There have been many tumultuous arguments, especially in the south, about the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools alongside evolution in science classes. This would be all good and fine if ID was indeed a scientific theory, but many, including me, claim that it is simply religion in the guise of science, invented to replace "creationism" as the word used while talking about the creation of life by God. Herein lies the key to this argument: Is Intelligent Design religion or science? Is it a scientific theory or a religious one? Does it have a place in our classrooms?
But Intelligent Design invokes an "Intelligent Designer". If this "Intelligent Designer" is not God, what else could it be? Even if such an entity is not the God of the Bible or any other of our human Gods, is it not inherently religious because it invokes a God-like creator, one that not only created our Earth, but our entire universe?
The intelligent designer/designers may be no different from the laws of nature
If the intelligent designer is simply the laws of nature, then evolution exists, doesn't it, and your ID theory is blown out of the water. Playing semantics isn't going to work here. You should know that we all know that ID is simply a method to get religion into schools.
Oh ha. Sorry about the confusion. I'm just trying to get conversations started, as this is a topic that tends to wash off relatively quickly. My views are as they were expressed in my first post, but I might be offering arguments on the other side as a means of getting debate started. Heh. Sorry about that!
By "teaching the controversy" I mean of course the same sentiment that George Bush put forth a couple of years ago on the matter. He said that ID should be taught in schools alongside evolution so that students know what the debate is about and so they know both sides of the story. I don't mean the controversies within evolution or ID themselves.
Another example would be mathmatical probabilities and statistics, observation of the complexity of DNA, cells and the human brain etc relative to ID probabilities etc. Discussion and debate in the classroom or any other location relative to these is not practicing one's religion as per the definition of religion.
Simply observing the complexity of DNA, cells and the human brain and then somehow saying that they are too complex to have come around by evolution proves only that 1) You have absolutely no idea how evolution works, its mechanisms and its inherent non-randomness, and 2) You have little idea how science works. You cannot make the conclusion that God did it from the observation that life is very complicated and improbable. This is a negative argument, and negative arguments don't fly in science, unless of course, you have eliminated every single other possibility. If you haven't done so, then for all you know, a form of evolution we have not discovered yet could have created you. To say that complexity=designer is at the least premature. This entire ID movement is at the least premature.
..every single material possibility you mean which means you start with a bias that only material causes are possible.
No, I do not mean every single material possibility. If you believe that the biblical God created the world, you must be able to prove to me beyond contention that evolution is absolutely wrong, and that it wasn't any of the other 9 billion Gods us humans have created that made the world. If you cannot do this, you cannot argue that your God made the world. Also, you cannot argue that panspermia or some other natural method of life propagation might have created life here because, as molbiogirl pointed out, you run into an infinite regression problem. This leaves only supernatural explanations, of which only one possibility might be correct. You must rule out every single other explanation, natural and supernatural, before you can support any single one with any amount of credibility.
A equally appropriate question would be "Is evolution religion in the guise of science" -it takes far more faith and ignorance of evidence to believe that blind chance produced us I would say.Is your brain operating according to natural chemical reactions or is there a reason for your rationality?
First of all, to believe in a theory vehemently because it is backed with all of the natural evidence we have uncovered is not religion, but common sense. To back a theory vehemently because you are too stupid to understand evolution and therefore can only believe that some supernatural guy in the sky did it is absolutely religion. Guess which side you're on.
Personally. I'll go with the God of the Bible...only then can I measure the evidence of the different religions and decide who I believe the creator is.
You are completely proving our points that ID is religiously motivated here. That was a wrong move admitting you believe the creator is a diety, because now you have brought religion into it. If you, some average joe living in some average town correlate Intelligent Designer with God, I wonder how many others in this country do so as well. If that number is as high as it is, which it probably is, then ID is religion in disguise.
But is it backed by all the natural evidence or did the worldview of 'matter is all there is' dictate the terms of the engagement. Evolutionists absolutely cannot allow for God on the basis of their own self serving definition of science which cuts God out of the equation a priori. So you start by not allowing for God no matter what the evidence shows and then no matter how the evidence refuses to fit your belief in evolution, you just keep jamming the evidence in to make it fit.
If that is what has been happening, then that is religious - an a priori commitment to naturalism or materialism precedes the evidence.
This has got to be perhaps the most lazy, uninformed, unintelligent argument I have ever heard for Intelligent Design. You accuse us of making the assumption that "matter is all there is" and thus cutting off God from the beginning. You say that this, in itself, makes evolutionary theory a theological argument. What is your problem with assuming that matter is all there is? This is what science has assumed from the beginning, and this assumption is what has led to the advancement of human civilization from your 12th century, dark-aged, hysterical people to our 21st century, medically advanced, philosophically advanced people that have already put men on the moon. If you have a problem with assuming that matter is all there is, then you are just trying to argue for argument's sake. Please, in the name of the Lord, show some evidence, scientific evidence that could pass a peer review at the professional level, that ID is not at all religioius, has no religious motivations, invokes no religious figures, and can be entirely verified by the entire scientific method. If you fail to do this, then you will not have shown that ID is scientific.
Secondly, even if matter is not all there is, it doesn't affect our state of being anyway. Even if there is a supernatural dimension, it doesn't affect science in our dimension in any way. Science still works as science here, and science will still show and substantiate the evidence for evolution regardless of whether there is some sort of spirit world or not. Science has shown evolution to be true and creation to be false, and the evidence will not suddenly change to show otherwise if we have other evidence of a supernatural world beyond this one.
Except that that is not what is happening -the vehemence belongs to the committed evolutionist who tries to keep the supernatural guy in the sky out of the picture no matter how impossible the pure naturalistic viewpoint looks.
The only reason you have to believe in Intelligent Design (i.e. Some Intelligent figure made us) is because you do not understand evolution at all, and the only reason you fight so much for your side rather than being objective and looking at the wealth of natural evidence is because you are scared of actually finding the truth. This is the reason why your people are religious, while evolutionists, not matter how vehemently we support our theory, no matter how many of us there are, are not, because we are backed by science. There is no scientific aspect to Intelligent Design, except the "scientific" observation that everything is too complicated for evolution to have taken place. This shows, however, not that God must have done it, but that you don't know how evolution works (or at most you have given it a cursory look) and that you are unable to understand it's implications. Furthermore, your assertions that ID is science fall through when one looks at the wealth of people who take ID and call the ID-er God himself. Then there are YECs, who take the Bible literally and are also religious. At most, an ID proponent can belong to the other group, that small group, that only believes in that small, hardly scientific proposition of the inherent complexity of the universe. But even then, as is testament by your own words, people in these groups will tend to see the ID-er as a diety.
Do you know that for 5000 years of earth history, the belief in God as the creator of all was the predominant worldview.There was a worldwide flood which is a common factor in all the world's cultures. Evolution took over as an alternative to the explanation that the people wanted to reject. Its amazing what you can do and justify if you write God out of the equation. Whether evolution or creation happened is an historical matter - you look for historical records, cultural narratives and the scientific evidence to see which worldview all of these things fit better -creation or evolution? Evolution is the man-made alternative to the creation story. The evidence doesn't fit evolution, it is made to fit.
You know that 5000 years ago, people still believed that the world was flat..correction..they didn't know that the world was there to begin with? They believed that serpents from the sea spit themselves out on land or that they rose from a hole in the ground and colonized the land around them. These might seem like entirely fine propositions for you, but they are not, sadly, fine for the rest of the scientific world. It wasn't until the Greeks and those after them began applying the scientific method to their work that we were able to see that the world was round, not flat, and that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not the other way around. Science was able to show that the lights in the sky were not the lights of distant souls, but stars, made up of elements like hydrogen and helium, elements that, discovered by scientific scientists, replaced the conventional, earth, wind, fire and water elements of the past. Science has made possible your current lifestyle, from the food you eat to the air you breath to the computer you write these posts on, and sience, over the course of a couple hundred years, has shown evolution to be the truth. Yet you continue to believe in the words of a bunch of drunk old men 2000 years ago. You continue to contend that evolution does not exist, and that God must have created us. You continue to say that Intelligent Design is not religion, even when the entire world knows that it was born out of Creationism to simply sound more palatable. Do you realize that it is you that is being religious, unwilling to believe the natural laws of the world, and instead, substituting your own? Do you realize that every time you try to assert the flimsy points of Intelligent Design, you further destroy your cause? Do you realize that the entire ID movement has yet failed to produce even a modicum of scientific data to show that God exists and that he created the world? Come to your senses. You only have one life, and nothing afterwards. Don't waste it trying to uphold the tired dogma of scared old men, and rather, embrace science and its applications. Try and make the world a better place, rather than keeping it tied and lashed down by your flimsy beliefs.
Yes, it is really what the results show us. Scientists are not fitting the evidence to the conclusion, because that is not what science is all about. Science is about making a hypothesis, testing it and then revising it as necessary. Science has shown that all life forms, from us to the little sea slug, contain the same genes for development and maintenance, but it is the variable expression of these genes that accounts for the vast differences. What does our presumptive worldview have to do with it? Don't try to turn science into a philosophical argument. Philosophy has no place in the hard science that shows these things to be true. Read up on homeotic genes and epigenetics before trying to discredit these findings. In fact, read any college level biology textbook (like Campbell and Reece, Biology, 7th edition) and you will see the science behind these claims. They have nothing to do with anyone's worldview.