Comment history

Intelligent design advocates vow not to give up

"The heart of science should be looking at the gaps in theory and trying to figure out what that's about," said Steve Abrams, chairman of the Kansas school board. "This decision will perhaps have an effect on other states, but we don't talk about intelligent design."

That's an incredibly haughty accusation against scientists around the world from a know-nothing politician. Mr. Abrams doesn't talk about intelligent design because the ID propagandists in Seattle told him not to. But the intent of KS BoE mangling of the science standards is to help push the IDist's agenda. That's abundantly clear in what the blubbering twits, Abrams, Morris and Martin, have already said, and written, in abundance regarding their creationist-inspired attempt to obstruct science education.

December 22, 2005 at 11:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

Anyone interested should read the whole article to understand how abiogenesis is distinct from both creationism and evolution, but is entirely consonant with the scientific search for natural explanations for our "origins." It's not a rebuttal to supernatural origins, as that would be trampling on religious turf. Of necessity, science wants to exhaust naturalistic explanations first and they're not "exhausted" yet, not by a long shot.

Sorry, but if you make the and unnecessary and impossible demand for peer-reviewed articles only and no other references are allowed, then links on the internet generally will be disappointing to you. The link is for information purposes, not "authoritative proof."

December 22, 2005 at 11:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

For Wendt (Part Two):

wendt: "In short, I've heard the argument before. It has been rejected before."

Which argument? There are a few models for abiogenesis. Rejected by who? Do you never cite anything in your attempts to redefine science, or only make grand proclamations?

wendt: "Why, you ask? For the same reason, the exact same reason, that Intelligent Design / Creationism was rejected. It's not science."

So why is it not science? Because it's not directly observed? Or because you think there's some supernatural aspect in there somewhere? ID was rejected by the court in Dover because it's religious and therefore a breach of CSS. It's rejected by scientists because it involves supernatural assumptions that cannot be observed or modeled, or tested with predictions.

wendt: "Hence my submisssion that you are actually a creationist attempting to rename a subject that has gone through several name changes. Creationism --> Intelligent Design --> abiogenesis"

Maybe it's the new phrase "sudden appearance" that some IDer's are now using that has confused you. You apparently cannot separate the theory of spontaneous generation from the biochemical question about how life first arose on earth. Creationists likewise cannot separate origins from God and posit a miraculous spontaneous generation.

wendt: "As a published biologist, I submit that your charge of ignorance on my part has no basis in fact. I submit the reverse is true."

Even when it's explained to you, you look at sources on the Net only to find a ridiculous strawman caricature of my argument, and fail to look any further to inform yourself better. And you're not a biologist, you're a nurse as you've already said in your exchange with bigjim. So, you're not just ignorant, you're a lying poser.

December 22, 2005 at 1:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

For Wendt (Part One):

"Today the term is primarily used to refer to theories about the chemical origin of life, such as from a primordial soup" is the only relevant portion of the wikipedia article you quoted.

wendt says: "Looks like I had the etymology of the word correct as well as it's history : I knew all that off of the top of my head. It's all that biology training I have. They cover stuff like that in school."

Yes, it's in books too. I'm not even a nurse and knew that, as well as the fact that there's a current and validly scientific research into a topic using the same name, which you seem extremely confused about.

wendt says: "Scientists do not work in areas "long been known to be incorrect". Neither do they work in areas where data can not be collected."

Correct. And irrelevant. There is data about abiogenesis: complex organic molecules throughout nature, even outside earth's orbit. Seeking a natural explanation for the obvious fact of life falls under science's range. We can work on models simulating conditions of early earth and work with probabilities. Science is not strictly limited to "pure" empiricism. You don't have to directly see it, and only then, afterwards, collect data on what you're perceiving, which has been your definition of science in this thread. This is the same kind of either/or thinking creationists engage in.

wendt: "The reductionism of your abiogenesis proposal are indistinguishable from the "irreducible complexity" oxymoron of the Intelligent Design crowd."

My abiogenesis proposal? It's not mine! Science seeks the mechanisms by which nature operates, and that's largely "reductionist" of necessity. There'd be an analogy with IR if I said cells are too complex and that science cannot now and never will be able to explain their origin. My stance is instead that there's no alternative for science but to look for a naturalistic, and reductionist, understanding of the biochemical events that led to life on earth.

December 22, 2005 at 1:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

hobb2264: "Your retort to gr never dealt with his/her main question....that is how is abiogenesis observable and how can repeatable experiments be performed. Whether abiogenesis is a natural process or not is irrelevant."

Abiogenesis itself is not directly observable, nor need it be directly observed to be a subject for science.

Try to understand: None of this is relevant to my point, which all along has been this one thing: I said creationists point at the paucity of evidence for abiogenesis and say "See, evolution is a weak theory." But abiogenesis is not part of evolutionary theory. It's a question of biochemistry, not of speciation. It's weakness is PRECISELY THE POINT. Do not confuse the "primordial soup" with how species have adapted to their environments through the generations over time. They're different topics. We may never know how the first life forms started, but we DO know what they did once they started reproducing. Evolution stands strong even if there is no substantial theory of abiogenesis yet.

December 22, 2005 at 1:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

Oops, the link to reference is:

And that post, and this, are addressed to hobb2264's question about "What is Science?" I'll get to abiogenesis here in a minute, now that I see wendt has chimed in with another rhetorical game, bizarre logic, and a lie.

December 22, 2005 at 12:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

Here's a site that will be interesting regarding the debate about what teachers should or shouldn't teach in science classes:

Skip partway down the page, under "The Nature of Science and Scientific Theories" for a brief and simply explained definition of science.

December 22, 2005 at 12:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

The exchange with bigjim is ... really dumb.

But, wendt, you can redeem yourself in my eyes if you will acknowledge the mistake you made. I said creationists can't tell the difference between the biochemical events that led to the first life forms (the talk about slime in a mud puddle) and the mechanisms of evolution (natural selection, genetic drift, etc.). They bash evolution by pointing at the paucity of evidence for the first life form, which is a flawed argument.

You saw a word, used by scientists, but didn't understand its current scientific uses: abiogenesis. And you thought I was talking about the discredited theory of spontaneous generation (as in flies from meat) and thought I must be some kind of creationist. You then made a creationist argument: that abiogenesis is not science.

Just say, Yes, I think I must have misunderstood your point. You had a chance to learn something new about biology and rejected the chance. Show that you're open to learning and I'll go back to ignoring you.

December 21, 2005 at 11:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design


I want to argue with people who are mistaken. And yes, I debate ideas a lot.

Criticism from someone who knows so little about both science and its opponent, ID, (and the most important resources on the Net regarding the evo/creo debate), I think your assessment of anything/anyone is worthless. Published from KU in science, eh? Does that mean you've published a peer-reviewed science article or book? You've displayed much ignorance and a refusal to support your statements with anything more than short, vacuous quips.

So I don't believe you; you're a moron, a liar and a rhetorician. In other words, a politician :)

December 21, 2005 at 9:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge strikes down intelligent design

Biodude asked: "Lucid, what is IIDB?"

It's a collection of several moderated forums for science, religion and political discussions. Its primary focus is "a naturalistic worldview" so many members are philosophical naturalists (and most of those are atheists), though we do have many theists of various stripes. The evolution/debate forum is here: Many scientifically informed laypersons, but also several biologists, some chemists and physicists frequent it. Even a few engineers, though they're generally more knowledgeable about science than the ones creeping about in here. As it is an actual message board for informal debates (one is set aside for formal debates) the threads will last for days rather than only the short-lived thing you'll find in the comments section of a news journal, so informative posts are more frequent, more detailed, and responded to with intelligence rather than sniping. Unlike most Christian forums, you're never censored or banned for holding opinion that vary form the moderators' viewpoints. If you like the sort of discussion here, but would like something more informative and intelligent, you're very welcome to visit and post questions or comments.


hobb2264, if you're interested in pursuing your point about philosophical naturalism and the hidden atheistic agenda of science, you'll get VERY detailed responses at the website I'm discussing if you will post your question there. This thread is dying. And this format is too disorganized for a more indepth dialogue on philosophy and science.

December 21, 2005 at 8:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )