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10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design (Part I)
Evangelical Outpost ^ | 08/03/2006 | Joe Carter

Posted on 08/03/2006 12:22:06 PM PDT by SirLinksalot

10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design (Part I)

----------------------------------------------

Eighty years after the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, the public still refuses to accept the idea that Darwin’s theory of natural selection is a sufficient explanation for complex biological phenomena. In fact, opinion polls show that fewer people are willing to accept the idea that human beings developed from earlier species than they were just ten years ago.

In Britain—a country that is not exactly known for fundamentalist Christianity—fewer than half accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life. (And more than 40% of those polled believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.) Even doctors, who are more informed about biology than the general public, overwhelmingly (60%) reject the claim that humans evolved through natural processes alone.

Why do so many people have such difficulty accepting the theory? Is it due to a resurgence of religious-based creationism? Or is it that the Discovery Institute and other advocates of Intelligent Design are more persuasive? I believe the credit belongs not to the advocates of ID but to the theory’s critics.

Had the critics remained silent, ID might possibly have moldered in obscurity. But instead they launched a counter-offensive, forcing people into choosing sides. The problem is that the more the public learns about modern evolutionary theory, the more skeptical they become.

I won’t argue that critics of ID are always wrong or that ID is always—or even mostly—right in its claims. But I do think a compelling case can be made that the anti-IDers are losing the rhetorical battle. Here is the first five in a list of ten reasons ways in which they are helping to promote the theory of intelligent design:

#1 By remaining completely ignorant about ID while knocking down strawman versions of the theory. – Whether due to intellectual snobbery or intellectual laziness, too many critics of ID never bother to understand what the term means, much less learn the general tenets of the theory. Instead, they knock down a strawman version of ID that they have gleaned from other, equally ill-informed, critics. The belligerent or paranoid advocates of ID will assume that the misrepresentation is due to dishonesty or a conspiracy by “Darwinists.” But even those who are more charitable will agree that when a critic misrepresents the theory, it undermines their own credibility.

#2 By claiming that ID is stealth creationism. -- Resorting to this red herring is one of the most common arguments made against ID. While it’s true that ID could be used to promote a particular religious agenda, this is not a sufficient argument against it being a legitimate scientific research program. There is no a priori reason why a research program could not be completely in adherence to accepted scientific methods and yet be completely compatible with a particular religious viewpoint.

But it also refuses to acknowledge the vast majority of people throughout history have believed in at least a basic form of creationism. Most people believe that some form of intelligent being (i.e., God) created the universe and everything in it. For most of these people, “creationism” is not a derogatory term. The phrase “stealth creationism” might appeal to the pseudo-intellectuals (those who know almost nothing about science but do know that they despise “fundamentalist Christians”) yet for most ordinary people it sounds like bigoted nonsense.

#3 By resorting to “science of the gaps” arguments. – Critics of ID often claim that the theory relies on a “God of the Gaps” “argument. (Don’t understand how something occurred? Well…God did it. Case closed.) As scientific reasoning, this method is obviously flawed. Yet the critics of ID often resort to the same tactic, only instead of saying “God did it” they claim “Science will find it.”

The problem is that this almost never happens. Closing a "science gap" almost always leads to the discovery of other, even more difficult to explain gaps in knowledge. For example, when evolution was first proposed by Darwin, there was no explanation for the mechanism of transmission of traits from one generation to the next. With the discovery of DNA, Watson and Crick closed that particular “gap.”

But as physicist David Snoke notes, no one today has an adequate explanation for how this highly complicated molecule arose out of nowhere. Also, we do not have an adequate explanation within chemical evolutionary theory for the appearance of the mechanism that gives us a readout of the information, or for the appearance of methods that replicate information with out error, or for the appearance of the delicate balance of repair and maintenance of the molecular systems that use the information stored in DNA.

Scientific discoveries tend to find that nature is even more complex than we imagined which makes it even more unlikely that a process like natural selection is a sufficient explanation.

#4 By claiming that ID isn’t science since it's not published peer-reviewed literature...and then refusing to allow publications of ID papers in peer-reviewed journals. – The hypocrisy of snubbing ID because it lacks peer-review was exposed by the treatment of Richard Sternberg, a journal editor who made the career-killing mistake of actually publishing an article that was sympathetic to ID.

The resulting controversy exposed just how close-minded some scientists were to criticisms of neo-Darwinism. As Sternberg—who is not an advocate of ID--said after the incident, “It's fascinating how the 'creationist' label is falsely applied to anyone who raises any questions about neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. The reaction to the paper by some [anti-creationist] extremists suggests that the thought police are alive and well in the scientific community."

#5 By making claims that natural selection is responsible for all behaviors and biological features. -- Instead of saying that “God created X”, Darwinists tend to claim that “Sex selection created X.” Take, for instance, this statement made by zoologist Richard Dawkins:

"Why did humans lose their body hair? Why did they start walking on their hind legs? Why did they develop big brains? I think that the answer to all three questions is sexual selection," Dawkins said. Hairlessness advertises your health to potential mates, he explained. The less hair you have on your body, the less real estate you make available to lice and other ectoparasites. Of course, it was worth keeping the hair on our heads to protect against sunstroke, which can be very dangerous in Africa, where we evolved. As for the hair in our armpits and pubic regions, that was probably retained because it helps disseminate "pheromones," airborne scent signals that still play a bigger role in our sex lives than most of us realize.

Why did we lose our body hair? Sex selection. Why do we retain some body hair? Yep, sex selection. Why do humans walk on two legs? Again, the same answer, sex selection. Why do dogs walk on all four? You guessed it, sex selection.

The same goes for human behavior. Hardly a week goes by that some newspaper or magazine article does not include a story claiming how “evolution” is the reason humans do X, avoid Y, or prefer Z.

Even scientists grow weary of hearing such faith claims presented as if was “science.” As Philip S. Skell, emeritus professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, notes in a recent edition of The Scientist:

…Darwinian explanations for [human behavior] are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self- centered and aggressive - except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed - except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.

Even those who flunked high school biology can see that when a theory can be used to prove any behavior that it ceases to be science and enters the realm of faith. Yet when evolutionists make such claims they are often flummoxed by the public’s skeptical reaction. They can’t understand how we could be so stupid as to not accept their claims. And we wonder how they could be so stupid as to think we are really that gullible.

To be continued in Part II


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: 10ways; anothercrevothread; creatards; crevolist; darwinists; enoughalready; id; idiocy; idiots; intelligentdesign; newsactivism; pavlovian
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To: ArGee

"I think the sticking point is when a virus becomes something that is not a virus."

Oh, actually, that has probably happened many times. We carry what are probably ancient viruses in every one of our cells. It's amazing.


101 posted on 08/03/2006 1:45:08 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: ArGee
Hi,


Well I just want you to explain one thing ok? How do SNAKES have legs??

peace!
102 posted on 08/03/2006 1:46:12 PM PDT by purpleporter
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To: MineralMan
Others use other sources. For some, a book written around 3-4000 years ago to explain things to nomadic shepherds will suffice to explain things. I guess I'm after more up-to-date information.

You know, it's precisely because the book was written so long ago--and stands the test of time and very closely parallels the scientific account of Earth's creation and evolution (yes, I used the "E" word!)--that I believe in it.

The Bible does not exclude evolution. It does not exclude even abiogenesis (life creating itself spontaneously). Cf. Genesis 1:11-12, which says outright that the EARTH brought forth life (in response to a Divine command to do so).

Remember, Genesis ain't a science text. It was never written to be one--merely a (greatly) condensed, easy-to-understand version answering how the world came to be, written for nomadic shepherds.

How does the Judeo-Christian creation account fare vs. other creation accounts?

It fare far better than other creation myths where the world springs, fully formed, from an egg.

Better than Atlas holding the world on his shoulders.

Better than a great celestial snake barfed up the world, then the stars, etc.

Better than any other creation account, Genesis basically gets things in close to the right order.

Not bad for a buncha dumb shepherds, huh? ;)

Sauron (But then, some think it was an inspired writing. Of course, you know they're wrong, dontcha?)

103 posted on 08/03/2006 1:46:39 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: MineralMan

It is turtles all the way down only so long as the last turtle, the one on the bottom, is metaphysical.


104 posted on 08/03/2006 1:51:23 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: ArGee

"I hate to tell you this but people have known how for millennia. Men seem to enjoy it more than women, and both seem to enjoy it more than animals, but we have all understood the process pretty well.

"

An excellent point. Sexual reproduction is a good teacher regarding evolutionary changes. We see it in small ways every time we reproduce. The new human being created by two people is never identical to its parents. That's the amazing thing about sexual reproduction. It enables changes in each new organism.

Sometimes those changes are benificial to the survival of the new organism. Such changes are passed along, genetically, to its offspring. These changes are cumulative.

Go in a time machine to the land of your ancestors, about 1000 years ago. Stand in a crowd there. You will find, if you are typical, that you are head and shoulders above that crowd. Height is a positive attribute. It is selected for by the environment. In just 1000 years, the average human being is considerably taller than its ancestors. Remarkable.

And that's just 1000 years. Imagine what can happen in millions of years.

Yes, sexual reproduction is very important in evolutionary theory. Things moved much more slowly before sexual reproduction evolved. Sharing of the genetic code of two different individuals was a great accelerant for the process.


105 posted on 08/03/2006 1:51:58 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: MHGinTN

"It is turtles all the way down only so long as the last turtle, the one on the bottom, is metaphysical."

There is no last turtle. Even metaphysical turtles need a place to stand. Once you move into the metaphysical realm, it's just one metaphysical turtle standing on the back of the one below. There is no bottom turtle. It is turtles all the way down.


106 posted on 08/03/2006 1:53:36 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: RobRoy
You quoted me: "The problem is that there are only two possible competing theories."

You then responded: Only two that you can think of. To close the door on there being a third is unscientific, even if nobody can think of another at the moment. At one time, people only saw one possible theory: that some supernatural force created life.

The problem is, you read something between the lines that is not there when you suggest that I am closing the door. I used present, not future, tense. My statement is correct. It may not be correct at some future date, but it is correct NOW and stands on it’s own.. Your follow up comment implying that since we used to have only one theory, but since we now have two, we may someday have three is one I strongly agree with, although I doubt it so far. But it is, as yet, speculation about an as yet unknown future..

Also, to say that any ID is by definition a supernatural force and then throw out as “unscientific” any theory that involves a supernatural force is not only disingenuous, but unscientific itself. After all, scientists have discussed the concept of actually creating a “parallel” universe. Anything the scientist then did within that contained “natural” universe would be, by definition, supernatural. Yet the man who created that universe is deity only to those who live in the universe he created. That fact does not instantly cause him to “disappear in a puff of logic” (1)

And heaven help the men who live in such a universe that I, a seriously flawed man, created and controlled. I would have a hard time being as free with "grace" as our Father is.

FWIW, I firmly believe that if the Lord waits long enough, we will actually achieve that ability, or one like it.

(1): “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” – Douglas Adams

107 posted on 08/03/2006 1:56:37 PM PDT by RobRoy (Islam is more dangerous to the world now that Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: ArGee
What are some of the things that used to be viruses?

BINGO!

(I'll bet you'll get no answer to this one. They'll ignore it. Call it an inconvenient truth.)

Which reminds me: We see no evidence of abiogenesis in action on this very richly warm, wet world. WHY IS THAT?

Shouldn't life still be--always be--forever be!!!--in the process of creating itself? And if not, why not?

Sauron

108 posted on 08/03/2006 1:57:41 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: sauron

I agree that there's no particular bar to evolution in the Genesis account. An awful lot of Jewish and Christian scholars believe as you do, and with good reason. They understand the primitive nature of the Genesis account and accept that human beings are capable of figuring out the details.

That said, the same can be said about some of the other creation myths. It's just a matter of explaining their allegories in a way that works.

The general order of things is:

1. There was nothing. (a blank slate on which to write)
2. The deity (of whatever nature) appears or already exists
3. The deity speaks or waves or whatever, and things appear, although the order is sometimes different. Earth, Sun, Moon, Water, etc.
4. Somewhere in the process, human beings appear, generally after the animals, because there has to be something for the humans to eat.

That pretty much covers most creation stories. And that's natural. Humans had logical powers quite early, or they wouldn't have been human.

The order above is logical, with each thing appearing before the thing that requires it appears. Not too complex, really.

If you look at the various creation stories in their basic foundations, they are all pretty much the same. Some are animistic, with players like the Crow and the Coyote. Others are more oriented toward invisible beings. But the order is essentially the same.


109 posted on 08/03/2006 2:00:46 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: MineralMan
I rarely say anything negative about religion. I believe that each person comes to whatever religious faith they can accept...hence the many religions and sects of religions on this planet. I never say, for example, that a religion is false. I will say that I do not believe in any religion, which is not the same thing at all.

Yes, I've noticed that, and to your credit.

But I don't agree with how there came to be so many religions on the planet. I believe that it is possible to lay them out, side-by-side in a chart, and discard some in favor of others, using a logical process to arrive at the truth.

Sauron

110 posted on 08/03/2006 2:01:11 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: MineralMan

Because the laws of our universe are founded in space time (the physical universe), prior to space and time is a metaphysical reality, thus the whole thing depends upon a metaphysical basis ... your stack of physical turtles will have a metaphysical turtle on the bottom, or, your stack of metaphysical turtles supports we physical turtles, if you prefer.


111 posted on 08/03/2006 2:03:06 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: MineralMan
Oh, actually, that has probably happened many times. We carry what are probably ancient viruses in every one of our cells. It's amazing.

It's that probably that you stuck in there that trashes everything else you said.

From a scientific viewpoint, that is.

From a philosophical point of view I'd be very interested in discussing the suggestion.

Shalom.

112 posted on 08/03/2006 2:04:33 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
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bump


113 posted on 08/03/2006 2:08:34 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: MineralMan
Somegoddidit. Prove 'em wrong. Pretty funny, huh? I'm not really sure what experiment you'd use to test that, given the supernatural nature of deities.

First off God would not be "supernatural" in that by definition, would be the same as a physical laws, a non created non destroyable, omnipresent & unchanging constant in all time and place...

It is a true to say that sum total of logic interaction physical laws is ultimately responsible for all (Creation as is a physic question staring with what physical laws created the Universe)

The other question is what is self aware intelligence... it seem man is intelligently self aware so being self aware intelligence does exist (I think therefor I am?)... but what is it...logic interaction? (is the mind a giant logic processor that at some point hit critical mass and be comes "self aware" like some sic fi computer?)

So do the total logic interaction physical laws act self aware & intelligence? (the Great I Am)...we can't even define how self aware intelligence exited in finite man

114 posted on 08/03/2006 2:09:06 PM PDT by tophat9000 (If it was illegal French Canadians would La Raza back them? Racist back their race over country)
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To: purpleporter
How do SNAKES have legs??

Their mommy and daddy SNAKES gave them to them?

How does a duckbill platypus have a bill and lay eggs. It seems reasonable to decide that a duckbill platypus is a transitional form between a bird and a mammal.

Except I have been assured from my high-school biology on to the present day that no biologist considers it so. It's just a mammal that has a duck's bill and lays eggs.

I believe the problem that keeps these threads alive is how the duck-billed platypus came to be a duck-billed platypus.

And the same would be true of snakes with legs.

Shalom.

115 posted on 08/03/2006 2:09:49 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
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To: MineralMan
There is no last turtle. Even metaphysical turtles need a place to stand. Once you move into the metaphysical realm, it's just one metaphysical turtle standing on the back of the one below. There is no bottom turtle. It is turtles all the way down.

But you are applying physical laws to metaphysical turtles. Metaphysical turtles don't need a place to stand.

They are, by definition, metaphysical.
116 posted on 08/03/2006 2:10:37 PM PDT by Thrusher ("...there is no peace without victory.")
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To: sauron

"But I don't agree with how there came to be so many religions on the planet. I believe that it is possible to lay them out, side-by-side in a chart, and discard some in favor of others, using a logical process to arrive at the truth. "

I wonder. You might logically discard a different set of religions than might the follower of a religion different from yours.

Logic is a funny thing when it comes to religion. Since the existence of supernatural entities is, essentially, illogical, the religion in which you believe sort of dictates the logic of that religion.

I expect the Hindus would discard Christianity as a religion of shortcuts, since Christianity believes that a single action of a man can guarantee him salvation. For a Hindu, that is silliness. Logically (to a Hindu), a man can only improve his lot through his actions, being reincarnated at various levels depending on the karma of each incarnation.

Religion, in the final analysis is based not on logic, but on something else. Call it faith. Call it fear. Call it wonder. Each religion has its own logic of the supernatural.

The common ground is belief. For the Christian, the Hindu, the Jain, the Zoroastrian, belief in a particular set of supernatural "truths" is the source of the logic of that religion.

Most religions are logical within their own belief sets. If you accept the opening premise, then the religion follows.

It's fascinating, but it's difficult to stand outside of your own culture and education to look at the various world religions with an unbiased mind.

I suppose that most of us, had we been born in southern India, would be Hindus or atheists, for there are atheists with a Hindu tradition. It's a matter of culture. Yes, some convert to other religions, even as they do here in the United States. The bulk, however, retain the dominant religion of their native culture.

Basic myth sets are very powerful.


117 posted on 08/03/2006 2:11:05 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: MineralMan
An excellent point. Sexual reproduction is a good teacher regarding evolutionary changes.

Not the ones that keep these threads alive. The dog breeders create a fascinating variety of dogs. But they always get dogs. Everyone knows this and NOBODY is arguing about it.

As you said, things change.

The sticking point is where the dogs came from, what mechanism introduced the change from what they were to dogs, and where the long series of proto-dogs is that connects dogs to slime.

Shalom.

118 posted on 08/03/2006 2:12:34 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
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To: sauron
Which reminds me: We see no evidence of abiogenesis in action on this very richly warm, wet world. WHY IS THAT?

Actually, I remember studying Pasteur's experiment (scientific experiment, no less) that proved it doesn't happen.

Shalom.

119 posted on 08/03/2006 2:13:49 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
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To: ArGee

"From a philosophical point of view I'd be very interested in discussing the suggestion."

I'm afraid that my knowledge of viral remnants in evolutionary history is too small to take on the discussion.

You can Google it, though. Google "viral remnants evolution" (no quotes). That will bring up a number of sites which get into this area of evolutionary research. It's quite fascinating, and is growing as a sub-discipline.

I'm afraid that any attempt I might make to go much deeper into it would lead to errors on my part, so I'll leave it to you to investigate for yourself.


120 posted on 08/03/2006 2:14:56 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: MineralMan
That said, the same can be said about some of the other creation myths.

Actually, IIRC, the Bible was unique in suggesting a beginning.

In fact, science pooh-poohed the concept of a beginning until scientists proved there had to have been one.

The Bible said it long ago. Science figured it out only recently.

Shalom.

121 posted on 08/03/2006 2:15:40 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
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To: SirLinksalot

If the IDers conclude that some phenomena is the product of ID, does that mean they are opposed to any further research to discover a natural explanation for this phenomena?


122 posted on 08/03/2006 2:15:54 PM PDT by ml1954
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To: MineralMan
I'm afraid that my knowledge of viral remnants in evolutionary history is too small to take on the discussion.

That's OK. I don't want to hijack a scientific thread for a philosophical discussion. Philosophy is much to important a discipline to waste on scientific pursuits.

Shalom.

123 posted on 08/03/2006 2:19:47 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
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To: ArGee

"Not the ones that keep these threads alive. The dog breeders create a fascinating variety of dogs. But they always get dogs. Everyone knows this and NOBODY is arguing about it.

As you said, things change.

The sticking point is where the dogs came from, what mechanism introduced the change from what they were to dogs, and where the long series of proto-dogs is that connects dogs to slime.

"

Humans have not been breeding dogs long enough for speciation to occur. If you want to see speciation in the canidae, you can find some very nice fossil series. It's one of the best documented in the fossil record.

Google "canidae evolution" (no quotes). You'll find a number of excellent articles on the subject.

Give us another 100,000 years or so of dog breeding, and new species will emerge. They will still be canidae, but will not be able to interbreed (the definition of species).

Give it 100 million years, and who knows what will be there.


124 posted on 08/03/2006 2:21:06 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: ArGee

"Actually, I remember studying Pasteur's experiment (scientific experiment, no less) that proved it doesn't happen.

"

Not exactly. It proved that it wasn't the cause of putrefaction. It in no way proved that abiogenesis cannot happen. It only proved that it didn't happen under the conditions of his experiments.


125 posted on 08/03/2006 2:22:27 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: RobRoy
The problem is, you read something between the lines that is not there when you suggest that I am closing the door.

You said two that there are only two possible theories. Don't place words in the middle of sentences if you don't intend for them to affect the meaning of your statement.

Also, to say that any ID is by definition a supernatural force and then throw out as “unscientific” any theory that involves a supernatural force is not only disingenuous, but unscientific itself.

First, I did not say that ID is, by definition, supernatural. I said that, at one point in time, the only explanation that people had for life was that it was created by a supernatural force.

Second, ID as currently argued is, in fact, supernatural, since it excuses it's designer from having to obey any sort of natural law (It claims that life cannot have arisen without a designer, but declines to subject this designer to the same law).

Third, something that is supernatural, is, by the very definition of science, unscientific. Science deals with the natural laws of our universe. Science cannot apply itself to anything that exists beyond those natural laws, ie, that which is supernatural. If scientists managed to create a parallel universe, it would merely be one more aspect of the natural universe.
126 posted on 08/03/2006 2:22:45 PM PDT by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: ArGee

"Actually, IIRC, the Bible was unique in suggesting a beginning."

Well, not really. God was already there. God existed. God created.

What was God's beginning?

In reality, most creation myths start with a deity on the scene. Few have an explanation about how it got there.


127 posted on 08/03/2006 2:24:05 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: metmom
What's not to believe????


128 posted on 08/03/2006 2:24:59 PM PDT by WKB (D.L. Moody "The Bible was not written for your information, but for your transformation")
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To: Ace of Spades
Really, as opposed to the ID folks who say "God created Adam and Eve, it's in Genesis and if you don't believe it you're a godless satanic communist."

Those are the types that give the rest of us a bad image. We're not taking that position. The world is waiting eagerly for the creationists to prove their theory. Let's see it.

To which I respond: First, Why don't you prove evolution?

Even if you are able (and we still see no sign of ongoing abiogenesis in the oceans of Earth), we can still take the position that Genesis 1:11-12 actually says evolution does occur. (Shocking, eh? I'll draw more fire from fellow Christians for this position than from you atheist-mongers on this one! It says, clearly, that the EARTH BROUGHT FORTH LIFE.)

To which I also respond: Since you have no evidence for ongoing abiogenesis, and since we know that conditions on the planet are ripe for Life, why is there no continually new ongoing spontaneous creation process? What's up with that, huh?

To which I also respond: There is also the implied question--since we're dealing with creation--of just what created the universe? Where did the universe come from?

Any rational mind knows the universe cannot be infinitely old. Therefore, it must have had a beginning. And things do not create things, although that is precisely what a minority of mathematicians are attempting to foist, saying that our universe was created by another universe...which was created by...uh...uh...oh, yeah, another universe, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

That's a child's game. C'mon, it's committing the logical fallacy of begging the question, for those of you who are schooled in logic and rhetoric. It's a cop-out.

Things don't create things. Universes don't create universes. Just because it's big, grand, almost imponderable, doesn't mean it has intrinsic powers to create other grand things. And we know it isn't infinitely old (due to the nature and property of infinities), so therefore, it had a beginning. Q.E.D.

Sauron

129 posted on 08/03/2006 2:25:09 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: ArGee

I have to quit for the day, so I can't continue this interesting discussion.

Perhaps we'll pick it up in another thread. Do, though, run those Google searches. There are some interesting articles, and not all of them are on the evolutionary side. They're worth reading.


130 posted on 08/03/2006 2:25:37 PM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: SirLinksalot

bookmark


131 posted on 08/03/2006 2:27:24 PM PDT by GiovannaNicoletta
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To: MineralMan
In reality, most creation myths start with a deity on the scene. Few have an explanation about how it got there.

You have to know just where to stop asking questions to believe in a religion!

132 posted on 08/03/2006 2:28:11 PM PDT by balrog666 (Ignorance is never better than knowledge. - Enrico Fermi)
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To: ArGee
I'd challenge that. Definitions are a lot fuzzier. I have yet to find a good definition of life that can last. I have had no problem adhering to the defitions of chemical and physical processes I learned when I was young. Biology is the study of very complex things, so it's nearly impossible to limit the number of variables to only one. Most of what I see discussed as biology is either observation of the living and developing a story to try to explain its behavior, or biochemestry which is really chemestry.

One makes hypotheses and tests those hypotheses. It if the confidence one has with the results that differs. Sometimes the confidence limits are set at .0001. Othertimes the limits are much much higher (.10, .20 etc). The scientific method of hypothesis testing is the same across the sciences and one can NEVER EVER "prove" the null hypothesis.

133 posted on 08/03/2006 2:29:04 PM PDT by rhombus
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To: sauron
Any rational mind knows the universe cannot be infinitely old.

Be interesting to see your proof of same.

134 posted on 08/03/2006 2:30:05 PM PDT by Senator Bedfellow (If you're not sure, it was probably sarcasm.)
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To: SirLinksalot
In fact, opinion polls show that fewer people are willing to accept the idea that human beings developed from earlier species than they were just ten years ago.

And the relevance of opinion polls to science is . . . ?

135 posted on 08/03/2006 2:31:36 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: js1138
You'd think with all this help, ID would be able to accomplish some actual science, or at least describe the kind of research they would do if they got the chance.

Well, ID is a young theory. It needs affirmative action.

136 posted on 08/03/2006 2:32:40 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: SirLinksalot
What theory?

Darwin's theory of evolution is the last of the great 19th century mystery religions. And as we speak it is now following Freudianism and Marxism into the nether regions, and I'm quite sure that Freud, Marx, and Darwin are commiserating one with the other, in the dark dungeon where discarded gods gather. The problem facing us...with a magnificent body of theoretical accomplishments in physics and mathematics, and a very rich body of descriptive material in biology, is to come to an understanding that when it comes to the large global issues that Darwin's theory is intended to address, we simply do not have a clue. This is a daunting admission to make, but if we're intellectually honest, we should make it. The mechanism that Darwin proposed, that of random search or a stochastic shuffle is known to be inadequate in every domain in which it's applied. It's known to be inadequate in linguistics, and it's certainly inadequate when it comes to the overwhelming complexity of living forms. There is no reason on earth to believe that this mechanism is adequate to the task that it sets itself.

If it should come to pass in the fullness of time that we discover that there is no explanation for life, we will have to accept it. If it should come to pass that we discover in the fullness of time that the only explanation for life is that it is a process designed for transcendental purposes by a transcendental figure, we will have to accept that too. And if that should come to pass, I would like to ask, who among us will genuinely feel diminished?

David Berlinski


137 posted on 08/03/2006 2:33:20 PM PDT by My2Cents (A pirate's life for me.)
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To: purpleporter
Viruses!

Do viruses ever become fish? Do they ever grow arms and legs? Do they ever sit in front of a computer and type comments on Free Republic?....Nevermind, I think some viruses do.

138 posted on 08/03/2006 2:34:39 PM PDT by My2Cents (A pirate's life for me.)
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To: purpleporter
Well I just want you to explain one thing ok? How do SNAKES have legs??

Well, it is said, in an ancient document, that a certain Deity changed their form of locomotion as a form of punishment.

You must be at least familiar with the rudiments of Genesis, which said that snakes once existed in a form that DID NOT CRAWL ON THEIR BELLIES, aren't you?

Sauron

139 posted on 08/03/2006 2:36:59 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: My2Cents

It would really help if David Berlinski actually knew what the heck he's arguing against--or, if he does know what he is arguing against, that he would honestly represent it instead of the parody that he argues against.


140 posted on 08/03/2006 2:38:57 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: MineralMan
In reality, most creation myths start with a deity on the scene. Few have an explanation about how it got there.

That goes for science's creation myth. Science just doesn't begin with a deity, it begins simply with matter that *existed*. It doesn't explain how it got there either. *In the beginning there was singularity.....*

So where'd singularity come from? What was holding it together? How long was it like that? If it was being held together, what caused it to expand?

Science can't get past singularity; it has nothing better to offer than religion does with God did it. If anything, at least religion offers a cause, something science can't deal with.

141 posted on 08/03/2006 2:39:00 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: MineralMan

Unless it's a question about global warming.....


142 posted on 08/03/2006 2:39:43 PM PDT by fishtank
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To: MineralMan
In reality, most creation myths start with a deity on the scene. Few have an explanation about how it got there.

Yeah, who created the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

143 posted on 08/03/2006 2:40:18 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: sauron

The only clear evidence of change in form in the Bible and God did it.


144 posted on 08/03/2006 2:44:46 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: MineralMan
A cookbook does not cover the nuances of botany or ranching, nor the schematic of the oven. It does not mean that it is wrong if it says celery is a vegetable and too high a temperature will burn the sauce
145 posted on 08/03/2006 2:56:01 PM PDT by RobRoy (Islam is more dangerous to the world now that Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: MineralMan
>.Not really. My personal opinion is that the whole universe is a natural phenomenon, brought about by the laws of physics. <<

Then maybe the laws of physics can explain the human consciousness, or at least measure it...
146 posted on 08/03/2006 2:57:38 PM PDT by RobRoy (Islam is more dangerous to the world now that Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: MineralMan
That said, the same can be said about some of the other creation myths. It's just a matter of explaining their allegories in a way that works. The general order of things is: 1. There was nothing. (a blank slate on which to write) 2. The deity (of whatever nature) appears or already exists 3. The deity speaks or waves or whatever, and things appear, although the order is sometimes different. Earth, Sun, Moon, Water, etc. 4. Somewhere in the process, human beings appear, generally after the animals, because there has to be something for the humans to eat.

WRONG.

Your #1, #2 are entirely wrong.

Other religions have their deity using pre-existing matter to concoct the elements around us.

A key distinction of the Judeo-Christian belief is that, as the Penteteuch tells us, God pre-existed the material "stuff" of the universe. It did not create Him, He created it.

In addition to that, I have studied other creation accounts. The Judaic one is remarkable, and distinct from the others. Cf. North American, South American, African, East Asian, Pacific Islander, Norse, Celtic (pre-Christian), and other accounts.

You mentioned turtles. There are also serpents, eggs, etc. Some of them are quite silly. The Judaic one is remarkable in that it just about gets it right, and close to the right order, at that.

Sauron

147 posted on 08/03/2006 2:59:06 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: balrog666
In reality, most creation myths start with a deity on the scene. Few have an explanation about how it got there.

You have to know just where to stop asking questions to believe in a religion!


That's an interesting but, I think, fallacious argument.

Where do your questions stop? At "science hasn't discovered that yet"? Do you believe that someday science will discover "all" of the answers to "all" of the questions?

Or do you believe in infinite questions? How can science reconcile infinity? What scientific proof exists of infinity?

How does science explain existence? It "just is"? If that is what you have to accept to believe in science, then, by your own definition, isn't science is just another religion?
148 posted on 08/03/2006 3:05:27 PM PDT by Thrusher ("...there is no peace without victory.")
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To: MineralMan
Go in a time machine to the land of your ancestors, about 1000 years ago. Stand in a crowd there. You will find, if you are typical, that you are head and shoulders above that crowd. Height is a positive attribute. It is selected for by the environment. In just 1000 years, the average human being is considerably taller than its ancestors. Remarkable.

Wrong. (I can't leave a blanket statements such as that unchallenged.)

My ancestors of A.D. 1000 had the same genetic height potential as I do.

They suffered from nutritional deficiencies. Cf. 1940's Japanese vs. today's generation: A 7" height increase in some cases. Look at today's American kids. Same with French. Romans, too--modern ones are tall due to better nutrition.

Our genetic code doesn't change that quickly.

And as for the blanket statement that height is a positive attribute:

Forest deer are shorter than Elk. Why? They have to navigate undergrowth.

Pygmies are shorter than Watusies. Why? They live in dense jungles, and have to navigate undergrowth.

Height is a selective adaptational advantage only if you life in a savanna world. Else: It's a way to die young, without progeny.

149 posted on 08/03/2006 3:06:12 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Thrusher

"Where do your questions stop?"

They don't. That's what science is about; no matter how much it learns, it keeps asking questions to try to learn more.

Just because the answer is "I don't know yet" doesn't mean you're not asking questions.


150 posted on 08/03/2006 3:09:22 PM PDT by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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