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Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2005

K-State, others tackling intelligent design in classroom

December 4, 2005

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As Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki makes national headlines for his failed bid to teach an intelligent design course, other professors across the state are hitting the controversial theory without making a ripple.

"We'd like some attention ... " said Andrew Arana, a Kansas State University faculty member who helped create a class through KSU's Center for the Understanding of Origins.

Program participants have included familiar faces in the intelligent design debate like Michael Ruse, a Florida State University philosophy professor, but they haven't been enough to boost interest.

"It hasn't gotten any media coverage," Arana said, "and I guess that's OK."

While no other Kansas institutions have drawn the attention that KU has in recent weeks, neither have they made statements that have been as provocative as Mirecki's. He referred to fundamentalists as "fundies" and said the class would "be a nice slap in their big fat face ..."

KU's was "a unique situation that had to do with specific comments made by a professor," said Donna Shank, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents.

Courses on special current topics can arise simply from the brainstorming of faculty.

At KU, typically if a special-topics course gets departmental approval, it's a go.

K-State's course draws on faculty from several departments, including physics, biology, English and philosophy. The class includes science discussion punctuated by commentary on how to understand information from a philosopher's point of view. Arana said the course's planners would like more attention because they were seeking outside support.

At Pittsburg State University, philosophy professor Don Viney plans to discuss intelligent design in a Philosophy of Religion course. He said intelligent design was a new version of an argument philosophers had been debating and teaching for years.

Even elsewhere at KU, intelligent design is discussed without controversy. Walter Dimmick, associate professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, said he taught students in his introduction to evolutionary biology course about natural theology and beliefs at the time of Charles Darwin. These topics are a starting point to his course on evolution.

"Young people need to have an understanding of what science is and what science is not," Dimmick said.

Dimmick, who has taught this introductory class for three years, has never stirred controversy in or out of the classroom. Part of this may be due to his approach.

"It's not my job to try and change their religious beliefs," he said.

Some courses on the topic have failed even to excite students.

Emporia State University professor Richard Schrock offered a course on intelligent design for teachers in training last summer, but there wasn't enough interest to fill a classroom.

"I'm getting pretty much a universal response that they're very, very tired of the issue," Schrock said.

K-State's course also hasn't seen the high numbers planners had sought.

"It just didn't get the initial interest that we thought it would," Arana said. "We're going to keep doing it."

Shank said she expected more courses on the topic to be introduced, and she hoped people move past KU's controversy.

"I don't think that all other courses on the subject ought to be scrutinized because of this one situation," she said.

Comments

b_asinbeer 9 years, 1 month ago

Somebody needs to tell the FUNDIES that the world doesn't revolve around them.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

Our common sense tells us that it is impossible or very unlikely that the tremendous complexity and variety of living things could have arisen through mere chance mutations and natural selection, but common sense is not science. And we tend to ignore our common sense here because there is so much evidence in support of macro-evolution, even though that evidence is entirely circumstantial. I think that evolution theory actually requires a greater leap of faith than biblical creationism does. I think that intelligent design is basically just an effort to give a scientific basis to our common-sense doubts about evolution.

        The following joke about a trial of an alleged chicken thief is an illustration of placing too much faith in evidence and too little faith in common sense --

Defendant (to witness) -- "Did you see me enter the henhouse?" Witness -- "Yes." Defendant -- "Did you see me leave the henhouse?" Witness -- "No." Defendant -- "Aha!! Ise still in that henhouse!"

tolawdjk 9 years, 1 month ago

Common sense tells me when I look outside that the world is flat. There ain't no "curves" in it.

Common sense tells me the sun moves across the sky -around- the earth, not that new fangled other way what they say that the earth goes around the sun.

Common sense says that when meat goes bad, worms show up in it. I don't know what all this talk about flys laying eggs is, sounds like hog wash to me.

In your rediculous example above, Larry, the evidence indicates that the defendent isn't in the henhouse, as he's right there.

-IF- intelligenr design is basically an effort to give a scientific basis to common sense doubts, please point me in the direction of labratory analysis. Any of it. I'm not requireing difinative proof, just one experiment and where it has been repeated. Something, anything, other than "well, its really really complex, so someone had to have done it."

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

KU need not apologize. KU did not make the statements. KU should reconsider and let the class move on. The fundamentalists have not been paying attention as their philososphy is actually being discussed in several college courses and they are not being left out as they claim. I had no idea it was being presented on many venues. Their argument is bogus.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

Posted by even_money on December 4, 2005 at 8:59 a.m. <

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

Posted by tolawdjk on December 4, 2005 at 9:03 a.m. -- <>

No, according to the defendant, the evidence presented in the testimony of the witness showed that the defendant was still in the henhouse. Only common sense showed that the defendant was in the courtroom. Anyway, the idea was to show that "evidence" can be as deceptive as common sense.

Anyway, it was just a joke. I think that you are trying to make too much out of it.

tolawdjk also wrote -- <<-IF- intelligenr design is basically an effort to give a scientific basis to common sense doubts, please point me in the direction of labratory analysis. Any of it. I'm not requireing difinative proof, just one experiment and where it has been repeated. >>

Macro-evolution theory has never been tested in a laboratory, either. So what is your point?

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

posted by even_money on December 4, 2005 at 9:28 a.m. --

So do you feel Mirecki's apology wasn't sufficient?<<

Can you think of a better national poster child for anti-ID bigotry?

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

even_money wrote -- <>

Why have a poster child for anything?

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

LarryFarma has hit on the fundamental basis of ID. Things in biology look like they were designed, so they must have been.

The sun looks like it revolves around the earth, the Earth looks flat, the moon looks like cheese, some animals look like they have human intelligence, a high-flying aircraft looks like a space ship, the stars look like warriors, dragons, maidens, bears, and scorpions in the sky.

This is not science.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

Having said that, saying a thing looks like something is how new hypotheses are generated. Hypotheses must be testable, however, or they are meaningless.

Most of the tactics of IDiots involve attacking established science in an attempt to cast doubt so that their weak idea doesn't look so bad.

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years, 1 month ago

Anyone who says macroevolution is untested in labs is insane or has never taken a basic genetics course. You can back up the "guesses" involved in cladograms (tree of life diagrams) about ten different independent ways. We back up macro evolution ALL THE TIME.

What a hilarious statement by a clearly ignorant person.

hurlehey 9 years, 1 month ago

how is it bigotry to deny the scientific theory of ID? Scientific method is by definition the constant and neverending questioning of process. ID is counter-science simply in the notion that there is a "must be" at the end of the line.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

From a post by wendt, December 4, 2005 at 6:45 a.m.

---"It's not Mirecki's fault. I'll bet that the other professors are saying things just as heretical about Intelligent Design / Creationism. They just don't have a "nazi hunter" broadcasting them and inflaming every fundamentalist State Senator they can find. See, John? Your "religion" is still going to get "disrespected" as a "science". There is quite a line behind Dr. Mirecki willing to do that" ---

Wendt, Mirecki's course differed from these other college courses or lecture series in all or some of the following ways --

(1) Mirecki's course had ID/creationism in the course title

(2) ID/creationism was the primary subject of Mirecki's course

(3) The title of Mirecki's course labeled ID/creationism as "mythologies."

(4) Mirecki's course carried university credit units and was restricted to students

(5) Mirecki's course was a direct response to the Kansas school board's ruling on ID.

(6) Mirecki ballyhooed his course and it immediately became a national news item.

(7) Mirecki's course was admittedly intended for the purpose of bashing ID/creationism and "fundies."

Also, I don't know why you assume that all these courses and lecture series will always "disrespect" ID/creationism as science and will never "disrespect" evolution theory as science. For example, two of the lectures in a series at KSU's Center for the Understanding of Origins are titled, "Darwinism and Atheism -- A Marriage made in Heaven?" and "Evolution -- is it a Logical Fallacy?" http://www.phys.ksu.edu/origins/announcements1.htm Would Mirecki have allowed guest lectures with such titles in his course?

Also, the above Lawrence Journal-World article noted that another KU professor, Walter Dimmick, discussed ID/creationism in a science course, an introductory evolutionary biology course. Isn't it supposed to be a violation of church-state separation to do that in a science course in a public educational institution? What is the difference between doing it in a public-university science course and doing it in a science course in a public K-12 school?

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

From a post by PoeticHeteroSapien, December 4, 2005 at 12:37 p.m.

What a hilarious statement by a clearly ignorant person." ----

Surprise, surprise! Similar organisms are going to have similar DNA. All of this proves nothing.

When I talk about "testing" macro-evolution theory, I mean actually demonstrating macro-evolution in a laboratory or observing it actually occurring in the field.

You have just lost an argument to a "clearly ignorant person" who has never taken a basic genetics course. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Bubarubu 9 years, 1 month ago

"(1) Mirecki's course had ID/creationism in the course title

(2) ID/creationism was the primary subject of Mirecki's course"

Well, these two sort of go hand-in-hand, don't they? Moreover, they don't prove anything either way, so we'll move on.

"(3) The title of Mirecki's course labeled ID/creationism as "mythologies.""

Ah, the original crux of the matter. "Myth" is not the same as "untruth". The study of myth and myths is well-established in many fields and a rich vein of inquiry. Look to anything by Joseph Campbell. Myths, in academic terms, are not necessarily true or false. They are, instead, the way individuals orient themselves to the world. ID/creationism fall into that category quite nicely, and one need not make judgments about their truth value to study them. Simply calling them myths does not imply a judgment, except to those people who want there to be a judgment.

No one seems to have a problem when we study Greek or Roman "mythology", and doing so does not demean the myths.

"(4) Mirecki's course carried university credit units and was restricted to students"

Most university courses are so restricted, and without credits, no one would take them. Again, nothing is proven here.

"(5) Mirecki's course was a direct response to the Kansas school board's ruling on ID."

Universities and scholars should be studying and responding to public decisions. The Supreme Court ruled on Kelo vs. New London in June. Should law students not discuss the ruling? Should we not have discussion of what it means?

"(6) Mirecki ballyhooed his course and it immediately became a national news item.

(7) Mirecki's course was admittedly intended for the purpose of bashing ID/creationism and "fundies.""

Now we get into questions of intent. Here, and only here, is there a legitimate complaint. Yes Mirecki was wrong to say what he said. His motives for offering the course were rooted in disrespect and he expressed those motives in a way that demonstrated his desrespect, and that's bad. KU should put the course in the schedule for next fall and have someone else teach it. Dr. Mirecki is an outstanding scholar, and should remain in the classroom and at the head of his department, but his expressed motives compromised his ability to teach this particular course. Any complaints beyond that are nothing more than grandstanding and labeling oneself a victim for political gain.

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years, 1 month ago

Uh, it doesn't work that way, Larry. Cart before the horse. You don't get DNA because of the way you look. You look the way you do because of your DNA. DNA patterns are inherited. Creatures with similar inherited DNA patterns will look (and be) similar. We observe this process in action constantly, and understand it thoroughly.

Just because you do not understand the process, or because you read people who intentionally obfuscate our understanding of those processes, does not mean they are not real. This is why ID and Creationism both have failed every attempt to challenge evolution in serious academic research settings, as well as in court cases time and again.

What part of "if ID is science as it is being defined by ID proponents, then so is astrology" do you not understand? This was admitted to, under oath, by Michael Behe, the primary driving force behind this supposed movement.

You can sit there and badmouth evolution all day, and pretend that it's something it's not, but in that case you are the liar-- willful or not, I cannot know.

If you would like to know some of the ways in which science confirms macroevolution, take pretty much ANY upperclass-level biology course. I spent semester after semester learning thigs you claim don't exist, and now I do them professionally... so I beg your pardon if I come across a bit snide when you tell me the last ten years of my life are bunk, simply because you do not like the conclusions reached by scientists.

You can take the word of theologians and pundits on the subject, or you can listen to active research biologists. I'd be willing to bet it won't be the latter, for you.

My advice? If the answers disturb you, you should cease asking disturbing questions.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

KU should offer two new courses next semester:

Sociology 635: Sociology and Deviant Behavior: a study of Atheism, Communism and Secular Humanism and their negaive effects on society as a whole.

Psychology 420: Neurotic behavior: nature or nurture? Exploring two theories of the cause of atheism in humans: that it is the neurotic reaction to unpleasant religious experiences as a child, or that is the early manifestation of bi-polar disease.

Surely no one will be offended.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 1 month ago

prospector,

I think that the LJW has a "Top Ten" hit on their playlist.

bubarubu,

Nice post.

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years, 1 month ago

Godot - Please come to the next SOMA meeting at KU, this Thursday in the Kansas Union, and try to identify one member of our group who is bipolar or neurotic. I'd also point out that only about half of us were ever religious in the first place, so to tell you the truth, I'd love it if KU offered those two courses. I'd take them! I'd have far too much fun tearing that professor apart at every turn, so the amount of background reading I'd have to do for the course would be absolutely worth it.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

Godot: Those courses are taught at Bob Jones University. Out of professional courtesy, KU will not teach them (ha ha).

PHS: if you haven't noticed, most of thes evolution deniers are not receptive to facts and evidence.

Facts and evidence are part of a "leftist propaganda".

Never get yourself into a position where facts and evidence are not on your side.

This is what modern fundamentalist christianity and ID creationism proponents have done. The facts are clearly against them.

No movement can survive the long term by denying reality, but they can certainly cause alot of problems for moderate, thoughtful society while they are around.

james bush 9 years, 1 month ago

If Ku needs student enrollment and parents to consider the University for the education of their sons and daughters, Mirecki's actions have probably not helped.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

from post by PoeticHeteroSapien, December 4, 2005 at 3:36 p.m.

I never said that. How dumb do you think I am?

--- Creatures with similar inherited DNA patterns will look (and be) similar. ---

That is what I said.

--- What part of "if ID is science as it is being defined by ID proponents, then so is astrology" do you not understand? This was admitted to, under oath, by Michael Behe, the primary driving force behind this supposed movement. ---

Behe has his opinions and I have mine.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 1 month ago

This can go on forever.

I wonder what LJW has planned for us tomorrow.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.

Or IS There??? Hard hitting JW reporter will expose the dirty truth behind Santa Claus' dislike of children and embarrsing allergic reaction to reindeer. The intrepid reporter will reveal the content of previously secret emails between Santa and his workers that detail their plot to undermine their biggest competitor, Walmart by infiltrating the secret society of Chinese elves.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

The reporter makes the shocking revelations about Santa despite the connection of his J-school to William Allen White. Says the reporter, "What he did to Virginia, the way he lied to her, is just not right. It is too late for her, but, by.... by ...., by Darwin, I am going to let the children of the future know the truth!"

ryanjasondesch 9 years, 1 month ago

Godot, Psych 420 exists, Its Cultural Psych with Glen Adams. It's a good course, I suggest you take it before making ridiculous comments about psychology. I hope you're using the term neurosis loosely. Psychologists are more interested in why people have a psychological need for a father-figure concept of god, not the absense thereof.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Really? That's a hoot. I was just making things up.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

And you took my post seriously. Which, I guess, kind of makes my point.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Wendt, I can't begin to tackle the topic of good vs evil. I don't think in those terms.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

From a post by wendt, December 4, 2005 at 7:15 p.m.

You will notice that Intelligent Design not be addressed in the science departments of any of the Universities cited. ---

Absolutely false. The above Lawrence Journal-World article notes that another KU professor, Walter Dimmick, discussed ID/creationism in a science course, an introductory evolutionary biology course.

---The format is pretty similar to what Dr. Mirecki proposed. Lecturers from the sciences brought in to explain the scientific method and how Intelligent Design doesn't fit. ---

There is no proof that Mirecki intended to address scientific issues at all in his course. And two lectures in a series at KSU's Center for the Understanding of Origins had titles that were not exactly friendly towards evolution theory or unfriendly towards ID/creationism -- "Darwinism and Atheism -- A Marriage made in Heaven?" and "Evolution -- is it a Logical Fallacy?" http://www.phys.ksu.edu/origins/announcements1.htm

--- To quote: "Young people need to have an understanding of what science is and what science is not," Dimmick said. Sound familiar? ---

KU prof Dimmick discusses ID in a science course, but many ID-bashers (e.g., the Dover plaintiffs) want a prohibition on even the mere mention of ID in science courses in public educational institutions, on the grounds that such mention violates church-state separation. Does that sound familiar? I think it would be one helluva joke if someone sued Dimmick and KU for violating church-state separation.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

Posted by wendt on December 4, 2005 at 7:20 p.m.

Intelligent Design / Creationists will call scientists stupid and biased, declare libraries and schools devoid of facts, and then plead, beg, and threaten to withhold funding unless they are included in the community of biased, stupid and ignorant science. ---

You have described evolution theory perfectly. So why shouldn't intelligent design be welcomed to the club?

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

P. S. Wendt: No problem, but you have not caught on to the fact that I don't espouse any particular religion. But I can understand your confusion given the fact that my sense of morality is based on my Christian upbringing.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

The above Lawrence Journal-World article said -- --- Some courses on the topic have failed even to excite students. Emporia State University professor Richard Schrock offered a course on intelligent design for teachers in training last summer, but there wasn't enough interest to fill a classroom. "I'm getting pretty much a universal response that they're very, very tired of the issue," Schrock said. K-State's course also hasn't seen the high numbers planners had sought. "It just didn't get the initial interest that we thought it would," Arana said. "We're going to keep doing it." ---

I think that now there is going to be heightened interest because of all the publicity about the Kansas school board's decision and the Dover, PA lawsuit. I myself was not interested in the subject until I was aroused by those two events.

Also, were these other courses on ID offered for credit? If not, there would probably be more student interest if the courses were offered for credit. Students have very tight schedules and cannot devote too much time to extra-curricular activities.

Biodude 9 years, 1 month ago

If I was taking a design course I would learn design theory and the history of design, most likely based upon extant systems and those from previous times with enough of their design intact to permit some inferences of the design mechanism.

So how would an ID class similarly assess its "design" basis? Since we are talking living systems, one would assume we would look at the design of bacteria, maybe viruses, eukaryotic cells, protein-protein interactions, etc.

In the case of history...well...where is the history? If you don't believe that a bacterium could give rise to functional parts of eukaryotic cells or that virus DNA exists within the genomes of higher organsims and has contributed to their physiology, how can there be any "natural history."

ID states that the bacterium's flagellum is "irreducible" and came with the bug. Did all extant species with flagella always have them? If not how did they get them?

The difference between some strains of E. coli and certain Shigella species for example is so thin that the incorporation of a few genes within islands of the bacterial chromosome are the only distinguishing genes. Moreover, several of these genes have apparently been schlepped into a common precursor strain via piggybacking with bacterial viruses during a process called generalized transduction.

Point is that with a few genes a "new" bacterial species is created. True bacteria are not eukaryotes and new species of eukaryotes requires ostensibly more time and more genetic changes, but nevertheless, the irreducible system argument does not hold to the obvious facts in bacteria.

Behe chooses bacteria to illustrate his point, i.e. even something as apparently simple as a bacterium is way to complex to have evolved. Thus, he's an idiot.

Indeed, this irreducible argument is the tenet of ID and is just ridiculous conjecture...nothing more. Parts of the flagellum are found in other structures and used for other functions. The whole thing doesn't have to be assembled to evolve. The starting material for natural selection is an expressed gene and some effect indirect or direct on the replicative capacity of the organism.

This simple (and absolutely true) notion is why evolution is a beautiful mechanism of nature and why (I think) it is hard for the public to grasp onto. How could stocastic events or mistakes made by a DNA or RNA polymerase provide the starting material for the diversity of life?

The fact that the answer is not rocket science, but simple mathematics is what throws pseudoscience for a loop, i.e., we must have complicated explanations to explain complicated systems.

The razor is just too sharp for a dull public...that is why these courses need to be taught and should be taught as philosophy or sociology. This is where the problem lies, not in the science.

The science is clear ID is bullsh_t!

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

from a post by wendt, December 4, 2005 at 8:39 p.m.

It's what Dimmick says about Intelligent Design in his class that you shoud be concerned about. I quoted him saying what his focus was regarding Intelligent Design but like an alcoholic, you don't have a problem. ---

Oh, so teaching about ID in a science class in a public educational institution does not violate church-state separation so long as ID gets bashed !! Maybe we could have the same rule for the Bible, the Koran, etc..

--- "You have described evolution theory perfectly. So why shouldn't intelligent design be welcomed to the club?" God, you're so stupid. Diagram the second sentence and get back to me. HAHAHAAHHAHA ---

And you are a stupid, feeble-minded cretin. And I'll bet that you will come back later and claim that I was the one who started the name-calling.

Genesis 9 years, 1 month ago

For the scientists "Evil" is explained easily. It is the the same as absolute zero. It is a complete lack of good or complete lack of heat in the case of absolute zero. God is good. Evil is a complete lack of God. God did not create evil.

Genesis 9 years, 1 month ago

Biodude: Your point "Point is that with a few genes a "new" bacterial species is created." obviously requires a creator or a mechanism in the case of evolution. Thus far the second law of thermodynamics remains true. Information is lost in the chaos of evolution... however it can be gained in creation.

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

from a post by Biodude, December 4, 2005 at 9:22 p.m.

Even if ID does not exist at the level of bacteria, that does not necessarily mean that ID does not exist in higher life forms. Even if Behe made a mistake by trying to show ID in bacteria, that does not disprove ID. You are acting as if the whole validity of ID hinges on the work of a single scientist, Behe. And your discussion dealt only with how DNA is transferred between organisms and did not deal with how new DNA is created.

--- The fact that the answer is not rocket science, but simple mathematics is what throws pseudoscience for a loop, i.e., we must have complicated explanations to explain complicated systems. ---

Where are the mathematics? I did not see any mathematics in your discussion.

--- The razor is just too sharp for a dull public...that is why these courses need to be taught and should be taught as philosophy or sociology. This is where the problem lies, not in the science. The science is clear ID is bullsh_t! ---

Here you had to use a high-falutin high-tech scientific discussion (with such esoteric biological concepts as "generalized transduction" ) to challenge Behe's findings of irreducible complexity in bacteria, and yet you say that ID does not belong in science courses !! ROFLMAO !! You are only helping to show what I have known all along -- that ID is at least partly a scientific concept. And parts of ID are scientific even if they are not valid. Other scientific ideas have failed, but they were and are nonetheless scientific.

fossilhunter 9 years, 1 month ago

Larry - ID is only as "partly scientific" as Star Wars is "partly scientific". If you read the Dover transcripts, you will see that when actual science were applied to Behe's "irreducible complexity" of flagellum, you would see how his argument completely fell apart. ID wilts when put up against real science.

Mr_Christopher 9 years, 1 month ago

Let me put it this way - Intelligent Design is a joke and the Discovery (Dishonesty) Institute is the punch line.

Thanks for the laffs Demski and Behe!

Hey Larry Farma, your in Kansas now so click your heels together and repeat/chant "ID is scientific...ID is scientific..." and see if the Wizard of Oz (intelligent designer) hears you.

ps. is it true the Discovery Institute will be promoting a new scientific theory regarding the existance of Santa Claus?

Speaking of training dieties (Santa Claus) I am holding a wake at my home this weekend for the recent demise of ID. We can support one anothers grief process together. Poor, poor ID, we hardly knew ye. You're all invited!

I'll bring the flagellum and eggnog, will someone bring the hot cider and maybe some chocolate lady fingers and Christmas cookies?

Oh boy is this great!

Genesis 9 years, 1 month ago

fossilhunter- If "real science" is observable, repeatable evidence then Behe is in much better shape with arguments of "irreducible complexity" than evolutionists believing against insurmountable odds that information arises out of chaos....even with the belief a new test shows that the earth is a google years old. Why do you think evolutionists have gone from hunreds of thousands of years to millions to billions? Science has shown a need for additional time or some other mechanism (God) to get information out of chaos. And no, a google of years won't be enough statistically to do it either, things are just way too complex and only getting more that way. Evolution is much easier to prove when life springs up out of nowhere on rotting fruit.

fossilhunter 9 years, 1 month ago

Genesis - a google?! No one is saying that. Behe's irreducible complexity arguement is reverse engineering -- if you take something away, it ceases to function...that's not how evolution works. It's completely the opposite. It's not evolutionists that have learned that the earth is older than originally thought, it's geologists, paleontologists, chemists, nuclear physists...

Evolution also is not "information arising from chaos". "Chaos" has nothing to do with evolution. I think you are confusing evolution with "spark of life" arguements.

Mr_Christopher 9 years, 1 month ago

On a serious note, I am atsonished by the complete lack of scientific/evolutionary understanding many of you here display. Either you are the product of a very failed school system or you uncritically read way too much Christian anti-science propaganda.

Larry, Genesis, et al, what is your excuse? You clearly don't know anything about evolution. Seriously your arguements are those of someone who is in the dark and does not even have a freshman grasp of it.

What gives? You would probably both enjoy having a good understanding of this branch of biology and science yet you cling to mistaken, misguided and innacurate concepts. Why are you afraid of actually leaning about and understanding science/evolution?

I don't have time to argue with you point by point but you are so mistaken on every point you try and make about evolution. You look like a pair of fundies whose evolution/science education came from fundy pamphlets extolling the evils of evolution. Was Pandas and People your evolution textbook? That would explain alot.

Boys...Ignorance is NOT bliss, now go learn! If you are going to debate this issue you might as well have a good understanding of what you are debating. Your comments prove you don't really know anything about evolution. THAT fact is not helping your cause.

Biodude 9 years, 1 month ago

The second law is not violated by evolution...that is just more of the bullsh_t you have been reading. Biological systems are not closed and entropy increases overall, i.e., in the universe...think about pulling billions of particles away from their chemical and physical matrices...making a ribosome becomes a grain of sand on an incredibly huge beach!

Oh...Ohhh! I don't have to use "sophisticated" science arguments like horizonal gene transfer to explain why ID is not science and evolution is fact, I could resort to the standard tired arguments of my so-called leaders, i.e., you can't test it, yada, yada...but why not!

If you are going to call it science, should it not hold up to scientific scrutiny? The fact is that bacteria can be induced to basically change species by acquiring genes from bacteriophage that previously infected other species of bacteria. Indeed, this type of genetic transfer is a major mechanism of antibiotic resistance and epidemics. Many nonpathogenic species of bacteria become pathogenic species when they acquire pathogenic genes, just like a finch species gradually becomes a new species when its genetic program of development is sufficiently changed by meiosis, mutation, genetic conversion, sexual reproduction, etc., i.e., all that stuff you were suppose to be listening to while you were looking out the window.

You want the math of evolutionary biology, just pick-up any text on Population Genetics. Basic place to start would be p2 + 2pq + q2 = 0, Hardy-Weinberg law, from there you can explore how H-E is affected by the major tenets of Darwin, reproductive isolation, etc., etc....I really don't have the time to teach you genetics...hey, here's an idea...why don't you and the Discovery Institute sponsor some mainstream biologist to try and find evidence for your little theory.

I for one, would gladly accept your money and search my little heart out! I wouldn't find a scrap of credible evidence for ID, but I would probably find another piece of the puzzle that supports Darwin's basic idea...species evolve by a mathematical mechanism of natural selection!

Take off your glasses, look directly into the Sun...and thank God that you have the eyes to see, even if you lack the mind to acknowledge how they came to be!

Good Luck!

devobrun 9 years, 1 month ago

Biodude, I find your passion for biology and evolution to be strident. In case you haven't seen anything from me on these boards, I'm the guy who finds both creation/ID and evolution to be ideas. Neither idea rises to the level of a scientific theory in the same way that we find in physics. I'm an electrical engineer who retired and now I teach high school physics.
If any of my ideas of the physical world are challenged, I produce a demonstration, experiment, or physical realization of something that dramatically shows the concept. After that, I discuss the possible alternative theories to explain the phenomena, and tell the inquisitor that I'm not showing them god or the answer to any "big question", but just a little theory of physics. Generally I follow this with a discussion of machinery designed and built on the basis of the theory. I talk about the quantity and quality of testing. Quality of testing is an especially important aspect of good science. Like it or not, theories are judged by humans and humans bring more to the table than logic.
So, when I fly on an airplane I must believe in the conservation of energy because a group of people at Airbus or Boeing used it to design and build the plane. I risk my life on it. Now that is a test. And it happens thousands of times a day.

I sit here in front of my computer, surrounded by technology based on physics, and I wonder if I must believe in evolution in order to avail myself of some product that was created by it. Is there something that simply would cease to exist if I changed from evolution to a diety called the "cosmic creampuff" who plunked all this down? Plant or animal husbandry? That was around long before Darwin. Genetic modification? Chemistry, which is really physics. I'm still looking.

I think you are strident because you know that some day biology might lose its only identity, Darwin. Replaced by a computer world, a chemical world, a physics world. Biologists have been arguing against the "stamp collector" label since their inception. This argument with the creation/ID guys is really a very convenient straw-man to knock down whenever you must face the spectacle of your own mythology.....Darwin

LarryFarma 9 years, 1 month ago

From a post by Mr_Christopher, December 5, 2005 at 11:06 a.m.

Mr. Christopher,

"On a serious note," you say? Hardly. You just make ad hominem attacks without addressing the arguments of ID proponents. And not only have you not argued point by point, but your message here does not address any of the points of ID proponents.

I know -- you could refute the pro-ID arguments if you really wanted to. But talk is cheap, and talk about talk is even cheaper.

  ==================================

"I'm from Missouri -- you'll have to show me" --- Willard Duncan Vandiver, US Congressman from Missouri

Biodude 9 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Genesis 9 years, 1 month ago

Biodude: you said "just like a finch species gradually becomes a new species when its genetic program of development is sufficiently changed by meiosis, mutation, genetic conversion, sexual reproduction, etc., i.e., all that stuff you were suppose to be listening to while you were looking out the window" Yes I did daydream some but I did hear in school all about the different species of Darwins finches. I've learned more since then. Species definition- taxonomic group whose members can interbreed. I believe finches are still finches no matter how many adaptations and mutations there are. I think you should use the example of different dog species- poodles, german shepherds, greyhounds etc. They might not even interbreed and they definitely look completely different from one another.

devobrun: Thank you and well said. The facts are the same for all to look at but the interpretations and theories are different. I believe in an eternal God and others believe in eternal matter. Here is something I saw in the news a week ago and some of my thoughts.

After reading numerous articles about the ice core drilling revealing climate history about the last 650,000 years, it got me to thinking. I remembered reading about a recovery team melting out a P-38 from a glacier a few years ago. http://www.thelostsquadron.com/default.cfm Using the depth at which they found the plane at, 268 feet deep in a period of 50 years, I calculated that the ice core must be at least 3,484,000 feet deep! ((650,000/50years)268feet) Something told me that no one has drilled one twelfth of the way through the earth and still had ice at the bottom. So I looked up the deepest ice core and found it to be only 3623 meters deep. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok.html Now I have some serious questions. Perhaps the amounts of annual snowfall are much less in Antarctica to account for the gross discrepancies in the numbers? What I found is no, actually Antarctica receives 5 times the amount of snow that Greenland gets according to MIT. This leaves even less time for a given amount of ice. http://web.mit.edu/globalchange/www/reports/054/node6.html Now I am convinced that someone is cooking numbers or perhaps someone can convince me that those P-38s were really buried 16648 years ago (650000/(3190meters3.28feet per meter)=62.12 years per foot * 268 feet deep = 16648 years:.probably in the last ICE AGE) . They should at least use facts from known timelines to extrapolate and find approximate times for ice cores. I did find other known events that could serve as gauges for time- the old South Pole Station. It was abandoned in 1976 and by Jan1997 was already buried by 30 feet of ice and snow. (3190meters*3.28feet per meter / (30 feet/21 years)= 7347 year old ice core. This only makes their numbers off by a factor of 88. I am sure that there are others that could work well also. http://www.south-pole.com/p0000022.htm

Genesis 9 years, 1 month ago

fossilhunter- you said "It's not evolutionists that have learned that the earth is older than originally thought, it's geologists, paleontologists, chemists, nuclear physists..." If I understand correctly there are over a hundred different chronometers that can be used to measure amounts of time. Only a few give results over 100,000 years... evolutionists have chosen to use these few exclusively, ignoring a hundred others, to achieve long periods of time required for evolution to take place. Evolutionists favorite chronometer is the geologic column. Here is an interesting article on the geologic column. http://www.trueorigin.org/geocolumn.asp

devobrun 9 years, 1 month ago

Genesis, I think we might have lost Biodude. After reading my entry yesterday his head a'sploded.

jcameron 9 years, 1 month ago

I am a Christian and from Scotland and wish to send you my views from the United Kingdom. I do not see Darwin and Christianity as being in conflict at all. For me they represent the 'how' and the 'why' of history. I am very sorry to say that most people here think that those who deny Darwin are bonkers.

devobrun 9 years, 1 month ago

jcameron, 35 years ago in the U.S. young people were full of rebellion. They quesioned any and all authority, from religion to sexual behavior, to food consumption, to dress. Everything was changed.
Much of this change was trivial and only served to irritate the old folks. Some of it was destructive, like LSD and undisciplined sex, which exacerbated the spread of AIDS.

The fact that these folks were allowd to manifest their odd behavior in our society has given them a sense of superiority. And now those folks are 55 years old . They are the very authority that they hated so much 35 years ago.

Since they are still human, but they rejected traditional spirituality, they needed a new god. Some chose science. Some chose physics, but physics is rather cold. Some chose crazy holistic pyramid-power, herbal, quasi-science. Many chose various forms of biology, evolution, ecology, etc. These are the people who visit this board to defend their belief in the mythology of evolution. Of course there are still traditionalists around who argue with these evo-crazies, but their creation/ID science is just as wobbly. The alternative that both theories are non-varifiable and therefore not science is not acceptable to the evos. The traditionalists with their creation/ID really don't need to defend their science because it is their religion they need to defend. So they argue against evo and the evos argu against crea/ID.
The argument is a pissing contest between theologies. It was started by the evos. Everybody is angry. There will be no resolution because the hatred on both sides. Neither can see that they are not engaged in a rational discussion.
Fighting over the primacy of an idea is nuts.

devobrun 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm starting to think that my posts are buzzkillers. Cogent responses to my posts have ceased. Oh well, back to shoveling snow.

lightheaded 9 years, 1 month ago

Since energy can only be transformed & not destroyed could it be that we all have been here since the big bang. Light is every where in all universes even black holes it has many diffrent spectrums & needs something to reflect off of. What has intelegent design have to do with religous belief. Each & every society has there own belief of creation. Hopefully we can get some intelegent reflection.

jcameron 9 years, 1 month ago

devobrun Thank you for a most illuminating comment. I like to think that I believe in both Science and God. When Science comes up with a real thing, like a dna profile match, a view of a human cell dividing after conception, a fossil that can be carbon dated, I know that these things were not known 2000 years ago. This means to me there may be some stories that were written at that time that can be expanded now. This does not undermine the spirit of my religion, it just shifts over a little on the sofa and often shines even brighter. I am all for 'peace' between the opposing sides but do not think that the scientists should stay quiet when facts are challenged as non facts. This would start a drift towards fascism. A small step then to say that someone with a black eye wasn't punched. Then worse.....

devobrun 9 years, 1 month ago

jcameron. Thanks for your comments. I also find that science and God have no problem getting along. However, both are concepts defined by and defended by people who disagree. That is, there are scientists and religious people who find the other guy encroaching on the their territory.

I find that evolutionary biologists have overstepped the boundary of science. They are walking all over the garden planted by traditional mythologies. The fundamental christians have attempted to combat evolutionists with an alternative scientific explanation, Intellegent Design. It is bogus. I reject it.

However, I also find the assertion that we all got here by...........whatever scientific argument .....to be equally bogus.

A scientific statement of any kind is only as good as the testing that follows the evidentiary/hypothesis stage of the science. Are you familiar with Karl Popper? I follow his prescription of science called, "Conjecture and Refutation". Conjecture is the part you describe in the DNA matches, fossil records etc. Evidence is processed by inductive logic, deductive logic, inspiration, epiphany, guesses, luck. Anything to come up with an hypothesis. It is all fair.

Ah, but the test is the thing. It is that which separates science from literature, history, the law. All fine endeavors, erudite and fecund. But what makes science different? The test. The quality and quantity of the test. This inability to test the overall theoretical statement, like how we got here, is the problem with evolutionists theories. Grand excursions through the religious garden have upset the gazing ball, tromped the daisies.

I teach high school physics. I teach nothing that I cannot demonstrate physically. Not just computer simulations, but objects crashing, water spewing, plastic bottles exploding.

If a biologist cannot reproduce the evolution of man, then he cannot test it. If he cannot test it, then it isn't science. QED. Oh, by the way, this also means that the theory of the evolution of man is quite unproductive. Materially infertile, meaningless.

Small reproductions of gene mutation and the experiments that are done in real time are fine as far as they go. Biologists need to realize that it is a mammoth leap to the epochs, eras, billions of years. Yikes.

Going there is conjecture, with no hope of refutation. Interesting, but not science. And it plops right down in the middle of the fine garden that was planted by religion.

Oh my, I've run along time. I hope you are a patient person.

devobrun 9 years, 1 month ago

lightheaded, There are an infinite number of "could it be that we all " statements. Unless we go there to the beginning, or we reproduce it in the future, it will always be a scientific mystery. Best left to God.

jcameron 9 years, 1 month ago

Devobrun I hear what you say about the strength of empiricism. Modern science that can be tested in the present is strong science. I think that the boundary of science as you describe it is too narrow though. You seem to be saying that facts that cannot be tested in the here and now are not facts, but religious belief. Did Armstrong land on the moon as far as anyone born after 1969 is concerned? Even though I am older I contest that this is not conjecture, I believe there are enough facts around for this to be a firmly factual fact, strong enough for anyone who doesn't believe it to be called bonkers. Moon rock is moon rock. Fossils are fossils. The scar on my leg is a rugby injury. I can see how extrapolation of evolution backwards may have some conjecture, but Darwin spent some years at Edinburgh University as I did, and I never met anyone who went there who was bonkers. Would you accept my assertion that your line in the sand should be fuzzier (and nearer to the religious beach) than your theory of testing draws it. Incidentally he did two years medicine, one of my years was Physics.

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