the loss of links):

Basically, "creation science" is a form of YEC that is a deliberately crafted legalistic deception designed in the early 1970's to circumvent the US court system's then-new rules disallowing religious reasons for barring the teaching of evolution in public schools -- basically that killed the "monkey laws" that had been in effect since the 1920's. Since they could no longer use their actual religious reasons for opposing evolution, creationists invented the lie that they were opposing evolution for "purely scientific reasons, nothing religious about it." They created this deception by superficially scrubbing their materials and arguments of all overt religious references (eg, remove Bible quotes), even reducing God to "some unnamed Creator". Critics of this approach have long called it "the Game of 'Hide the Bible.'"

The application of "creation science" is to provide a fake fa├žade of opposing evolution for "purely scientific reasons". This was originally intended to circumvent the Lemon Test which blocks them from basing their opposition to evolution on their actual religious grounds, but they quickly applied it to make appeals to the general public's sense of fairness by calling for "equal time" and "balanced treatment" -- indeed, most creationist state laws and school board policies have been based on "equal time" and "balanced treatment" arguments.

Their intellectual framework is the "Two Model Approach" (TMA) which posits two-and-only-two-mutually-exclusive "models", the "creation model" and the "atheistic evolution model". Even though many rank-and-file creationists have never even heard of the TMA, it does form the basis of almost all "creation science" strategy, tactics, and arguments. The application of the TMA is to make very vague statements about the "creation model" (being very careful to avoid any specifics) and then "prove" it solely by attacking their "evolution model" in order to "disprove" that, thus "proving" "the only alternative" without ever having to present, discussion, support, or defend that "creation model". The TMA has been described by critics as a book consisting of two chapters: Chapter One "Evolution", and Chapter Two "Everything That's Wrong with Chapter One." Evidence of its wide-spread use by creationists is in how many creationist books and debates (especially from the ICR) start out establishing the TMA and then consist almost entirely of attacking the "evolution model"; in debate, creationists are notorious for avoiding their own "creation model" even to the point of adamantly refusing to present it, to discuss it, or to defend it. Indeed, virtually their entire "mountains of evidence for creation" end up being nothing more than attacks against their "evolution model" (which bears almost no resemblence to actual evolution).

The TMA is a form of fallacy called a false dichotomy (AKA "false dilemma"), which is a contrived either-or argument whose sole purpose is to deceive your audience. Its problems are many; here are just a few:

  • Although it's described vaguely as "any ideas about a Creator", their "creation model" is actually highly specificly fundamentalist Christian young-earth creationism -- refer to my page, The Creation Model, which quotes directly from an ICR article describing their "creation model". All other "ideas about a Creator" get consigned to their "atheistic evolution model", though creationists will usually avoid talking about those with a lot of mumbled equivocation.

  • Everything that does not belong in their "creation model" goes into their "atheistic evolution model". According to the late Dr. Henry Morris of the ICR (President and co-founder), that includes "most of the world's religions, ancient and modern." So the irony is that their "evolution model", which they describe as being "atheistic", is predominantly theistic! Furthermore, since most Christian ideas about creation do not agree with the strictly young-earth-creationist tenets of their "creation model", then they end up in the "atheist evolution model" which leads us to a double irony of Christian ideas being deemed "atheistic."

  • Even the non-religious elements of their "evolution model" bear almost no resemblence to actual evolutionary theory or teachings. Instead, they're a horrendously huge mish-mash of old abandoned ideas and misconceptions about evolution that have nothing to do with actual evolutionary theory. Therefore, despite all the creationist attacks on these elements of their "evolution model", they never actually strike anywhere near evolution. All they end up disproving are those wrong ideas and misconceptions. In addition, they are able to misrepresent scientists criticizing and rejecting those wrong ideas and misconceptions as them rejecting evolution.

    Make no mistake about it, actual evolutionary theory is part of their "evolution model". They just leave it completely alone and never go near it.

  • You cannot possibly prove their "creation model" through the TMA. The only way you could do that would be to disprove each and every single individual element of their "evolution model" -- this would be necessary since none of those elements depend on each other and even contract each other. Given the vast number of those individual elements, that task would be intractable (ie, theoretically possible, but it would take so much effort and time as to be practically impossible). Given that the vast number of those elements are theistic and given our inability to test or disprove the supernatural, that makes that task impossible.

    It would be far easier and much more practical to prove their "creation model" by presenting it and presenting actual evidence for it. But that is one approach that they avoid like the Devil.

  • The TMA is a sword that cuts both ways and can be used far more easily to disprove the "creation model". This can be done in two ways:
    • Since every part of their "creation model" depends on each other, showing just one of them would be enough to disprove the entire "model". Since the claims of young-earth creationism are false (eg, the earth being young, Noah's Flood), that would be easy to do. And, by the logic of the TMA, disproving the "creation model" automatically proves the "evolution model."

    • Since showing just one part of the "evolution model" to be true would prove the "evolution model", by the logic of the TMA that would automatically disprove the "creation model." Actually, I think that creationists do realize this possibility, which is why they are so strongly motivated to keep it from happening, even though they're the ones who created this logic bomb to begin with.

    But of course, since the TMA is a fallacy, its logic is invalid. Though that's little comfort for creationists who have bought into it.

  • The creators of the TMA had a fundamental misunderstanding of what a model is. Basically a model is a detailed description of how something works. A model is constructed from an understanding of the mechanism it is to describe based on actual evidence gathered. Key to the development of the model is repeated testing and confirmation against actual evidence. Therefore, an inevitable by-product of model-building is the accumulation of evidence.

    The TMA's two "models" are not proper models. If they were, then in the construction of their "creation model" they would have ended up with a large body of actual evidence for creation (as opposed to false attacks against their misconceptions about evolution). But their inability to ever present any such evidence very strongly suggests that none exists.

    We should note that another name for "model" is "theory".

In 1987, the US Supreme Court exposed the "creation science" deception (Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)), thus eliminating its usefulness in court. At that point, creationists quickly adopted a parallel creationist movement, Intelligent Design (ID), in what has been described as a new game of "Hide the Creationism." Now most of the arguments presented to the public are about complexity and there is almost no mention at all of young-earth claims, but among the faithful the same old YEC claims and arguments continue to circulate and be presented. Although ID has been exposed as nothing but a smokescreen for creationism (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005)), no replacement for ID has appeared yet.

While young-earth creationism is an actual religious belief, it has the unfortunate feature of making strict demands on how the real world must be in order for their faith to survive. Since those demands are contrary-to-fact, that creates serious problems for believers such that they must either keep themselves ******** or they must engage in serious self-delusion in order to keep their faith. Unfortunately for them, they cannot always succeed in those efforts.

"Creation science" is a deliberately crafted legalistic deception that had been used to deceive the courts, the public, school boards, and state legislatures in order to advance their agenda of removing evolution from the schools (and now other science they don't like, such as climate change). Those efforts continue in the present, albeit under the guise of "Intelligent Design".

This form of creationism depends on false and deceptive claims and on misrepresenting science and evolution and it makes its followers' faith dependent on those false claims. Over the years, I have encountered many ex-creationists, many of whom either lost or nearly lost their faith because of YEC and its false claims. In addition, it presents Christianity as depending on lies and deception, which drives many people away. Use of those false claims are not only counterproductive, but also destructive. It not only does not serve their cause, but it also works against it.

Edited by dwise1, : Restored the unsorted list format

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Faith, posted 08-18-2019 5:32 PM Faith has seen this message

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