Skip to comments.Intelligent Design: An Ambiguous Assault on Evolution
Posted on 09/22/2005 4:15:34 AM PDT by SeaLion
Editor's Note: This article is the first in a special LiveScience series about the theory of evolution and a competing idea called intelligent design.
TODAY: An overview of the increasingly heated exchange between scientists and the proponents of intelligent design.
COMING FRIDAY : Proponents argue that intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory, but a close look at their arguments shows that it doesn't pass scientific muster.
Science can sometimes be a devil's bargain: a discovery is made, some new aspect of nature is revealed, but the knowledge gained can cause mental anguish if it contradicts a deeply cherished belief or value.
Darwin's truth can be a hard one to accept. His theory of evolution tells us that humans evolved from non-human life as the result of a natural process, one that was both gradual, happening over billions of years, and random. It tells us that new life forms arise from the splitting of a single species into two or more species, and that all life on Earth can trace its origins back to a single common ancestor.
Perhaps most troubling of all, Darwin's theory of evolution tells us that life existed for billions of years before us, that humans are not the products of special creation and that life has no inherent meaning or purpose.
For Americans who view evolution as inconsistent with their intuitions or beliefs about life and how it began, Creationism has always been a seductive alternative.
Creationism's latest embodiment is intelligent design (ID), a conjecture that certain features of the natural world are so intricate and so perfectly tuned for life that they could only have been designed by a Supreme Being.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Mini-ping. Not breaking news, but a reasonable overview methinks -- with Part 2 published tomorrow
A better title would be: Intelligent Design: fact takes on the fiction of Evolution.
Genesis Chapter One
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:1-31 ACP/KJV
Day one: God made the earth, no form, but earth and then He created light. Verses 1-5
Day two: God made a separation, a space, between the waters that were on the earth and the waters above the earth. Verses 6,7&8.
Day three: God spoke and the dry ground appeared and the waters were gathered into separate places separated by the dry ground, and then God created the grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind.
Day four: God made the sun, the moon, and all the stars and heavenly bodies.
Day five: God created great whales, and every living creature that is in the air and in the waters. He then blessed them and said, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Day six: God created first the animals that would populate the dry ground and then last of all after everything was done, God created Man.
Now read this carefully, read it just as God said it:
26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-31 ACP/KJV)
Before we go any further, I want you to see the verses that confirm that God created all things in six normal, everyday, 24 hour days, not days comprised of millions and millions of years. "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:19 ACP/KJV
Now, before we go any further I want to show you something: something from God's Holy Word. "...and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." That is part of a description of all those who will be tossed into the lake fo fire for all eternity in Revelation 21:8. Now ask yourself this, who do you think is more likely to be called a liar by God and tossed into that eternal suffering in the lake of fire?
A. Your wife for lying about her age?
B. Your 10 year old son for lying about stealing a few cookies out of the cookie jar?
C. Your teen age daughter for lying to you about sneaking out of her room in the dead of night, getting pregnant, and having an abortion?
D. Those religious leaders, those men and women with fancy degrees and words who call God Himself a liar. Telling us that God doesn't know what He is talking about when He tells us that He made the earth and all things in and on it, and in the heavens above in six literal 24 hour days?
I know "C" looks tempting, but the answer is D!
I don't care that many of these men and women who call God a liar, who make themselves to be smarter than God, have done great and wonderful deeds and works. I don't care that they have healed the sick, and collected clothing for the victims of storms. If they call God a liar by saying that we evolved instead of that God made us, then they are calling God a liar and He addresses them in Matthew seven: Not every one that saith unto Me, "Lord, Lord", shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
God spoke in English?
Sorry, my third question should have read:
Third, what evidence do you have that the Muslim interpretation of things, in which the Koran was given to the Jews and Christians who then perverted it into the current forms of those religions, is false (assuming that you do, in fact, believe it to be false)?
The fellow writes this as if it applies to only one side. :-)
No, actually he doesn't--but the snip I had to make to fit the extract into 300 words meant sacrificing the short paragraph in which he gives other examples for context; sorry if my truncation here caused confusion on this point.
The history of science is full of unedifying tantrums and bouts of "mental anguish" by scientists who found out they were barking up the wrong tree (cf. cold fusion)--but those are cases where science invalidated their faulty findings. The current issue--ID--isn't about a scientific challenge, it's about an ill-intentioned attempt to either require science to confirm one narrow set of religious doctrines, or else to dispense with science altother.
Yeah. I'm always in doubt about whether to ping the list for articles like this, or to hold off for some actual news (either scientific or political). So I'm asking for input. To ping, or not to ping.
I think it is worthwhile to consider one's epistemology when approaching things such as this before having a dialogue. When people come together on this subject it is important to understand how each person "knows" anything. If the only way we can truly know things comes from a naturalist perspective (those things can be tested with the 5 senses) then that will ultimately determine the value we place on the "evidence" that a non-naturalist offers.
I think that if a person can demonstrate that there are such things (not necessarily God) that exist apart from being placed under a "microscope" of sorts, then it can set the stage for a more productive discussion on the questions you have asked.
Something the naturalist should consider is the following:
What kind of physical test can they do to prove that only the things that can be observed with the 5 senses truly exist? Is that even possible? If it isn't possible to show this epistemology from a naturalist perspective wouldn't that render naturalism self-refuting?
You offered 2 types of questions. The first question was from a naturalist perspective. The others were from a cultural/Biblical validity standpoint.
Anyway, that was just a few thoughts I had.... for what it's worth. (probably not worth much :) ) Often times people don't take the time to first understand the other person's epistemology. When they don't do that they end up just spinning their wheels talking past each other on the "proof" that the other person discounts out of hand.
By the way, I am not assuming you to be a naturalist. Only your first question would I argue was from a naturalists perspective.
What I have stated many times here on FR. No different than the furvor caused by the idea of a heliocentric solar system so many moons ago.
Thanks for posting this.
An Assault on Evolution? I find it ironic that proponents of "science" speak far and wide about free thinking and open research, yet when a view is proposed that doesn't fit their template, it is termed an assault. Why is another idea considered an assault? Perhaps the free thinkers of the scientific community are not as open with their views as they would like us to believe............Kind of like the PC crowd.
Is that a quote from Mahler?
Let's see what Part 2 of the article looks like when it's published tomorrow, and see if it is pingable then? As I said, nothing new here -- but it's a good intro to the political dimension of the debate.
And given that there isn't any science to debate, the whole matter is a worrying bit of religious/political activism, and that is what really needs to be understood. It just isn't a "let's be fair and teach the controversary" issue at all
Hmmm... How "fee thinking" should we get? Want to add astrology to astronomy? Shall we add magic potions to our chemistry curriculum?
You guys must be really, really dubtful about this stuff, because you keep repeating it. I repreat things when I'm afraid I'll forget them.
Because it's not an idea, it's a strategy.
With respect, it would appear that you do not follow published scientific developments very closely. The science journals are an extremely adversarial arena, scientific theories are constantly slugging it out with one another over the interpretation of data or analysis of 'best-fit' of theories to evidence. And sometimes the battles can rage for quite some time (e.g. steady state vs. big bang, etc.).
But it isn't a matter of views alone duking it out, it's interpretations of data based on evidence that is the substance of contention in legitimate science. ID has merely stated an unsupported view, it cannot be investigated by science, and has no legitimate claim to be taken seriously by scientist unless/until it can present data and evidence that can stand up in peer-reviewed publications.
Instead, some ID-proponents, funded by some minority religious factions, have presented comic-book simplifications to the general public and made a special pleading for 'equal time.' If Astrologers did the same, scientist would probably respond--rightly--in the same way
"The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the nonexistence of God," Johnson wrote in a 1999 article for Church and State magazine. "From there, people are introduced to 'the truth' of the Bible and then 'the question of sin' and finally 'introduced to Jesus.'"
Just so the agenda is clear; it's not science (you have no need for that) but about religious proslytesing.
For a specific religious sect.
In the classroom.
Pity about the First Amendment, that might slow you down a bit...
Yes, it is--because Darwinism is science, and the current 'controversy' re: ID is a religious matter. You raise some interesting points about the nature of ToE (some have been answered in other posts), but the main thrust of this overview article is not to 'resolve' the controversy, but to show the political dimension.
You may disagree, but my view is that this is a 'fight' which a minority religious group has picked to advance a specific political agenda--and that is worrying. In a 'fight' between science and political unreason, I would not expect a science journal to be anything other than "skewed" in favour of science.
I didn't read the small print at the top.
Looks like I have to wait until Friday for the part I wanted to read.
ID is "fact" now, eh? Even many ID'ers admit it doesn't even qualify as a full scientific theory, and instead describe it as an "inference".
But "fact"? How does that work when ID'ers will only "infer" that "intelligent design" occurred, but won't say (or even speculate as to) how, or where, or when, or by whom it was instantiated? How can you refer to the factuality of an approach where at least four of the five basic reporters' questions -- who, what, where, when and why -- are purposefully avoided? Even the "what" is rather shaky since, for instance, Dembski won't apply his mathematical model of "specified complexity" to a real world case.
God created English, see Genesis 11
Whether it is a "scientific challenge" or not depends on whether what it is challenging is "science."
The claim that biodiversity can be explained solely by naturally occuring forces has been made with such force that it has become dogma.
ID challenges that claim -- rationally, objectively and with measurable evidence -- without resorting to faith.
I was planning on posting it as a thread tomorrow--I'll ping you when it's published, if you like.
The creations speak for themselsves, do you really need to do other than look around at the of earth? Can you not see that even the little bombadire bettel could not have evolved, that there had to be a Creator?
Might not be a the biblical god. Might be space aliens. Might be vast mechanized robots. Might be Allah.
We really should consider all the scientific possibilities. One of which is that the bible is not literally true.
Ah yes, but that, that we post has not changed. That, that you post, theories of evolution, change by the hour.
We know our God, you guys can't even find or agree on a missing link.
Tell me about that tooth will ya, or how about all those parts we don't need, like the tail bone, ah the never ending fable of evolution vs the never changing truth of the Word of God.
Huh? D' I publish a paper, I rely upon the First Article of the Bill of Rights, the paper is owned, as you know, by a church, again a right protected and guaranteed by the First Article of the Bill of Rights.
Why are you suddenly fighting us so hard?
I'm not sure where you are getting your informatioon, but, the who is God, the when is right on 6,415 years ago, and the where is, well, look around, earth and the heavens.
If there were a fee for thinking, anti-evos would have NO need to file an expense report.
Great! Ping me with the post.
It's rarely a dull discussion!
Stasis is rarely seen as a sign of intellectual health.
And it reinforces the point: if it doesn't change, why does it need to be repeated?
We know our God, you guys can't even find or agree on a missing link.
Your God tells you not to lie, does he not?
Tell me about that tooth will ya, or how about all those parts we don't need, like the tail bone
Yeah, why would an intelligent designer do that?
You refereed to ID. None of that is included in ID. (None of is excluded either, which is the problem with ID; it's vacuous.)
God is an Englishman.
If there's a potion that will render either Kate Beckinsale or Charlize Theron hoplessly attracted to me, I demand it be added to the curriculum.
Is this an attempt at humor?
For those too impaired to accept the proven word of God, I suppose that evolution may be an attractive 'alternative' but really it is for those who wish to be their own god.
Here we go again with the evo ID debate. Each side setting up a straw man and then knocking him down. Its hopeless...I'm out...sayonara.
"God created English, see Genesis 11"
Thank you. So, when God creates something it doesn't have to appear right away and it can evolve.
A challenging question when you examine it foundationally. One has to agree on just what a god is, and also what is or is not 'documentary.'
The evidence that best lends itself to abstraction is based in an understanding of the area of applied mathematics known as "probability and statistics." Back in the mid 90's Michael Drosnan, an unbeliever of Jewish descent, wrote an assuming and self indulgant book entitled "The Bible Code." Much of the book was downright silly, such as attempting to predict the future by information extracted from equidistant letter sequences found in the Masoretic text. The value of the book in a real-world sense is it's explanation of the mechanics of equidistant letter sequences themselves, rather than his 'messages.'
Many jumped on this phenomenon from both sides of the aisle. Hebrew scholars produced many coherent sentences, many of which repeated 3 or more times in succession, while others claimed to have 'debunked' the phenomenon by finding similar 'codes' in other hebrew texts. Since the publication of the original book, much genuine study has progressed, and a recent book, "The Bible Code Bombshell," presents presents powerful statistical evidence, consisting of long, coherent ELS sentences, pertinant to the topic of the surface text wherein they are contained. While some short ELS sentences can be found in some other hebrew texts, they lact the surface text pertinance, and also fail the statistical probability tests that many of the biblical ELS sentences pass with flying colors. To get a proper understanding of the issues, one must read the book, but the evidence is conclusive: The Bible had to have been written by an entity that had full control of the formation of language itself, and accurate knowledge of the future.
Does that entity fit your definition of "God?" You can lead a horse to water...
When Tu-chai-pai made the world, the earth was the woman, the sky was the man. The sky came down upon the earth. The world in the beginning was a pure lake covered with tulles. Tu-chai-pai and his younger brother, Yo-ko-mat-is, sat together, stooping far over, bowed down by the weight of the sky. The Maker said to his brother, "What am I going to do?"
"I do not know," said Yo-ko-mat-is.
"Let us go a little farther," said the Maker.
So they went a little farther and sat down to rest. "Now what am I going to do?" said Tu-chai-pai.
"I do not know, my brother."
All of this time the Maker knew what he was about to do, but he was asking his brother's help. Then he said, "We-hicht, we-hicht, we-hicht," three times. He took tobacco in his hand. and rubbed it fine and blew upon it three times. Every time he blew, the heavens rose higher above their heads.
Younger brother did the same thing because the Maker asked him to do it. The heavens went higher and higher and so did the sky. Then they did it both together, "We-hicht, we-hicht, we-hicht," and both took tobacco, rubbed it, and puffed hard upon it, sending the sky so high it formed a concave arch.
Then they placed North, South, East, and West. Tu-chai-pai made a line upon the ground. "Why do you make that line?" asked younger brother. "I am making the line from East to West and name them so. Now you make a line from North to South."
Yo-ko-mat-is thought very hard. How would he arrange it? Then he drew a crossline from top to bottom. He named the top line North, and the bottom line South. Then he asked, "Why are we doing this?" The Maker said, "I will tell you. Three or four men are coming from the East, and from the West three or four Indians are coming."
The brother asked, "Do four men come from the North, and two or three men come from the South?"
Tu-chai-pai said, "Yes. Now I am going to make hills and valleys and little hollows of water."
"Why are you making all of these things?"
The Maker explained, "After a while when men come and are walking back and forth in the world, they will need to drink water or they will die." He had already made the ocean, but he needed little water places for the people.
Then he made the forests and said, "After a while men will die of cold unless I make wood for them to burn. What are we going to do now?" "I do not know," replied younger brother.
"We are going to dig in the ground and find mud to make the first people, the Indians." So he dug in the ground and took mud to make the first men and the first women. He made the men easily, but he had much trouble making women. It took him a long time. After the Indians, he made the Mexicans and finished all his making. He then called out very loudly, "People, you can never die and you can never get tired, so you can walk all the time." But then he made them sleep at night, to keep them from walking in the darkness. At last he told them that they must travel toward the East, where the sun's light was coming out for the first time.
The Indians then came out and searched for the light, and at last they found light and were exceedingly glad to see the Sun. The Maker called out to his brother, "It's time to make the Moon. You call out and make the Moon to shine, as I have made the Sun. Sometime the Moon will die. When it grows smaller and smaller, men will know it is going to die, and they must run races to try and keep up with the dying moon."
The villagers talked about the matter and they understood their part and that Tu-chai-pai would be watching to see that they did what he wanted them to do. When the Maker completed all of this, he created nothing more. But he was always thinking how to make Earth and Sky better for all the Indians.
What about the Carbon-14 date I got recently at 5190 B.C. (>7100 years ago)?
Also, does his writing contain all the interlaced numeric proof of authenticity that the real creator placed in his word?
And if you run the stylus backwards over a vinyl copy of the Beatles' Abbey Road album, you discover that Paul McCartney is dead.
My friend, believe as you will--and I will defend to the utmost your right to believe it. But on this particular creed you are setting forth...sorry, this horse ain't that thirsty.
But always (I hope), cordially.