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Do you believe supporters of intelligent design will make any progress?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 6, 2005

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Photo of Jaimie Oborny

“I don’t think the hearing is going to make much difference. Intelligent design is a philosophical idea and shouldn’t be taught as a science.”

Photo of Kevin Henry

“I hope not, but it very well may happen, and that’s too bad.”

Photo of Bill Brown

“Probably not. If people do something one way for long enough, it’s hard to get them to change the way they do it.”

Photo of Joy Lewis

“I do think they will make progress. I think the majority of people in Kansas believe that there is an intelligent creator.”

Comments

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

In the short run, perhaps. In the long run, in order to make progress they will have to change their goals, and drop the pretence that I.D. is in any way a valid scientific theory. Trying to pretend that it is, even to themselves, is only going to lead to their embarrasment when they have to back down, which in the end they will have to do.

It has no supporting empirical evidence. It has no method of testability. *It has no way to be proven or disproven.

It can throw around scientific-sounding words and concepts such as "irreducible complexity" all that it wants, but, to quote Tyler Durden: "Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken." The core of what ID is and tries to be is simply not a science, no matter how many people, Kansan or otherwise, believe or have faith in it's concept.

But enough of that. I'd like to take this time to propose an alternate theory. It is my discovery that all physical matter on our world is, in fact, the end result of the defecation of waste by the great Slurg beast of Hyperandromache VII. What we as humans actually are is hyperevolved bacteria, slowly eroding the enormous piles of dung left behind after the Slurg beast devours a few seperate solar systems.

GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 7 months ago

ID supporters can beat their heads in the wall as much as they want. Let's hope Kansans know better than to allow science to be muddied with theology. Philosopy has no place in a biology class.

On the other hand... what if evolutionists and creationists were each half right? Maybe a divine creator started us out as sea monkeys.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 7 months ago

I think this is just another attempt by the religious right to try to establish their religion into law, a clear attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution.

Fangorn 9 years, 7 months ago

How does one go about testing the theory of evolution? And what would be necessary for it to be disproven?

danman78 9 years, 7 months ago

Politics suck. Left wing, Right wing. I hate it all. I hope that ID gets some kind of foot hold in our Public schools. Our Public schools have the responsibility to educate us. Acting like the ONLY possibility for Origins is Evolution is wrong and untrue. If Evolution could be proven then teach it as truth. However it can not and has not. So don't teach it a truth. ID does not promote any particular religion. There is plenty of proof in the complexity of all things for intelligent people to consider that random events aren't responsible for our getting here. I say that ID should have equal representation. I simply believe that there can be a fair way to represent ID and evolution scientifically. Both ideas have valid claims. Evolution has lots of holes in it. In Fact you can use science to completely disprove it. Where evolution falls short should be shown. Kids don't need to think it's the only argument when it comes to Origins. ID doesn't cause people to believe in Jesus or Buddha. ID can be taught with science. I am just saying, tell the truth about Evolution and where it works and doesn't work, and give ID a consideration without bringing in specific Biblical backing. Science can show in general how complex organisms are not evolving up today. I think it is fair to show this and consider alternatives.

Punkin 9 years, 7 months ago

Sadly, I do think the creationists will likely prevail, at least in the short-term.

And it's unfortunate, because the rest of the nation is watching the State of Kansas with bemusement if not outright horror. Kansas is the butt of many a joke right now.

And we deserve it. We're too cheap to pay for a decent education for our children, but we'll spend millions arguing and litigating about whether or not we should teach real science.

The "intelligent design" community is driven by dogmatic fundamentalist christians who wish to de-secularize the public schools and convert all children into believers of Christ.

This issue makes a mockery of our Federal constitution and our State government.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

YES unfortunately. The current make up of the state BOE and Kansas Legislators tells me that even without hearings ID would get their approval. This legislature has too much in common with Bush, Brownback,Ryun and Tihart,Falwell and Oral Roberts. Yep were in big trouble. Better write letters cuz Senator Roger Pine will most certainly support ID being a Lawrence, Kansas fundamentalist christian.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

Jerry Falwell was boasting publicly that after 25 years the Fundamentalist Christian Coalition has taken over the republican party. They were very smart as they know republicans will vote anyone who calls themselves republicans rather than break party ties. Too many democrats are the same.

Why didn't the Christian Coalition form their own party? Because they are also smart enough to know that without all of those die hard republicans to vote the party no matter what they would be pissing in the wind. I believe they have accomplished their goal. I also believe these people to be the most deceptive politicians yet.

It's time for a third party that can gather republicans,democrats green party and independents under one umbrella that will bring 65%-75% of registered voters out TO VOTE.

I offer the following: Creationism/intelligent design seems to be based on someone's interpretation of the bible. Is this true? Is there empirical data available accompanied with years of research? What is the foundation for a textbook? How does one become certified to teach? Who brought this idea forward? Is this to be included in a biology course...if so how?

What is the true motivation? If it is teaching a narrow view of Christianity,which I suspect, there is no way that this should take place in a public school.

If the desire is to teach religion in public schools then certainly that is acceptable if the broad spectrum is offered as a class. Teaching any one religion on it's own is not acceptable...leave that to the seminary schools. The objective should be to offer students enough information that would enable them to decide for themselves which direction works best for them.

I offer the following as a guide for the public school system to consider:

http://www.awsna.org/renchristian.html

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

Fangorn: You watch it happen. As I understand it, the question in evolution is whether micro (which is already known) assumes macro, which is the theory. It is a theory, in a scientific sense, because there is groundwork to assume the possibility, and because the process, in all likelihood, takes much, much longer that the idea has even been around. There is no supporting evidence or groundwork for ID, that could not also be explained by my Slurg beast theory.

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to say something to all the Intelligent Design supporters. I understand your concern that you don't want the public school system to teach your child things that undermine what you are trying to teach them. And I share with you the belief that we need to believe what God has revealed to us. I also acknowledge that scientific theories are often replaced or superceded in the light of new data or new organizations of existing data.

Sometimes theories are simply useful models to help us to make accurate predictions, but in no way represent reality. One example of this is quantum theory which has concepts such as "tunneling" that make no sense as physical reality, but is a useful model to make predictions about electrons escaping their orbits.

Now, as I said earlier it is important to believe God's Word, but we also need to be humble in our understanding of scripture. In the past, believers thought certain verses of the Bible were stating that the earth was the center of the universe. They held firmly to that view and saw mounting evidence to the contrary as heretical and false. They claimed the contradictions were a trial of faith to seperate the true followers or God from those who put their faith in the arms of flesh. Almost no one now days interprets those verses as stating that the earth is the center of the universe. The whole conflict wasn't between God's word and the theories of man. It was between man's incorrect interpretation of scripture and the apparent reality of the cosmos.

I do see myself as a scientist, but would believe the word of God and call science a lie when I am sure of what God wants me to believe. For example, I believe in the miracles of Christ although science says that there are no miracles. But, I would encourage all to question what the Lord really asks us to believe in regards to creation before self-righteously condemning evolution by natural selection.

(This is a long message, so I'll finish in a second posting)

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

I find the theory of evolution useful in explaining and predicting a great many things. All must admit evolution to some degree because we can observe it happening in our own lifetime in bacteria and plants whose reproductive cycles are much shorter than our own.

There are inconsistencies in my current understanding of the Bible's account of creation and the theory of evolution. Among these are the Garden of Eden and how Adam could be responsible for bringing death into the world. Where conflicts remain, I hold to the Biblical account, but I continue to increase my understanding of both.

Our children need to be taught all the learning of our day, but reminded in our homes of our beliefs and acknowledge the inconsistencies that we wrestle with. True religion circumscribes all truth. Our children must develop a tolerance for ambiguity because we simply don't know all things.

Let evolution be taught in our schools. You can add any caveats in your homes.

lunacydetector 9 years, 7 months ago

i'm not a scientist, but perhaps evolution should be taught better so it is easier to understand. i don't think my teachers did a good job at all, but then again, i think most of my teachers shouldn't be teaching - because most of them sucked.

during the Cambrian explosion, how did so many different animal types spring into existence during a relatively short period of Earth history? i'd think the Darwinian mechanism would require more time for the necessary genetic "information" to be generated like the complex features of living organisms, such as an eye, by random mutation and natural selection. . - but then again i am not a scientist - just never got a clear answer from any teachers on that one.

BUT findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis. in fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. the convergence in the results of these independent studies - which was neither planned nor sought - constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

a theory is a meta-scientific elaboration, which is distinct from, but in harmony with, the results of observation. with the help of such a theory a group of data and independent facts can be related to one another and interpreted in one comprehensive explanation. the theory proves its validity by the measure to which it can be verified. it is constantly being tested against the facts; when it can no longer explain these facts, it shows its limits and its lack of usefulness, and it must be revised.

neopolss 9 years, 7 months ago

Creationism in a smoke screen. I often think that many of the followers of Intelligent Design need to retake a few science classes to refresh what they have forgotten. They might see then that "just a theory" is an insult when it contains a multitude of scientific backing.

More than anything though, throw off the gloves and let's call it what it is - Faith vs. Science

sunflower_sue 9 years, 7 months ago

enochville, Good answer. When I was 10, I asked our minister about the debate between evolution and creationism, (let's just say it was a LONG time ago) and what was I suppossed to believe? (I wanted to do the right thing without being brainwashed). He said to me, and I quote "God created man. He did not say, however, what he looked like." I thought this was a good answer (as a 10 year old it surved my purpose). I still believe today that we are indeed, products of God....if only one of His experiments that has gone horribly wrong. I believe someday we will know...but not in this lifetime. However, that said, I don't think it has any place in public schools.

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

I think looking at the contest as "Faith vs. Science" is not very helpful, although many do look at it in just that way. It polarizes the people on either side, and whenever you polarize people on an issue, you make it more difficult to come to a resolution.

You can have both faith in God and be a scientist. Truth, things as they really are, does not contradict itself. The problem is both sides think they have complete understandings of what really happened, when neither side does. Both takes on life only appear to mutually exclude each other. One day, we will see that both sides help to complete an accurate understanding of what really happened. We just need to work with what we've got now and more will be revealed.

lunacydetector 9 years, 7 months ago

just because you believe in adam and eve does not mean you are anti-evolution. the book of genesis can be taken either chronologically or topically. i prefer topically.

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

The Bible doesn't say it, but Cain and Abel's wives were their sisters. Everyone seems to assume that since Cain and Abel are the first children mentioned that they were also the first children had. I believe that Adam and Eve had many children before Cain and Abel.

Topside 9 years, 7 months ago

Intelligent Design? What! I just got sucka-puncked by PC,hold my hand,whiny christen america again. I need to go lie down.

christie 9 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if the Intelligent Design group will accept the fact that their view is as much THEORY as they claim Evolution is THEORY.

Frankly I like the mixing of both ideas. God created the Universe and after a few Billion Years decided that a bunch of Dinasours running around wasn't what she had in mind so she wiped the slate clean and 'seeded' the grounds with newer life, all intending for a natural evolution to occur over time. This I can live with.

If you want to freak-out the Religious Right ask them where did the Dinasours come from... the Bible has no mention of them at all.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

This is a bit humerous. There are so many misconceptions here I think jumping in myself is just going to be an exercise in frustration. But what the hell.

Jonas, how would you explain the origin of irreducibly complex systems. It's one thing to make fun of the term, but another to offer your ideas on how material process can produce such a system. Co-option? Scaffolding? Direct, gradual evolution (improving on what function)?

Das, the guts of evolution is the mechanism - random genetic variation sifted by natural selection. It is claimed that that mechanism as unlimited creative power, and indeed is responsible for all of biological complexity. Therefore to really falsify Darwinian evolution, one must demonstrate that systems exist that cannot have been produced in such a manner (Darwin himself stated as much in is first book). The problem is that evolution can fall back on the infinite regress of saying "we just haven't found the natural law or explanation for system x." It is not falsifiable.

See irreducibly complex biochemical systems as a case in point. There is no evident evolutionary pathway to these systems, and for theoretical reasons it appears that may never change. Yet we're still confidently told that these systems evolved, despite a total lack of explanations for how. That is a philosophical commitment.

Regarding the Cambrian, roughly 40 animal phyla make their appearance within a few million years. The Ediacaran fauna can possibly account for ancestry to one of those phyla, and that is even questionable. If the Cambrian represented the appearance of 40 families, or species, or any other lower order, it wouldn't be as fascinating. But it represents 40 PHYLA. Obviously phyla represent the largest differences between organisms within kingdoms. Phyla represent great disparity. Why is this interesting? Because Darwinian evolution predicts diversity (small changes) should precede disparity. The accumulation of small changes in species are supposed to lead eventually to a new genus, then to a new family, and so on up to Phyla. Phyla should appear after great periods of evolutionary experiments - successes and failures. There should be literally countless organisms bridging the spans between phyla. Yet that is not what seems to have happened. The great diversity of organisms preceding the great disparity of the Cambrian simply doesn't exist.

Moreover, considering it represents the origin of new phyla, it represents the origin of huge numbers of new proteins, new cell types, new organs and organ systems. The specified information increase represented in the explosion is staggering. And it can be empirically evaluated.

The funny thing to me is that Darwinists are so arrogant that they can't even acknowledge that IC systems and the Cambrian explosion (among other things) present at least an interesting challenge to evolutionary explanations.

Spare me the dogma.

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

Bob - Unlike most protestants and catholics, I do not believe that God ever intended the writings of the ancient prophets and apostles to be the only word he was ever going to give the world. I believe God continues to reveal his word to prophets today just as he did in Bible times. And these prophets revealed that Adam and Eve's children married each other.

Liberty 9 years, 7 months ago

It appears that Intelligent Design and Evolution are not just both theories, but are better classified as both being religions by faith. One believes that there is a God as creator, and the other believes that there is no God and no creator (atheism). Intelligent Design uses faith in God's record of history (God says that he witnessed the creation and describes how He did it. It is also supported by the geological record as time goes on. Evolution uses faith in man and has no eyewitness account, but attempts to use substitutes for eyewitness in the geological record to support that there is no God. (Because if there ever is a possibility of God, then evolution is not science, but a lie as an explaination of how we came to exist. The question is: Which takes more faith to believe? Man or God? Personally, I admire the faith of those that can believe in evolution. It requires huge amounts of faith to believe it scientifically and statistically speaking.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

I would not call what the intelligent design folks are doing "progress". The board has already made up its mind and the hearings are a waste of taxpayers money. In fact the hearings do nothing more than call national attention to, and make a laughing stock of, the state of Kansas. It should be obvious to everybody, that those members of the board that ran for office with the fixed intention of changing the science standards, are simply enjoying their 15 minutes at the expense of us all. There! I feel better.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 7 months ago

Just to play devil's advocate...If there is no "creator", than how did the universe begin? If you are a subscriber to the "big bang" theory but you don't believe in a creator, where did the spark come for that big bang? Doesn't energy come as a result of something? It can't just suddenly appear. If that's right, then something had to have caused the big bang.

thomgreen 9 years, 7 months ago

I feel like I've fallen asleep and I'm trapped in a nightmare. Instead of a mustachioed, indomitable leader taking over a country, we are now facing a new, even scarier threat. Organized groups that are forcing their way of thought onto the masses through regular channels while people are dozing off at the wheel. We keep telling ourselves, "that won't pass", "people know better", yet here we are facing another issue that the majority of people know is wrong, yet could possibly pass. Why?, these new groups are organized and more of a threat to the real American way of life than any dictator thousands of miles away. We've banned same sex marriage, why?, because the bible says its wrong. Separation of church and state is a joke, it doesn't exist right now. In the future we are going to look back at this time period in history and wonder how it all happened, similar to McCarthyism. I just hold out hope that we'll wake up from this nightmare and realize what is going on. Until then I can only voice my opinion through my vote, but I'm sure that Fred Phelp's best friend AG Phil Kline will find a way to make my vote public so that his fellow brothers in white hoods, errr, I mean brothers in arms can hold me up for ridicule for my point of view.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know what happened in Ohio a few years ago?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

For a response from Behe to Ethan's papers (more comprehensive than my initial comments above), see here:

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=442

In his concluding paragraph about Miller's proposal, Behe says this:

"As I wrote in Darwin's Black Box (Behe 1996, 86), the problem of blood clotting is not in just forming a clot--any precipitated protein might plug a hole. Rather the problem is regulation. The regulatory problems of the clotting cascade are particularly severe since, as pointed out by Halkier (1992, 104), error on either side--clotting too much or too little--is detrimental. As irreducible complexity would predict, Kenneth Miller's scenario has no problem postulating a simple clot (the initial nonspecific aggregation) but avoids the problem of regulation.

The take-home lesson is that Miller doesn't even try to deal with the problem of irreducible complexity and other obstacles that I pointed out in Darwin's Black Box--he just ignores them."

As I said before, Miller is telling a story, not offering an explanation.

By the way the reference to Halkier is the following quote:

"A system of this kind cannot just be allowed to free-wheel. The success of the coagulation process is due to the finely tuned modulation and regulation of all of the partial proteolytic digestions that occur. Too little or too much activity would be equally damaging for the organism. Regulation is a central issue in blood coagulation. Torben Halkier (1992, 104)"

Published in "Mechanisms in blood coagulation fibrinolysis and the complement system", Cambridge University Press.

MyName, you seem to think that ID has been proposed to be taught in Kansas schools. You're wrong. Read the proposals for yourself.

ID, I think, will hold a similar position in biology as general relativity holds in physics - in this sense. Einstein demonstrated that although Newtonian physics explained a lot, it's true explanatory domain was considerably smaller that originally thought. I think the same is going to play out in biology. Eventually it will be acknowledged that although undirected evolutionary processes explain a lot, they're true explanatory domain is smaller than originally thought.

happyone 9 years, 7 months ago

OK guys everyone has an arguement for each side and good arguements they are, but what happened to the seperation of church and state?? If I want my kids to learn about Christianity in any form I will take them to church or enroll them in one of the many private schools. Why put this into public schools?? Wasn't our country founded with freedom of religion as one of the basics?? Or are we going to become bound by religion again (Which is what we ran from in the first place!!)

Just a thought

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

2003 I think?

Redleo, there is nothing about Christianity or any other religion being put into schools. ID isn't even being put into schools. Read the Minority Report.

1derer 9 years, 7 months ago

How many remember the oldie but goodie

Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin' You gotta have somethin' If you wanna convince me [or something like that]

Not very scientific. But it points to the basic flaw that keeps me from embracing evolution.

The question that caused me problems with teachers and others. Since something cannot come from nothing, where did the first something come from?

My apologies to The Lyrics.

Ceallach 9 years, 7 months ago

Liberty: have you read "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be and Athiest," by Geisler & Turek?

Larry 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow Ultimate175, that was a good read. I enjoyed it on this busy Friday AM.

bleeding_flower 9 years, 7 months ago

I am sorry to say that at the age of 23 I do not know what I believe. It is nice to think that there is a higher being or beings watching over us and that there is a greater design. But I also like to think that we as human beings can choice our own destiny and that in future lives we can learn from our past mistakes. Which I know is off the subject , but I had to say my piece. However I think that it would be wrong for the schools to teach ID. That is up for the parents to teach there children.

Christy_K 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh I can't wait to get into this debacle, I mean debate.

For me the biggest thing that boogles my mind is who says people who believe in evolution don't believe in GOD!!!! I have always believed in evolution and in a greater power that orders and manages the universe. People try to paint people who believe in evolution as aetheist and this is a falsehood. I see absolutely no contridiction in evolution and faith (of course I'm not a bible literalist either).

Evolution is a part of everyday life. Let's look at something we all take for granted now...the computer. How did it get here? It didn't just spontaneously show up in thin air. It was created by intelligent beings, but it was not created over night...it evolved!!! It started as concepts and simple machines, then electronic switches, vacuum tubes, tremendous innovations began. There were many early versions that failed, went nowhere that we have never heard off. For example Vannevar Bush's failed intelligence machines of WWII. The technology improved and changed and has begun to happen exponentially. It used to take decades to see technical improvements, but now they happen everyday. The evolution of the computer demonstrates that the creation of a complex system by intelligent beings does not mean it was created in its final form overnight. The computer evolved, we evolved. Complex designs like microchips were created over time, who says the eye wasn't created that same way.

There are laws and rules that govern the universe. For me GOD is the concept that covers those laws. Evolution is a valid scientific theory. Just because all the pieces have not been put together does not disprove the entire theory. This is a standard practice used by all those who want to debunk an idea. The claim that one part doesn't make since, thus the whole thing must go is shallow and simple minded. This is the same strategy that Holocaust deniers use to try and disclaim the holocaust and we don't let them teach their stuff in schools (or should we???).

Oops too big two parts.

Christy_K 9 years, 7 months ago

Evolution is valid science. It is backed by biology, geology, physical geography, medicine, antrhopology, zoology, you name it. To claim evolution is invalid is to essentially claim that most of science itself is invalid. Yes science makes mistakes, and yes we take certain concepts "on faith" but only because the theory allows reasonable predictions on outcomes.

Why is evolution not in the bible? Because 2,000 years ago they didn't even know what caused rain or earthquakes or disease. Would you rather see a doctor from Jesus's time or one trained at a modern medical school? I know what I'd pick.

Evolution needs to be taught, must be taught. Whether you agree with it or not it is a widely accepted theory and all children should be exposed to it. Creationist students can do alternative assignments but should still know the information. Education is about learning about what is out there whether you like it or not. The whole point of education is to teach our children to examine the world and think about what goes on around them and draw their own conclusions.

Teaching religion is the same way. Children should be exposed to a wide variety of religios ideas and beliefs and then make up their own mind about the validity of those beliefs. To deny your children that chance is to turn them into easily manipulated automatons who lack the ability to think for themselves.

Intelligent design and creationism belong in a religion class because they are religion based, along side the creation beliefs of all cultures. If the Bible's creation story is valid, gee we'd better teach the Navajo's version to. But then again arguing with the extreme religious right is like arguing with a brick wall. You'll never get through and your head is the only thing that's going to hurt in the morning.

Creationists and ID have the right to their beliefs but they do not have the right to force others to believe it and to deny them the right to make up their own mind about science and evolution.

Douglas Adams sums it up the best:

"In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Christy K, first, your understanding that because part of the theory is deficient, the whole things is going is wrong. Again, read the minority report to see what is actually being proposed. Also, neither evolutionary process nor intelligent agency can be "proved" in regards to the history of life. They are events in the past, they can't be directly observed or repeated, and they can't be tested. No one is going to "prove" anything, they can't.

Your description of the evolution of the computer differs from Darwinian evolution in a critical sense. The evolution of the computer proceeded with extreme intelligent input along its entire course. Darwinian evolution is explicitly a material process. Random genetic variation and natural selection is an unintelligent process - it has no goals, it has no ability to look ahead to see what mutations might be useful down the road, and save them now. It does not save "parts" now for useful assemblies later. In fact that is the great appeal of Darwinism, it "makes the need for a designer superfluous", or so the story goes. So I think the difference is now clear. Life did not evolve in a way that even closely resembles the evolution of the computer, because where one depended on intelligence throughout, the other explicitly shuns it.

thomgreen 9 years, 7 months ago

I still believe that creationism and evolution are two different things.
Teach creationism as a philisophical theory (along with other religion's beliefs on creation), and teach evolution as a scientific theory. We should be exposing our children to a FULL education with all legitimate views represented. Just don't force creationism into a scientific setting. Love the Douglas Adams quote!

happyone 9 years, 7 months ago

Christy_K I agree that there is more than just GOD and that evolution is connected...

But I also feel that religion should stay out of public schools. ID has some religion basis, albiet little, and it does not belong in school. If some one wants to study it one their own when they have enough education to make an informed opinion about it then great but don't force it on impressionable kids

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

Ultimate 175: You ask the same questions over and over again, and even when you recieve answers that are possibilities, you forget about them, so I see no point in responding in regards to defending evolution. If you want an answer, go back into the archives for this very forum, to the last time that this question was asked, when you asked this very same question (here's a hint, if you don't want to look for the date, click on your username to review your comment history, find the part where you asked that question, and look there.) There is a very informative mini dissertation on the several proposed types of evolution, and how they can possibly answer the "mystery" of irreducible complexity, which you, of course, completely failed to acknowledge.

But what you mistake for arrogance is, frankly, not. I have no interest in defending evolution as fact, just as defending it's scientific basis, while debunking the assertion that anything about ID is scientific other than the termonology that they try to use. Holes in evolutionary theory can not positively be explained away by intelligent design, because there is NO POSITIVE EVIDENCE of an intelligent designer. Merely saying that the parts we don't understand must have been created, because we can't explain it, is not empirically backed evidence, and therefore not science. It's fine to think that, it's fine to teach that (as a philosophy), but you must understand both what it is and what it is not. What it is is offering a possibility, what it is not is supported. You say life was created by an intelligent designer, I say life was crapped out by the great Slurg beast of Hyperandromache VII. Neither one of our theories has any positive corrolating evidence, but neither one can be disproved. (Feel free to try) So, if you want to teach your theory, then I propose we start teaching mine.

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and. . .

"They are events in the past, they can't be directly observed or repeated, and they can't be tested. No one is going to "prove" anything, they can't."

Except that here is where your misunderstanding is apparent. There are forms of evolution that have been both witnessed and recorded, which thus provide scientific backing for the over-arching theory of evolution, which is where the scientific theory part comes in. Would you care to point out it's counterpart, in other words the obseved phenomena of intelligently designed and created beings, that thus supports ID theory?

happyone 9 years, 7 months ago

Well said Christy_K and Jonas As for Ultimate 175 lets put it in simple terms you burn your hand on a hot stove... next time you check to see if it's hot first ....you just evolved

intermission_riff 9 years, 7 months ago

Eons of natural selection -read NATURE- assembled everything; from the cells in your head to the dirt under your feet. Biological diversity is a miracle of nature. Human reason is a miracle of nature. We're witnessing that human reason and biological diversity cannot coexist. Our children's children will be true believers in the virulent nature of the human race, or maybe they'll be spared the agony by some other force of nature.

2000 years ago many uninformed humans filled in the gaps by creating a god in their own image. Now I'm paying the Kansas BOE to subject my kids to that mythology? Wow. Will they also teach that those ideas are the basis for the slaughter of millions of people? Does intelligent design explain thousands of cases of sex with alter boys?

I'm guessing these people never crack open a National Geographic. It must be tough to spend life managing all the contradictions.

David Ryan 9 years, 7 months ago

It's so simple, really.

Teach science in science classes, philosophy in philosophy classes, and religion in comparative religion classes.

Intelligent design is not science.

End of debate.

Everything else is frippery.

Oh -- and let's mandate in Sunday School the "teaching of the controversy" that many, many Americans simply believe that any conception of "god" is a human construct, not divinely true.

(If Americans who believed in no religion were to comprise their own state, it would be the 2d largest state in America. As George Will writes, "According to the American Religious Identification Survey, Americans who answer "none" when asked to identify their religion numbered 29.4 million in 2001, more than double the 14.3 million in 1990. If unbelievers had their own state -- the state of None -- its population would be more than twice that of New England's six states, and None would be the nation's second-largest state.")

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

And, as well, natural selection does not in any way preclude the possibility of, as you put it, saving things for later. A damaging mutation would probably do just that, but a more or less useless mutation, provided it did not harm, could be passed along until there was a reason for it.

lunacydetector 9 years, 7 months ago

TOB, i don't have an answer for you. perhaps the wives were other evolved females from another tribe, or their wives were their siblings. Jewish tribes used to marry relatives. who knows?

i saw an interesting show regarding one guy's quest to track dna around the globe. he said we (humans) started in africa then made our journey outward.

ultimate175 - you are an expert in your field, no doubt.

perhaps a compromise on the evolution/creationist debate - just have the science teachers emphasize evolution as a "theory," and leave it at that. would this make the creationists happy? with time, humans and technology will advance enough to have clearer answers. big woop! end of debate.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

I believe you are talking about this:

http://www2.ljworld.com/onthestreet/2005/feb/11/antiscience/

Post by Mari

The obvious problem with this is that there is no detail. This person claims that evolution can create irreducibly comlpex systems like the Krebs Cycle. I wish they would cite the genetic knock-out experiments from which it's irreducibility was determined.

This person also says that IC is poorly defined. This is wrong. It is defined at the level of gene products. This is convenient because these products can be removed by suppressing their gene.

They say "systems that are thought to be irreducibly complex might not be". Nice one there. IC is determined from knock-out experiments. They are or they aren't. There is not much confusion.

The "modification of the moustrap" is flawed because it involved intelligent intervention.

People, in discussions about this, like to cite papers and run. I never encounter anyone that actually wants to discuss the process, of say, evolving a flagellum. What is the significance of the Type Three Secretory System? What accounts for the additional 30 proteins? What else could have been co-opted for proteins? No one will discuss these things. They think just because the "problem" has been discussed at places like talkorigins, that it has been sufficiently addressed. It has not.

By the way, note the second bullet point at the top. "Duplication of much or all of the system"?? It is precisely the ORIGIN of this "duplicated" system that requires explaining.

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

Liberty: You say. . .

"One believes that there is a God as creator, and the other believes that there is no God and no creator (atheism). Intelligent Design uses faith in God's record of history (God says that he witnessed the creation and describes how He did it. It is also supported by the geological record as time goes on. Evolution uses faith in man and has no eyewitness account, but attempts to use substitutes for eyewitness in the geological record to support that there is no God."

Actually, both sides are putting faith in man. You are putting faith in the hypothetical man that passed on the account in the Bible, faith in the man who transcribed that account, faith in the oral tradition that would have preceded the actual putting it into writing, faith in the people who then translated it, into the many varying languages etc. If you were to recieve a direct auditory transmission from Jehovah himself, then you would be putting your faith fully in god. As it is, there are a whole lot of intermediaries, all men, that you are putting faith in as well.

thomgreen 9 years, 7 months ago

lunacydetector: Unfortunately, the creationist want a crack at brainwashing more converts to their side. They want the same rights as evolution...hmmm...sounds like a similar issue we just voted on. Funny how, when it comes to their issues, equality should be a natural right, whereas when it comes to same sex marriage equality is thrown out the door. But what I really want to know is where do I go to become a minister in the great belief that the Slurg beast of Hyperandromache VII crapped out life? Is there a seminary somewhere for this?

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

I am sometimes amazed at the arrogance. None of us will ever learn without being teachable and humbly acknowledging that we don't know everything. Posters have declared the Bible to be a myth and that there is no God as if they knew. You cannot prove that there is no God. I understand if you do not believe he exists. But, can you not admit the possibility that he might exist? What if it's true?

happyone 9 years, 7 months ago

jonas would you agree then that the bible is nothing more than a book of an ancient 'telephone game' god said something and by the time it was written down it was something different?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Jonas, the cause of the history of life in fact cannot be proven. Once again, it is unrepeatable, unique, and over. Obviously evolutionary processes have been demonstrated to cause certain small changes, and therefore there is good reason to think that evolutionary processes certainly played a role in life's history. Moreover, this data is completely compatible with ID.

I think you underappreciate what it takes to form a tightly integrated, sophisticated system. You attribute unlimited creative power to a process that is itself not creative - indeed natural selection is mindless. If you want to think that "more or less useless mutations" can be saved and eventually converted - mindlessly - into the most spectacular engineering marvels known, fine. I say that the explanatory power of such processes is severly inadequate to account for bio-complexity.

Littleredleo - thanks for the compelling argument. I now consider myself convinced of the grand creative powers of selection.

thomgreen 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree with enochville. Why can't we be humble enough to admit that we, as a species, don't know everything. We never will. I choose to believe how I believe, and others choose different. I'm not conceited enough to think my way is the best way or the only way. I sure as the heck don't know it all. I could be heading straight to hell, or the great litter box below if I choose to believe in the Slurgbeast theory (anxiously awaiting my hat). I was lucky enough to be introduced to many different ways of thinking when I was younger without the prejudice of being told one way was the only way. Kids are smarter than we tend to think and respond better to a wide variety of information rather than shoving one idea down their throat. School is/should be for molding a well rounded individual.

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

U175: Unfortunately, I do not have the specific scientific backing to provide you a specific method of construction. Perhaps you should have asked the original poster. Odds are that there is no more specific information that what was presented, so the discussion you wish is simply not possible at this time.

But, and we always come back to this, don't we, these holes in the theory of evolution do nothing to prove or provide evidence for the theory of intelligent design, and you still have not provided any reason why this theory should be taken seriously as a science. The reason evolution is is because there is reason to assume that it's a possibility, because on other levels of organic operation it has been observed to take place.

And, again, you're wrong to conclude that the whole point of evolution is to strip away the view of a designer. The simple point is that until we can find empirical evidence of a designer's intervention (such as a record of transmission or signature of some sort) there is no reason to include the possibility as empirically sound.

Why don't you get to work on locating the creator that you're talking about. It would be the easiest way for you to provide corrolary evidence to your theory.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

For a detailed discussion of irreducible complexity, and an honest look at the obstacle it presents for evolutionary mechanisms, see here:

http://www.idthink.net/back/ic/index.html

It is written by a man pseudo-named Mike Gene (he is a biochemist and his reasons for remaining anonymous appear to be obvious). It is fairly easy to read, and worthwhile.

For a detailed discussion of IC as it relates to the flagellum, see:

http://www.idthink.net/biot/flag6/index.html

It is technical, and more detailed than any Darwinian proposal to counter it (that I've seen anyway).

Anyone care to discuss?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Jonas, I wouldn't call IC biochemical systems "holes" in the theory of evolution. I'd call them theoretical crises. These systems reside at the foundation and very beginning of life. They're cellular in nature. They pale in comparison to the sophistication of higher orders of biology (organs, etc.). If evolutionary processes are severely challenged at this level, it is more than a "hole".

I'd be perfectly happy with "scientists" just admitting that there are a hell of a lot of things for which we don't have a good explanation for it's origin. Instead we get vitriolic, dogmatic insistence that everything evolved.

I think design is a good explanation for things like the flagellum, because I know that design is causally adequate. The etymology of the word intelligent means "to choose between", and the power of choice relative to a future goal is what is required to design an IC system. I design them everyday, and there is no more powerful tool in doing so that consideration of the future assembly, so that the parts can be molded and designed properly in the present.

In addition to that, there is considerable work proceeding the in field of information theory that applies directly to biology (biology is at its foundation information), and what sorts of information material causes can produce, and what they cannot.

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

Continued: I don't feel I underappreciate the complexities at all. That's why I still am up in the air on the "Truth" of the matter. To be perfectly honest, where we came from means absolutely nothing to me, my only interest is in where we are and where we are going. I think that in order to get where we are we need to be clear and understanding about the truth of things, and the truth of things as I understand it are what cause my view on this particular subject. There is no reason to call something a scientific theory unless it has a scientific basis. But I do not regard science in any way as Truth, nor do I think it holds relevent answers to a great many questions of life. I think that expressing the ideas of ID in this way is blatantly dishonesty, to self or other, to fulfill a particular stubborness of viewpoint, and I think it is both foolish and dangerous.

littleredradio: I agree with the possibility, but I think it all depends on your own interpretation. There's some good stuff in the bible, and it would be a shame to discount all of it for disagreement with part.

By the way, I'd like to thank Enochville for the very eloquent post earlier. I've got to go to work, now.

Shelby 9 years, 7 months ago

What's funny about all of this is that evolution and intelligent design are not mutually exclusive.

What concerns me about this whole "debate" is that science, by its very nature, cannot account for existance; when scientists start theorizing on anything before the moment of the big bang, they're dealing in philosophy, not science.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

ultimate_175 - This is a quote from Mike Gene on the first page of his web site. (At least I looked.)

"Warning: Buyer beware. The internet is loaded with all kinds of kooky theories and arguments and who can say I am any different? My advice would be simply this: don't trust me as any type of authority and balance my views with those who don't agree with me. If you are interested in origins, learn as much biology as possible and then attempt to arrive at your own informed conclusions about the arguments presented on this site and elsewhere. And grains of salt come in handy."

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Good advice wouldn't you say? At least he's challenging you to refute or support his arguments by additional research. He's not asking that you merely accept his position on authority, but that you evaluate critically his points. I don't see the problem.

Hopefully you realized he was asking you to keep an open mind, even about what he was writing, and read on.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

OK, so once more, anyone know what happened in Ohio a couple years ago?

Mari Aubuchon 9 years, 7 months ago

Those who believe in creationism would be justified in offering a supernatural explanation for life on earth only if they could prove that it is, in principle, impossible to provide a natural explanation of it.

In other words, to undermine the scientific proof for evolution, creationists have to prove an unrestricted negative: that no natural explanation of this phenomenon will ever be found.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 7 months ago

Okay, ultimate175, I'll play your silly game. What happened in Ohio a couple of years ago?

Your question is very general and any number of things could have happened in Ohio "a couple of years ago". Why don't you try narrowing the parameters so people have an idea of what the hell you're talking about.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Excellent point Mari, no one can "prove" that it is "impossible to provide a natural explanation" for some system. Therefore, materialistic evolution is not falsifiable. It is not science.

If science wants to insist on material explanations alone, fine. But that only means that science might not be providing the correct answer in terms of the origin of system X. The history of life is what it is quite independent of the constraints and definitions we put on it's study. We may insist on "material" explanations now, but when life was unfolding on this planet, it certainly was unaware of that insistence, and certainly was not obligated to obey.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Well, the context of this discussion is a big clue. Ohio adopted science standards very much like what is being proposed in the Minority Report - namely that evolutionary theory should be critically analyzed, and data should presented in its teaching whether it supports the theory or challenges it. They had hearings to debate merits. This is exactly what is happening in Kansas now.

Why is this significant? Because no one knows what happened in Ohio. There was no international comedy fest at Ohio's expense. Their sky did not fall. Their economy is no worse.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

ultimate175 - It is good that he is not presenting himself as an authority and I think it is important that he is not presented as an authority to others. Everybody has an opinion and opinions are good provided we do not confuse opinions with facts.

I am not an authority in the biological sciences and I have asked those of my colleagues who are to address your points. I hope they will find the time to do so.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

By the way, I'm not an authority in biological sciences either.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

In a previous post I linked to an article regarding the evolvability of the flagellum. I accidentally posted the link to Part 6 in that series. For those who wish to read from the beginning, start here:

http://www.idthink.net/biot/flag1/index.html

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

Christy_K wrote: Creationists and ID have the right to their beliefs but they do not have the right to force others to believe it and to deny them the right to make up their own mind about science and evolution.

But consider this: Evolutionists and Slurg Beast worshippers have a right to their beliefs, too, but they do not have the right to force others to believe it and to deny them the right to make up their own mind about creationism and ID.

It doesn't matter in the slightest in which class these subjects are taught, because macroevolution is based on the worldview that refuses to consider the possibility that an intelligent creator directed the origin and development of life, the universe, and everything (had to get my Adams quote in here).

Proponents of macroevolution have firmly entrenched themselves in the belief that the universe can be explained in purely naturalistic, material terms. Some may believe in God, but they are fooling themselves when they try to justify their belief in both systems. They want to have it both ways: they don't want to give up their belief in God for some personal reason, but they equally don't want to give up their faith in 'nature' as a creative force of its own. They deny that God is a creator in favor of their own opinions. Those who believe that a biblical worldview and macroevolution are not mutually exclusive do not believe in the fullness of either worldview. They are also fooling themselves, because they want to have it both ways. If you only believe part of the Bible, even the majority of it (everything except Genesis 1-12) you are trying to play God with what you should believe is the word of God. If you don't believe that the Bible is the word of God, why believe any of it? Just cling to macroevolution and see how far that belief will get you after you die.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

jonas wrote: ...there is NO POSITIVE EVIDENCE of an intelligent designer.

...said the pot to the potter...

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

Now for my actual take on the question of the day:

It doesn't matter who makes progress in either direction. As I stated above, macroevolution is just as much of a philosophy as ID, and I don't believe either subject should be taught as science.

As a Christian, the last thing I want in our public schools is for any form of creationism to be taught by those who don't believe it.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

If I attacked someone regarding those articles, I didn't mean to, and I don't recall it. Where was that?

There are many scientists that are skeptical of Darwinian evolution that remain anonymous (at least to the public) because of fear of reprisal. If they are not tenured, it's best to keep quiet (see Dean Kenyon, Roger DeHart, Dr. Sternberg at the Smithsonian, etc. for examples).

Jonathan Wells will have a paper in the next issue of Biologia di Rivista (Biology Forum) entitled "Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?" It is explicitly design oriented. Biologia di Rivista is one of the oldest biology journals in the world.

For more, read The Design Inference, by Dembski. It was published by Cambridge University Press as a monograph. Not a biology journal, but nonetheless a very rigorous review process.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

The_Original_Bob, I understand your (and others) skepticism about articles written under pseudo-names. However, that skepticism is still best displayed by repsonding to the arguments contained in the paper. I'd welcome the thoughts of anyone who disagrees with specific points in Mike's papers, and why.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

To clarify my position, I have no problem with science and the scientific method. It works great for finding some truth, but it cannot and does not apply here, aside from providing both sides with powder for their cannons.

The problem is that science as an industry, as a community, has been coopted by secular humanists and naturalist zealots who intend to disprove the existence of God. I'm not saying that everyone on the side of macroevolution is that way, but it is clear to me that this is how the movement devloped. Many centuries ago, science was coopted by Christians and deists who staunchly tried to maintain their viewpoints' supremacy in society as a whole. The paradigms of Ptolemy and Copernicus were the most advanced scientific theories of their respective eras. The powers that be happened to be men who used fear of God as a means of earthly power, so of course they persecuted such 'unscientific heretics' like Galileo, because his findings threatened the rulers' very livelihood.

Now the paradigm has shifted, and secularists and naturalists have taken the place of the Christian and deist rulers of modern society. Imagine, if macroevolution were disproven as Copernicus' was, how many universities would lose funding for 'scientific' research? How many 'scientific' institutions and major corporations would lose in the process of the new paradigm shift? Wouldn't churches and seminaries be the new centers of 'scientific' thought and research? I'm not saying this is preferable, but simply a corollary to the events of history, which does tend to repeat itself.

I wish science would get back to being scientific and not philosophically or religiously predisposed. Each side can do with the actual data what they want, but funding and personnel should not come from either camp. I don't know where that leads science, except in the direction of pragmatic technological innovation, as only corporations and governments would be interested in funding research. That's a whole different ball-o-wax.

Christy_K 9 years, 7 months ago

One last reply before I must leave.

I will repeat again that to me there is absolutely no contradition between evolution and God. Me personally, I feel that evolution is the method God used to create the world. The laws of nature are the laws God uses to control and guide what happens in the world. This is my philosophical position and I'm sticking to it.

People who believe in evolution are not contradicting their faith, nor do they think macroevolution means no God. There may be individuals, but that belief is more propoganda than reality. If you can't see that I feel for you, but allow you to believe what you may. I am far more comfortable believing in a scientific theory that has been tested and revised and publically discussed than I am of a 2,000 year old books that could be nothing more than the deranged writings of a few religious fanatics. Every religion claims their book is the true divine word, the truth is they all are. The Bible is no more or less important than the Koran, the Talumud or Buddist texts. They all have truth, but they all also bear the faults of mankind (women's voices aren't really heard in those writings). I take the Bible for what it is a guide book, it just doesn't have "Don't Panic" on the cover, though it should.

I do not object to creationism or ID being taught, nor the scientific validity of evolution as long as it is taught in the right perspective. Religion does not belong in a science class room. Science does not disprove religion either. Faith is not something you can prove, that's why its faith.

I don't know it all, which is why I refuse to be rigid like most extreme religious fundamentals I know. They are so convinced they are right, that they refuse to accept any theory that might prove them wrong. My bottom line is evolution should be taught, regardless of whether you believe in it religiously. Religious theories can also be taught, but in an appropriate venue, which is not the science classroom.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh, I forgot to address the Intelligent Design side of things. I didn't mean to leave them out! :)

The majority of ID theories I have heard take the concept of Genesis 1 and try to apply it to the fossil record. It's a nice enough thought, but if they were so keen on the Bible they would a)realize that if God was there, and His word is the Bible, why wouldn't he say 'a long time' or 'millions of years' instead of 'day'?? And b)they would realize that the fossil record does not match up with the creation story of Genesis 1:20-25 says that sea creatures and flying creatures were created a day before land creatures. These are not things that can be explained away or compromised so lightly.

How about the fossilized remains of animals (I wish I could find a link) which start geologically in one era, and lay vertically transverse in the strata, so that the remains could theoretically be dated geologically through several millenia, based on the layers of rock in which they are embedded? Say that you take the lowest or 'earliest' stratum and consider that the dinosaur, for example, died and fell into a mud flat that was an inch deep. Then thousands of years later, the final layer of rock covers the top of the remains, and they end up fossilizing. Why would scavenger animals, or bacteria, or even wind and water not degrade the majority of the remains long before geological processes have fully buried the animal? Say that the opposite: that the dinosaur died and fell into a mudhole deep enough to fully cover it, which then fossilized. Would there be strata in the mud hole that would be able to be preserved until the present time, and to show no signs of disturbance by the animal which fell into it??

Doesn't it make more sense that the layers of earth were deposited rapidly enough to prevent the remains from being disturbed by means of scavenging or erosion--say in a major flood? Do you see where I'm going yet?

Check out www.answersingenesis.org and see if you can argue their points. Happy Friday!

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

donalsbury, you've made some excellent comments, but I must correct your statement regarding the foundations of ID. ID does not derive from a religious text (be it the Bible, Koran, or any others). It does not assume that any particular religious doctrine is true, and begin investigation from that point. It merely starts with three modes of explanation in its pocket (chance, necessity, design), and tries to formulate the best inferences as to the origin of the system in question.

Christy_K, you are certainly entitled to your perception of how God and evolution fit together, but the Darwinian paradigm as a whole is explicitly non-teleogic. It will admit that a god might exist, but not one who cared enough to be involved in the development of life on Earth. Evolution is by definition an unguided process. If the film of life were re-run, it would turn out quite differently. Humans were not a goal. This can perhaps be reconciled with deism, but I don't see how anyone can honestly reconcile it with theism.

And despite your misconceptions about the basis of ID (although not about creationism proper), it may come as a comfort that Kansas is not considering teaching ID or creationism. Indeed, evolution will be still be taught too, and possibly even more of it.

coldsplice 9 years, 7 months ago

all this discussion of species and phylum misses the larger and more important issue; the public has taken their eye off the ball. the religious right has hijacked not only the Republican party (they get what's coming to them in my opinion-they asked these folks to come in the tent) but our society. Jesus wasn't a scientist he was a "philosopher", if we accept W's definition, and so if Jonah is right-the that the ID argument lacks the stuff of science (data, verafiability, repeatability) why are we even talking about it? Because, the left has yet to get up off the mat and make a fight of it. We don't have our acts together enough to call these folks out, challenge them, embarass them, expose them.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Well I disagree with the premise that Jonas is right. Second, whether or not ID is science is not what the state board is hearing about right now, nor does it matter since it is not included in the proposals. And finally, the opposition to the minority report has declined their opportunity to "call these folks out, challenge them, embarrass them, expose them" for three full days next week. They can't say they didn't have a chance.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

Christy_K said this: Religion does not belong in a science class room. Science does not disprove religion either. Faith is not something you can prove, that's why its faith.

I wholeheartedly agree with you.

and she also wrote this: I don't know it all, which is why I refuse to be rigid like most extreme religious fundamentals I know. They are so convinced they are right, that they refuse to accept any theory that might prove them wrong.

Some people are so afraid to be wrong, they embrace everything as 'truth', thereby rendering their own faith worthless. It's easy to pick and choose religious truths cafeteria-style, but much more difficult to go to a single source with an open enough mind to accept one's own failings in understanding everything that source teaches. I don't understand everything in the Bible, but I am open-minded enough to believe that if it IS the word of God, it's not surprising I don't understand it all, nor is it surprising that, since this religion says I am separated from God by sin, I'm not going to like everything He has to say to me.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 2 I'm not saying this argument can't be applied in favor of other religions--there are other arguments that counter such misapplication of this argument. No, I'm really railing against the 'moderate' people who are legitimately sick and tired of polarization and controversy, and wish everyone could just get along and accept the 'moderate' view that you can pick and choose what you want to believe. If I have one wife for weekdays and another for weekends, what does that say about my feelings for either of them? If the two women vehemently disagree with each other about who gets more days with me, how does it help matters for a third woman to try to be a peacemaker and offer to take the odd night out of each week?? I know this is a weird analogy, but it demonstrates how odd I find the argument of accepting parts of multiple religions and philosophies. "I'm Catholic, but I don't like the rules against divorce, birth control, and abortion." Are you really Catholic at that point?? (I personally am not Catholic, it's just an easy example). "I'm Buddhist, but I don't believe in pacifism--in fact, I believe that we need to sacrifice animals to atone for our sins." Are you really a Buddhist at that point?? "I believe the Bible is a good book, but I don't believe God created the earth in 7 days." Do you then really believe the Bible is a good book?? Usually if I start a book and find the first few chapters all myth and fantasy, I don't base my life on the teachings in the rest of the book. Frankly, I'd stop reading when a book tried to switch to teaching principles of how to live my life, because it wouldn't have any credibility for me. I enjoy the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but I'm not going to believe a word of it is anything but fantasy, myth, and entertainment. If Mr. Adams had added another thousand pages onto the end of it, professing his true belief in the Slurg Beast, I wouldn't accept it for a minute, because he was joking about it earlier in the book, or at least incorporating it into fantasy and myth.

So, why would you believe parts of the Bible, but not the rest? It makes more sense to reject it outright than to try to justify this sort of position.

If I have offended anyone, just belittle me with ad hominem attacks...that'll show who's smartest.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

U175: My apologies for misrepresenting ID. If that is the case, it does not bode well. See above cafeteria post.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

It isn't that ID is trying to appease all theists, it is that the data that enables a design inference lends no empirical insight as to who the designer is. That determination is still a matter of faith, and it is to that determination that your cafeteria analogy would apply, not in the inference itself.

GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 7 months ago

Why is this even a debate if neither creationists nor evolutionists can soundly prove their arguments?

Creationism can stay in Sunday School. I think this is another attempt by the Christian right to dispose of any secularism in any part of government and public education. Previous posters were right, Republicans were very smart to invite Christians to the party. And Christians, anxious to impress their convictions upon the rest of the nation, R.S.V.P'd.

We should all be concerned when the government starts enforcing the destruction of literature that they deem as threatening to what is good and holy. It's where we're headed, given time and the apathy of the rest of the nation.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

GreenEyedBlues and everyone else that is freaking out about what the "government" is trying to do regarding ID, creationism, or whatever - PLEASE read the minory report. Most of these worries are needless.

www.kansasscience2005.com

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

GreenEyedBlues, I am more afraid of bibles and Christian books being burned in this country than anything else. Sadly, Christians, nominal or otherwise, have been asking for it by their own fear of ideas. A few people decided to write some books against the Christian society, and Christians (and secular leaders in power t the time) were afraid people would read the books and began to ban them. More people in society at large resented Christians--or were very curious about what was stirring people up--so they went out and read the books, and they became best-sellers only thanks to censorship. Better to remain low-key about these new ideas, refute the false claims, and take the true rebukes to heart.

U175, My apologies again, as I am too focused on keeping my arguments correctly organized than making sure some of the minor points are fallacy-free. I remember now that what you say is true. I therefore revert to my argument against ID as it is roughly equivalent to macroevolution in that it runs rough-shod over obvious examples such as the multi-layered fossils of which I earlier wrote. There are others, but this is one example I have yet to see convincing proof against.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

ultimate175 - I don't know anything about the "minority report" you are speaking about. To what are you referring?

Most of my colleagues in the sciences have decided not to attend the proceedings in an attempt to avoid adding to the circus. It is obvious to the most casual observer that the Kansas School Board has no interest in actually listening to testimony from the scientific community. In fact this whole thing is being played out for the press and the egos of those sponsoring the event. I will use the quote from the "Mike Gene" fellow - "If you are interested in origins, learn as much biology as possible and then attempt to arrive at your own informed conclusions." Please to all - there can be no harm in visiting your local library and carrying out this advice. As ultimate175 has given references supporting ID, you can compare as much as you wish.

In the mean time the Kansas School Board will do as they will. They will have their 15 minutes of fame and hopefully fade into obscurity and the rest of us can get back to our tasks. Tasks made now more difficult by those who let their personal beliefs intrude upon others. But I suppose to be open minded about this - and I should acknowledge that my teachings in the physical sciences has made the tasks of fundamentalist ministers more difficult and this is just karmic payback.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

I posted a link above to the minority report. I'll post it here again for convenience:

www.kansasscience2005.com

That report IS the subject of the hearings, and it contains no "personal beliefs". It was written by 8 members of the science writing committee. Boycotting scientists can say they're not attending because it's a circus, just as I can say that I skipped class in college because I didn't feel well. I think they're being childish. They had equal opportunity to determine the format of the hearings, yet they declined that too. The quote from Mike applies well, because the board is using these hearings to do just that - learn the information.

I'll piggy back on your advice to others (that are interested enough), don't buy anyone's arguments without evaluating all of them, and thinking for yourself.

Liberty 9 years, 7 months ago

Ceallach, sorry I haven't gotten back to you, but to answer your question: I have not read that book. It sounds interesting.

Lulu 9 years, 7 months ago

The Christian Taliban must be stopped in their tracks! These freaks of hatred are wreaking havoc with this state.

If your god is so great then keep your kids at home, and out of my school!

MadMiddle 9 years, 7 months ago

Ultimate175 - You are the typical anti-evolutionist. You try to sound intelligent to trick other lay people. It is obvious that you are not an expert on biological systems. Irreducible Complexity - Its obvious your a reader of Michael J. Behe - has been readilly refuted by evolutionists. Behe chose to look at complex systems and ignore similar systems of less complexity, and systems that can be used for something other than what they origianlly evolved. See the studies of Russell F. Doolittle at UCSD, or Kenneth Miller of Brown U. Behe, like many ID advocates, argues from the mistaken premise that since we haven't identified the source of the complexity of many systems, there must have been some sort of intelligent designer.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

Ultimate175 - point taken and I shall rephrase to "decisions based solely upon personal beliefs". This I believe is the core of the problem in the debates, and it is the core of our current polarization of society. There is no way I will ever convince a Christian, that believes in the bible as the literal word of God, that their beliefs are incorrect. It is impossible unless a miracle occurs during the discussion. Thus, avoiding the debate is not childish but simply making better use of one's time.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

And you are typical of those I mentioned above of thinking that just because a topic has been addressed, it has been refuted.

Russell Doolittle cited a paper in which fibrinogen and plasminogen deficient mice were studied. He used that paper as a rebuttal to the proposition that the blood clotting cascade was irreducibly complex. However he misread that paper, as he now admits. All of the mice still died, either of hemoraging or thrombosis, when the cascade was interrupted.

As for Ken Miller, he advances the co-option argument, and if you want to discuss it, I'd be happy to. Co-opting a simpler system to incorporate into an IC larger system is not only absent any evidence, there are no good explanations of "how" it can happen. What happens to the function the co-opted system was doing before? How did the proteins in the co-opted system change to become the proteins in the new system (because they are homologous, but not the same)? And in the case of the flagellum (Miller has addressed this), the TTSS accounts for homologues of about 10 proteins in the flagellum. This leaves 30 more that are unique, and cannot be "explained" by co-option. What's more, co-option only accounts (if you buy it) for the parts list. I can assure you that precise assembly instructions are as important, if not more so, than the parts list, and co-option lends no help there.

There are conceptual and theoretical reasons for doubting that evolutionary processes can account for IC systems. You implicitly argue that the search for possible material explanations can't be exhausted. And you are right. That is why I think Darwinian evolution is not falsifiable, and questionable as science.

By the way, I'm not anti-evolution, I just think it's explanatory power is more limited than is currently claimed. And you are also right in saying I'm not an expert on biological systems. I've said as much myself above.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

remember_username (good name by the way), if you read the minority report you'll see that this isn't about God. The debate is about proposals that suggest teaching about the nature of DNA, the type of information it contains, the fact that chemical laws don't govern the sequence of its bases. It is about teaching students the difference between the hard sciences and historical sciences. It is about more in depth teaching of the Cambrian explosion. It is about teaching more about the nature of mutations. Etc. You'll also see an explicit statement on page 7 that ID should be EXCLUDED from the curriculum.

The debates are about data (uncontroversial data at that), and how much of it should be taught.

ms_canada 9 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone else feel as if they have dropped into a time warp? Have we not discussed this topic ad nauseum? And no matter how long or how loud we discuss it, we will never come to any semblance of agreement. We will all come away with the same opinion that we had upon entering the discussion. I think a lot of you know my beliefs on the subject. But, on the plus side, some very interesting comments are expressed. Have a nice day all. Lovely here in Montana.

intermission_riff 9 years, 7 months ago

The Minority Report is the work of 8 out of the 23 writing committee members assigned by the BOE to draft updated science standards. They weren't satisfied with the standards drafted by the 23 member committee, so they reissued their own recommendations.

Read it in their words here: http://www.kansasscience2005.com/Cover%20letter%20for%20Proposed%20Rev%20Draft%202.pdf

U175 says not to worry about it. I disagree. When a government agency receives a report from a committee after lengthy due process, a noisy minority should not be granted the power to further direct the process.

Of course it doesn't help that the JW frames today's news as if the 8 members will be teaching my kids about the bible.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

The link appears to be broken. I cannot access the proposals or anything other than the front page.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

Does anybody else have difficulty with the link?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think there was lengthy due process. That minority tried to move for discussion about the recommendations during the intial writing, and they were ruled out of order. No discussion, no votes, nothing. Therefore their only recourse was to draft the minority report to ensure that concerns (legitimate in my mind) were heard.

This is documented somewhere. If you want me to find it, I will.

Ethan 9 years, 7 months ago

Just some bullet points:

  1. Creationism, and its stealthy descendant "Intelligent Design" are NOT theories in the scientific sense of the word. As Stephen Gould noted -- "In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? ...

Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."

Creationists have consistently refused (or been unable) to submit their "theory" to peer review, where all other scentific theories are critiqued and tested, including Evolutionary theory. They claim they wouldn't get a fair look, but it's really because they don't have a theory at all. They're propounding a religious dogma which does not belong in our science classrooms.

The whole myth of "irreducible complexity" is a red herring. Dawkins, Gould, and Kenneth Miller have all taken this empty idea head-on to demonstrate that Michael Behe is missing the larger picture -- what may appear 'irreducible' to us today was fundamentally different in form and function at some point in the past -- ie., what may look 'irreducible' to us today was not always irreducible. It has evolved.

A very good analysis of Behe's idea - long and a bit technical, but this is biology we're talking about here, not Leggos:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/icsic.html

and Ken Miller's example of Vertebrate Blood Clotting:

http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/clot/Clotting.html

Finally, I'll suggest some good reading for those of you who would like to know more about Evolution but don't understand most of the scientific explanations offered -- that would be Dr. Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God". Miller is a devout Christian and he is a scientist, and he offers a compelling argument for why Evolution is GOOD science, why Creationism is not, and why Evolution and Faith should have no conflicts at all. It's well worth the read -- and it's in paperback.

MadMiddle 9 years, 7 months ago

Ultimate175 - So when do you abandon an agument that lacks validity?

It has been shown that the component structures of complex organelles can indeed serve multiple other functions that would have favored their evolution...prior to their being incorporated into the more complex system.

And why does a system that once existed always have to exist? The biological world is full of examples of novel systems that have come and gone as the organism persists.

Irreducible Complexity assumes that a complex system is indeed irreducible. Can you prove that? And it also comes from the assumption that all variation is adaptive. There is a lot of variation present in which we cannot explain its adaptive advantage.

Another problem with those who criticize science and evolution, and it comes from the assumption that science is supposed to work like a religion. But unlike religions, science is an ongoing investigative process that can only have answers to questions where empirical data can be found. Just because we don't yet understand all natural phenomena does not prove that complexity could not have therefore arisen naturally.

kansas 9 years, 7 months ago

Um, with all due respect, ms canada....this happens to be a day where virtually all of the posters here wish to discuss the topic at hand.......is there anything wrong with that?! Many posters here today have been engaging in what I think is a very thoughtful and worthwhile discussion concerning creationism/evolution. I think it's been an interesting day and I hope to read many more posts concerning this topic before this day is over!

I'm sorry if today happens to be a day where many posters on this board aren't too interested in what's going on in your neck of the woods. This is Lawrence, Kansas, after all, and this is a hot topic. So, please, ms canada, respect that fact if you will! Tomorrow we can all go back to discussing whatever it is you want to talk about. Okay?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Here is a statement from Miller's blood clotting paper:

But we already know that evolution doesn't start from scratch, and it doesn't need fully-assembled systems to work. Remember the lobster system as an example. Blood clotting evolved there from two pre-existing proteins, normally found in separate compartments of the body, that had a fortuituous interaction when damage to a blood vessel brought them together. Once that interaction was established, natural selection did the rest.

He's discussion here the evolution of the lobster cascade, which is very different from mammalian. Now his premise is this is where the mammalian cascade starts. "Fortuitous interaction" of two proteins that normally reside in different parts of the body? Is that a heritable "interaction". Is that really an explanation?

More later hopefully...

sunflower_sue 9 years, 7 months ago

Anyone have any ideas on what I should make for dinner? I have a slurgbeast defrosted. Maybe I'll grill it.

MadMiddle 9 years, 7 months ago

Ultimate175 - Isn't variation inherited? If this fortuitous interaction was in ANY WAY the result of biochemical variation, then it is possible that this fortuitous interaction tendency would indeed be passed on to subsequent, more fit generations.

Centrist 9 years, 7 months ago

It's arguments like these that make me want to curl up and re-read Hitch Hiker's Guide .... again and again (forget the TV show or the film, although I haven't seen it yet).

BOTH Evolution (Monkey theory, like how come the monkeys haven't morphed into humans yet! and Creationism (Unintelligent Debate) are only THEORIES!

... HA!

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

I'd rather wished I didn't read that "minority report" this late on a beautiful Friday. All together it is pretty clear what the conservatives on the Board of Ed want to do and I will reconsider my previous posts on home schooling.

The only benefit I can find in these new standards is that I can now taunt my geological, anthropological, and biological colleagues with the statement that in Kansas they are not real scientists but "historical scientists".

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

From Miller:

Well, protein-rich plasma flows into an unfamiliar environment, and sticky white cells quickly "glom" up against the fibers of the extracellular matrix. Tissue proteases, quite accidentally, are now exposed to a new range of proteins, and they cut many of them to pieces.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but generally speaking, protein-enzyme interactions are dependent on highly specific and tight "fits" between the molecules. This seems a bit wishful.

In the next paragraph he discusses that the organism duplicates a gene for a protein that is normally only active in the pancreas, but during this duplication, a "fortuitous" mutation occured in its control instructions, and it is now turned on in the liver.

That plasma protease is then released into the blood stream (how?), where it assists in clotting and natural selection keeps it. But then in the following paragraph he says that it's gene would have undergone numerous mutations so that eventually it could accept the splice of the EGF domain into one end of it's sequence. He says that these mutations wouldn't have been detrimental, because the protease's selective value wasn't that high anyway. But didn't he just say that it helped a lot, and was selected?

"Fortuitous" is a word commonly used in this paper, and I know enough to know that these fortuitous interactions are much more complex and improbable than he let's on. Miller is telling a story here, and I'm not compelled to elevate it to the level of explanation.

I'll try to read more of it later...

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Variation is (can be) inherited if the protein interaction was the result of genetic change, but if it was just two proteins wandering around in extra-cellular fluid willy nilly, and ran into each other, then no.

MadMiddle 9 years, 7 months ago

Centrist - You don't even know what a THEORY in scince is. It's not the same as a theory in lay terms.

I'm not even sure that your monkey comment is even worth addressing, since it shows your utter lack of understanding of evolution and our relationship to other primates. Unfortunately, if the Kansas State Board of Education has its way, all students in Kansas will be as clueless as you.

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

remember_username, now that you've trashed the proposals generally, care to offer specific objections?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

MadMiddle, no matter what happens in these hearings, students in Kansas are going to learn everything they currently learn about evolution. Quit fabricating issues.

MadMiddle 9 years, 7 months ago

Ultimate175 - But proteins are the STUFF of inheritence. DNA is nothing more than a recipe for proteins, so it is perfectly plausible that this kind of variation could be inherited. We can IF ourselves into a million scenarios if we like.

remember_username 9 years, 7 months ago

I'll have to later, I've plans for tonight and you can be sure this topic isn't over yet. Historical Scientists? come on! that's going to anger a lot of geologist's and those guys' have rocks!

MadMiddle 9 years, 7 months ago

ultimate175 - Oh really? Are students currently told that evolutiuon is only theory (as understood by lay poeple), and thus does not have to be taken as a set of thouroughly investigated facts?

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

The process of evolution (random genetic variation sifted by natural selection), is a fact. The Darwinian claim that those processes accounted for the entire history of life is not a fact, and can never attain that level of certainty.

And two proteins running into each other accidentally within a body is not a heritable "interaction".

Brian Sandefur 9 years, 7 months ago

Earnst Mayer, evolutionary biologist who just passed away this year (I think, he was 100 years old), wrote a good article on the nature of historical sciences. I'll try to dig it up.

enochville 9 years, 7 months ago

Don - I understand your frustration with those who pick and choose what they will believe from the Bible. If it were simply a book of fables, people could legitimately pick what they liked and disregard the rest. But, it is the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, and so you are right in saying that if we believe that we must accept it all.

Where we disagree is that I don't believe we all truly understand the words we read. We have tons of different religions all professing to believe God's word, but all interpreting scripture differently. Since they disagree, they can't all be right. So, how can we tell which interpretation is right. Paul taught that we need the Spirit to understand the scriptures since they were written under the inspiration of the Spirit. Yet, people claiming to have the Spirit come up with incompatable interpretations. We need to identify who truly has the Spirit. God is not the author of confusion.

You cannot say that the proper interpretation is the most literal one, because the writers of the Bible used metaphors all the time. Jesus is not literally a sheep, even though we read He was the Lamb of God. Therefore, we have to accomodate some diviations from a strictly literal interpretation.

One thing we have to remember is that they wrote out of the context of their experience and culture and we here out of the context of ours. Words get their meaning from our experience with them. Even words as concrete as "green" meant something totally different to my friend who only saw in black and white.

The word "day" in the creation story most likely did not mean 24 earth hours, because the earth and sun were being created during the first day. Perhaps the purpose of God giving us the creation story was to show us that he did it and that he has power to take things from a chaotic state and organize it, and that this world was created for us. If that is what he was trying to teach us, and not the actual chronology of creation, then believers can fit their understanding of evolution within that context.

I know that you'll think I have strayed too far from the text, but what I am saying is don't be so sure your literal reading is the correct one. I know that once God reveals all things, it will all make since and come together beautifully. We only have two puzzle pieces, yet we claim that they can't be part of the same picture. We just don't know enough to claim that evolution and creationism are not compatable.

simple_simon 9 years, 7 months ago

Sunflower Sue, you're not planning on serving "yogurt" with that slurgbeast, are you??

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

enochville, You are astute in noticing that we don't understand everything we read. I believe I stated as much further up the thread: "I don't understand everything in the Bible, but I am open-minded enough to believe that if it IS the word of God, it's not surprising I don't understand it all, nor is it surprising that, since this religion says I am separated from God by sin, I'm not going to like everything He has to say to me."

Just because different denominations and variations of Christian believers understand and interpret the Bible differently does not make the Bible untrue. But I don't think that's what you're saying. I think you're saying that if there are so many different methods of interpretation, what is God's way of interpreting the Bible? You are correct that the Holy Spirit gives us understanding. That is God's way of interpreting the Bible. The way I interpret the Bible, of course it's not 100% correct, because I don't fully understand it all. But there are enough core points that I do understand and rightly interpret that the rest of the Bible makes sense to me. The passages I don't understand are not gaps in my interpretation...they are gaps in my understanding. I can laugh at a joke without fully understanding it all. I may be laughing at the comedian's face, or body language, or at the way he pronounced a particular word. I still know it was a funny joke, and the comedian's intent was for me to laugh.

donsalsbury 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 2 Now all analogies break down somewhere, but this one breaks down the correct direction: the comedian doesn't know exactly how I reacted to his joke, but God has full knowledge of my reaction/interpretation of His word. A person with mild mental retardation will not be able to grasp the majority of the content of the Bible, but God knows whether that person has a correct reaction to what he or she does understand.

In academic issues such as macroevolution vs. 6-day creation, the point is that God made the universe; He made it from nothing, and He wasn't kidding when He inspired the creation account, nor the account of Noah's flood. There's no room in there for long periods of time, and as someone mentioned earlier today, if you have millions of years worth of life decaying and dying and being preserved in the fossil record, then the story of Adam bringing death into the world is false, and the rest of the Bible falls apart from there. I am happy to read the book of Revelation in the figurative, apocalyptic context in which it was written, but the creation account is not a 'Just-So Story'. If it is, then please tell me when it stops being written figuratively and starts being factually historical. I know of no book of the Bible that changes its voice from figurative to historical within the very book itself, without contextual cues like the books of the prophets have.

And finally, as far as Mr. Miller's 'Finding Darwin's God' is concerned, here's a review of it: http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i3/miller.asp

I'm afraid this is for the sake of everyone else; I haven't read the book or much of the review, but I thought it might liven up the discussion a bit, since no one wants to voice their opinion on this topic today ;)

sunflower_sue 9 years, 7 months ago

I eat yogurt twice everyday if I can. It has many health benefits. And yes, mine is homemade! I think it will go nicely with the grilled slurgbeast. Gotta stay away from the fried foods, though. I have inherited "clog those veins" DNA.

MyName 9 years, 7 months ago

Intelligent Design has no place in a K-12 science classroom

It doesn't make any claims that would further a student's understanding of science. The theory only says that because evolution hasn't addressed all of the criticisms put before it, than life on Earth must have a supernatural origin. Setting aside the numerous flaws in this logic, our students would still be far better off studying evolution and some biochemistry than wasting a minute of class time on this idea.

I love how proponents of this idea have got us arguing the merits of irreducible complexity while glossing over the fact that ID is not a framework of ideas, but rather a response to evolution. The only scientific credibility it can claim are based on ideas it stole from Evolution. ID is a midget standing on the shoulders of a giant and claiming that because it sees eye to eye with the giant, it should be considered equal to it.

Even if ID is superior to Evolution (which it is not) that still has no bearing on whether it should be taught in the classroom. Einstein's theory of Relativity is superior to Newton's theory of Gravity, but we don't teach Einstein in school, we teach Newton. Why? Because teaching Newton will improve a student's understanding of Science, while teaching Einstein (at least in 1st year physics) will only confuse the students more. Teaching Intelligent Design would not only confuse the students, it doesn't even have the advantage that Relativity has of being proven correct.

Not only does Intelligent Design offer nothing to further a student's understanding of Science. It also doesn't do anything to further a student's understanding of philosophy as it makes no claims about morality. Nor does it do anything to further an understanding of religion as it makes no claims about the nature of this "higher power" that must exist. It is good for nothing, and should stay out of our classrooms.

jonas 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow, Lulu got involved again! Eeeoowww.

donalsbury: I'm not sure how much I should be offended or not in your assertion that it's the easy way out to like a couple things out of a religious text but not to follow it wholeheartedly. I would say it takes much more work and courage to think about all of it with an open mind, keep the parts that seem valid to you as good ideas, and discard the rest that seem to miss the point. I do that, however, because of my deep, abiding faith that the bible is NOT the word of god, just the word of man. Perhaps you're simply referring to the people who think of themselves as belonging to one sect or another, but only following parts of the precepts, and if that's the case I will say that I agree with you.

You'll notice though, that I freely admit that macroE is a theory lacking supporting evidence (I'll leave scientist type people to debate that or debunk it if it's not true) the only difference is that there is evidence of micro, which does not have it's counterpart in the ID theory.

Also, please don't give credit to the Slurg beast to Douglas Adams, though I admit to loving his work. His theory, or rather that of the Jatravartid people, concerned the Great Green Arkleseizure.

For that matter, I'd like to thank those of you for showing some interest in the church of the Great Slurg Beast of Hyperandromache VII, and I assure you that once we get a standardized process of ordination I'll let you all know. I'd advise you not to eat the ribs, as they exist only partially in this dimension and mostly in vector Q alpha prime, which is, unfortunately, a known carcinogen (known in the right circles, at least).

The initial sutra, however, is as follows.

'We are bacteria on a spinning ball of tightly compact waste.

Enzymes! Enzymes! Enzymes of the Masses!

Embrace the purpose! Slow consumption. Willful breakage. Break it up, break it down, and devour.

Shuffle your feet. Amentravi!'

Take some time for personal reflection.

And yogurt!

MyName 9 years, 7 months ago

Death to the Enzyme heretics! All true believers must follow the Great Green Arkeseizure. May the great white hankerchef clense us all!

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