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Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?
Tech Central Station ^ | 11/10/2005 | Uriah Kriegel

Posted on 11/10/2005 4:43:24 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin

In an election in Pennsylvania this week, voters tossed out eight members of the Pittsburgh school board who wanted Intelligent Design theory to be taught alongside evolution in school. But should Intelligent Design -- the theory that living organisms were created at least in part by an intelligent designer, not by a blind process of evolution by natural selection -- be taught in public schools? In one way, the answer to this question is simple: if it's a scientific theory, it should; if it's not, it shouldn't (on pain of flaunting the Establishment Clause). The question, however, is whether Intelligent Design (ID) is a scientific theory.

Opponents dismiss ID's scientific credentials, claiming that the theory is too implausible to qualify as scientific. But this reasoning is fallacious: a bad scientific theory is still a scientific theory, just as a bad car is still a car. There may be pedagogical reasons to avoid teaching bad scientific theories in our public schools, but there are no legal ones. The Constitution contains no interdiction on teaching bad theories, or for that matter demonstrably false ones. As long as theory is science and not religion, there is no legal barrier to teaching it.

To make their case, opponents of teaching ID must show not just that the theory is bad, but that it's not science. This raises a much more complicated question: What is science? What distinguishes genuinely scientific theories from non-scientific ones?

In one form or another, the question has bothered scientists and philosophers for centuries. But it was given an explicit formulation only in the 1920s, by Karl Popper, the most important 20th century philosopher of science. Popper called it "the problem of demarcation," because it asked how to demarcate scientific research and distinguish it from other modes of thought (respectable though they may be in their own right).

One thing Popper emphasized was that a theory's status as scientific doesn't depend on its plausibility. The great majority of scientific theories turn out to be false, including such works of genius as Newton's mechanics. Conversely, the story of Adam and Eve may well be pure truth, but if it is, it's not scientific truth, but some other kind of truth.

So what is the mark of genuine science? To attack this question, Popper examined several theories he thought were inherently unscientific but had a vague allure of science about them. His favorites were Marx's theory of history and Freud's theory of human behavior. Both attempted to describe the world without appeal to super-natural phenomena, but yet seem fundamentally different from, say, the theory of relativity or the gene theory.

What Popper noticed was that, in both cases, there was no way to prove to proponents of the theory that they were wrong. Suppose Jim's parents moved around a lot when Jim was a child. If Jim also moves around a lot as an adult, the Freudian explains that this was predictable given the patterns of behavior Jim grew up with. If Jim never moves, the Freudian explains -- with equal confidence -- that this was predictable as a reaction to Jim's unpleasant experiences of a rootless childhood. Either way the Freudian has a ready-made answer and cannot be refuted. Likewise, however much history seemed to diverge from Marx's model, Marxists would always introduce new modifications and roundabout excuses for their theory, never allowing it to be proven false.

Popper concluded that the mark of true science was falsifiability: a theory is genuinely scientific only if it's possible in principle to refute it. This may sound paradoxical, since science is about seeking truth, not falsehood. But Popper showed that it was precisely the willingness to be proven false, the critical mindset of being open to the possibility that you're wrong, that makes for progress toward truth.

What scientists do in designing experiments that test their theories is create conditions under which their theory might be proven false. When a theory passes a sufficient number of such tests, the scientific community starts taking it seriously, and ultimately as plausible.

When Einstein came up with the theory of relativity, the first thing he did was to make a concrete prediction: he predicted that a certain planet must exist in such-and-such a place even though it had never been observed before. If it turned out that the planet did not exist, his theory would be refuted. In 1919, 14 years after the advent of Special Relativity, the planet was discovered exactly where he said. The theory survived the test. But the possibility of failing a test -- the willingness to put the theory up for refutation -- was what made it a scientific theory in the first place.

To win in the game of science, a theory must be submitted to many tests and survive all of them without being falsified. But to be even allowed into the game, the theory must be falsifiable in principle: there must be a conceivable experiment that would prove it false.

If we examine ID in this light, it becomes pretty clear that the theory isn't scientific. It is impossible to refute ID, because if an animal shows one characteristic, IDers can explain that the intelligent designer made it this way, and if the animal shows the opposite characteristic, IDers can explain with equal confidence that the designer made it that way. For that matter, it is fully consistent with ID that the supreme intelligence designed the world to evolve according to Darwin's laws of natural selection. Given this, there is no conceivable experiment that can prove ID false.

It is sometimes complained that IDers resemble the Marxist historians who always found a way to modify and reframe their theory so it evades any possible falsification, never offering an experimental procedure by which ID could in principle be falsified. To my mind, this complaint is warranted indeed. But the primary problem is not with the intellectual honesty of IDers, but with the nature of their theory. The theory simply cannot be fashioned to make any potentially falsified predictions, and therefore cannot earn entry into the game of science.

None of this suggests that ID is in fact false. For all I've said, it may well be pure truth. But if it is, it wouldn't be scientific truth, because it isn't scientific at all. As such, we shouldn't allow it into our science classrooms. At least that's what the Constitution says.

The writer teaches philosophy at the University of Arizona.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evilution; evolution; goddoodit; id; idiocy; ignoranceisstrength; monkeygod; popper; science; theory
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I hesitated in posting this because there are some significant statements about philosophy with which I disagreed. Let the reader beware.

"we shouldn't allow it into our science classrooms. At least that's what the Constitution says" AFAIK there are no statements in the US Constitution speaking to scientific theory. Maybe the author means some other constitution.

1 posted on 11/10/2005 4:43:26 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin
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To: Nicholas Conradin

Have you read Popper? Have you read on his 'falsifiability'? How would you falsify creation theory, ID theory or evolution? This is just what the age-old argument is on; those that understand enough philosophy of science to make the decision aren't closely involved, those that are closely involved are not familiar with falsifiability, e. g.


2 posted on 11/10/2005 4:51:42 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin

PH's posse will be thrilled w/ this article.

But be sure of one thing: 'falsifyability' must be philosophically accepted a priori as being 'true' for 'science'.

Popper's argument, though it can be argued is logical, is nonetheless a starting point that must be accepted by faith. You have to trust that 'science' MUST be defined this way, in order for it to 'be' science.

The problem is this: ID searches for causes. Evolution, good for explaining certain things that appear to be 'caused' does not sufficiently grapple with other things that are 'caused.

ID provides an alternate cause ... and an argument presenting that it is not falsifyable is not really an argument.

For Marx attracted followers and his 'theories' were tested ... and proven false. Freud has been utterly deligitimized ... because much of what he wrote proved to be, in practice, false.

But both of them got an audience.

Funny ... ID is the only non religious body of thought I have ever seen which is been so vociferously attacked and being denied an audience.

How can it be any more robust that Marxism and Freudism ... what is being risked by letting it be falsified, like they were?


3 posted on 11/10/2005 4:54:42 AM PST by gobucks (Blissful Marriage: A result of a worldly husband's transformation into the Word's wife.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Intelligent Design is neither Intelligent or a Design. It is simply another attempt by Creationists to put forth their "God Created The World Like It Says In The Bible" the beliefs.

I would have more respect for them if they would admit that, rather than trying to be Luddites with modern marketing and PR advice.

It's Scopes 3.2 (and before anyone starts worrying about saving my soul, I'm an ordained elder in my church, and quite satisfied I'll see you all in Heaven, thank you.)
4 posted on 11/10/2005 4:58:50 AM PST by MindBender26 (Having my own CAR-15 in RVN meant never having to say I was sorry......)
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To: Nicholas Conradin

Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?
---
Wow, just from reading the headline I could tell that this article is a slanted, biased, puff piece of propaganda.

It reminds me of the loaded question, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"


5 posted on 11/10/2005 5:00:06 AM PST by Stark_GOP
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To: Nicholas Conradin

The real debate is not over science, which is concerned with the observable, but over whose underlying metaphysical view one accepts: materialism vs. some form of theism. The problem is that those on the Darwinism side of the debate refuse to see or studiously ignore the fact that the natural sciences do not contain all possible knowledge.


6 posted on 11/10/2005 5:02:49 AM PST by I-ambush
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To: gobucks

One of the problems with the Origins of the Species, is biologists hava a CRAPPY definintion of what a species is.

Then the theory is elevated to a fact, shutting down all rational discussion.

ToEs like Natural Selection have not shown much utility up to this point in time. Definitions are changed, exaggerated claims are made, without any real utility, it is strictly not very useful.

It is not a very important theory.

It certainly hasn't been in history.

DK


7 posted on 11/10/2005 5:03:14 AM PST by Dark Knight
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Both evolutionary theory and intelligent design are "non-scientific," in the sense that they both postulate unobservable distant causes for natural phenomena. To eliminate a priori supernatural causes for natural phenomena is dogmatism in the worst sense, since many observable, testable and miraculous phenomena are observable today.

Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano
Blood of St. Januarius
The Tilma of Guadalupe
Incorrupt bodies of the saints
Fatima
Shroud of Turin
Sudarium of Oviedo

8 posted on 11/10/2005 5:07:55 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?

Theory - not theory, call it what you want, it deserves the same amount of teaching in the classroom as the Darwin Theory.

9 posted on 11/10/2005 5:10:20 AM PST by Dustbunny (Main Stream Media -- Making 'Max Headroom' a reality.)
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To: gobucks
Funny ... ID is the only non religious body of thought I have ever seen which is been so vociferously attacked and being denied an audience.

I'm getting so tired of seeing people making statements like this. ID is not getting attacked in order to deny it an audience. It's getting attacked because its proponents want it taught as science, when it is not science. I personally would have no problem if the ID'rs were trying to have ID added to social studies or philosophy curriculums, where it belongs. ID's own proponents are the ones denying ID its proper audience.

10 posted on 11/10/2005 5:11:06 AM PST by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: Dark Knight
What utter crap!

Science is based on observations (facts). For a hypothesis to become a scientific theory, one needs to find a way to test the theory in the laboratory/field. And then the test must be repeated over and over and peer reviewed. If the test agrees with the hypothesis it can become a scientific theory.

Scientists then continue more experiments to either prove or enhance the scientific theory or falsify the theory. They realize a scientific theory is not absolutely unlike the way you and a lot of your friends on this db have to believe (at all cost) in that literal reading of the Book of Genesis. Thus, scientists never shut down all rational discussion as you have suggested. If they did we never would have got where we have in all sorts of scientific fields including inventing this computer.

11 posted on 11/10/2005 5:12:12 AM PST by hawkaw
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To: Nicholas Conradin
As long as theory is science and not religion, there is no legal barrier to teaching it.

Is this what the argument is reduced to now? "It may be completely incorrect and/or intensely stupid, but hey - it's legal!" LOL.

12 posted on 11/10/2005 5:14:04 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: dhuffman@awod.com
Have you read Popper?

Who died and made Popper the god of science? He is just one among many who wrestled with what constitutes the same. "Intelligent design is not science" is a mantra for those who would stifle free inquiry. Neither science nor education nor mankind in general are bound to burden themselves with this constraint.

13 posted on 11/10/2005 5:14:22 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Got to love the reliance upon Marx that "great god" of humanity.

"IF" as we are told that the Creator created alllll things then he created "science", although He will allow His creation to deny Him while in the flesh.
14 posted on 11/10/2005 5:16:04 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Aquinasfan
Both evolutionary theory and intelligent design are "non-scientific," in the sense that they both postulate unobservable distant causes for natural phenomena.

Well, no.

First of all, the concepts of evolutionary theory can be observed in the fossil record. It can be argued that the fossil record is showing us something other than evolutionary change. But it is not arguable that what the fossil record shows can be interpreted as evolutionary change. ID has nothing at all, period, nada, even remotely as demonstrative.

Second, evolutionary theory does not postulate a cause. It postulates the "how". Big, big difference.

15 posted on 11/10/2005 5:17:08 AM PST by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: DGray

So, where does String Theory belong?


16 posted on 11/10/2005 5:17:25 AM PST by PokeyJoe (There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those that don't.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
there was no way to prove to proponents of the theory that they were wrong.

Irreducible complexity could be falsified by demonstrating reducible complexity for the biochemical reactions cited in ID.

That is the sticking point. One side says "we don't know how they got that way...but we will someday", and the other side says "it could have been an act of creation".

It is nothing to get bothered about, both sides react to the facts but it isn't so much intelligent design that is the problem as it is the idea of irreducible complexity on a molecular level.

17 posted on 11/10/2005 5:18:45 AM PST by Tom Bombadil
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To: PokeyJoe

It doesn't. :) Next question?


18 posted on 11/10/2005 5:19:01 AM PST by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: PokeyJoe; DGray

You know, the letter M is where they are now regarding that theory. Funny, that theory, with its 11 dimensions, is not falsifyable; dimension 8 or so simply is not available to be falsified.

... but it is still treated as a theory, and scientific.

Dgray ... I'm sorry to hear you so tired of statements. But, hey, look at the bright side. You woke up on the right side of the turf today, and can actually feel tired!!


19 posted on 11/10/2005 5:22:06 AM PST by gobucks (Blissful Marriage: A result of a worldly husband's transformation into the Word's wife.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Possible Darwin Central ping.


20 posted on 11/10/2005 5:24:02 AM PST by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

FYI


21 posted on 11/10/2005 5:25:10 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: gobucks
The problem is this: ID searches for causes.

It does no such thing. It simply assumes a supernatural cause, without definition or attempt to understand its mechanisms, and decides that everything the observer is intellectually unequipped to understand is automatically a product of that supernatural cause. (And please, don't trot out the "Xenudidit" nonsense, or you'll have to tell me how Xenu was created, and how the creator of the creator of Xenu was created).

22 posted on 11/10/2005 5:26:10 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Fascinating headline. Looks fun! Let me try:

Query: Do Darwinists become closed-minded zealots and fools by education and training, or are these inborn traits?

23 posted on 11/10/2005 5:27:21 AM PST by JCEccles
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Considered scientifically, intelligent design is a hypothesis, not a theory. A hypothesis is a scientific conjecture that has not yet been tested by experiment. We don't generally go around teaching hypotheses in grade school, but we also don't reject them until we devise experimentsthat disprove them.

Scientifically, we can express the ID conjecture as: "There exists at least one biological structure or process that cannot be explained by natural selection". ID advocates have cited some examples they think are candidates, such as the bacterial flagellum. Are any scientists out there willing to scientifically test the hypothesis, or are they going to take natural selection on faith, as with "human-induced climate change"?

24 posted on 11/10/2005 5:27:29 AM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: Nicholas Conradin

Creative Design is, by definition, not a theory. To be a theory a hypothesis must be testable. Creative Design is not. When a theory becomes untestable it become philosophy.


25 posted on 11/10/2005 5:28:51 AM PST by The Shootist
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To: dhuffman@awod.com

Evolution isn't a theory, it's a fact based on the observed reality of the fossil record. There are theories about how it occurs. Natural selection is the most widely accepted theory of how evolution occurs (an early 20th c competitor was Lamarckism). Natural selection is falsifiable- one would merely need to show that genetic mutations are never beneficial to an organism, or that these mutations are acquired (Lamarckism) in the lifespan of an organism. Clearly the evidence is in favor of natural selection, but the theory of natural selection itself has undergone several major revisions over the past 100 years as a result of new evidence and a closer examination of existing evidence.

To the contrary of your assertion, I know several evolutionary biologists, and they are all thoroughgoing Popperians.


26 posted on 11/10/2005 5:29:48 AM PST by oblomov
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Someone who doesn't know the difference between wavelength and frequency ought not brow-beat people on the topic of science education.
27 posted on 11/10/2005 5:30:03 AM PST by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)
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To: JCEccles

Query: Are Creationists capable of debating without using the ad hominem fallacy?


28 posted on 11/10/2005 5:30:21 AM PST by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: Alamo-Girl

FYI


29 posted on 11/10/2005 5:31:03 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: I-ambush
The problem is that those on the Darwinism side of the debate refuse to see or studiously ignore the fact that the natural sciences do not contain all possible knowledge.

Science has never claimed to be the oracle of all possible knowledge. To make such a statement underscores your own ignorance of scientists. Do you actually know, in person or on line, any scientists? Any scientist who claimed science was such an oracle, would never pass his or her dissertaion exam.

30 posted on 11/10/2005 5:31:26 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
But should Intelligent Design -- the theory that living organisms were created at least in part by an intelligent designer, not by a blind process of evolution by natural selection...

This article seems fairly sound to me. But the same standard should apply to the other side. Proponents of evolution being a "blind process" -- i.e., purely the product of natural forces -- also propose no test by which that belief may be falsified, and therefore it is not scientific. Neither view belongs in a science classroom. Both are philosophies.

31 posted on 11/10/2005 5:34:00 AM PST by Sloth ("I don't think I've done a good job for 25 years" -- Mary Mapes. "I agree." -- Sloth)
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To: doc30
"Science has never claimed to be the oracle of all possible knowledge. To make such a statement underscores your own ignorance of scientists. Do you actually know, in person or on line, any scientists? Any scientist who claimed science was such an oracle, would never pass his or her dissertaion exam."


You are exactly correct "SCIENCE" does not claim such but flesh man sure does, else they would not make the claim that the Creator did not create fully grown adult beings, more than two. That rejection is an oracle of lack of knowledge.
32 posted on 11/10/2005 5:37:48 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Liberal Classic

Neither should someone who does not know the difference between philosophy and science.


33 posted on 11/10/2005 5:39:21 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Fester Chugabrew

Falsifiability, especially in rhetoric (via a continually reinforced argument) is a good starting point. As to 'science', the Science Wars, have they been won or lost and by whom?


34 posted on 11/10/2005 5:40:56 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
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To: dhuffman@awod.com

I would agree that falsifiability has it's place in science, but it is not the only element that qualifies it as such. Furthermore, much of what is posited by evoluionists as "falsifiable" is no such thing. The attitude ought to be "no options left out." I don't see that attitude in those who use the courts to enforce a particular, unproven, view of world history.


35 posted on 11/10/2005 5:46:50 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: SirKit

Here's another one about ID.


36 posted on 11/10/2005 5:47:41 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Just mythoughts
That rejection is an oracle of lack of knowledge.

Sorry, what makes Genesis correct? There are hundreds of creation stories that claim equal validity. What you purport is not knowledge, but faith, because you have no proof.

37 posted on 11/10/2005 5:50:40 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?

Neither. But the title is an example of being polemical.
38 posted on 11/10/2005 5:52:41 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Neither evolution nor ID is science in the first place. They are both attempts to explain past events on the basis of limited evidence. To that end they may use science and consult experts. Nothing is actually proved in the way it might be in physics or chemistry. Both are argued, and both have appealing arguments on their behalf. The problem with evolution as it is taught is that it includes (indeeds depends upon) a type of questionable argument called an enthymeme ("the glove don't fit, you must acquit") sprinkled with "magic science dust" to help it sneak by.

It is an absolute historical fact that evolution has been used from the beginning as an engine of destruction of religious faith by some people (not necessarily scientists). It is also a fact that ID is being used as a means of getting Christianity back into public schools. People sometimes get strident on both sides.

If you want to think clearly about evolution, imagine less Einstein and more CSI. This is a forensic question and the issue is currently unresolvable in terms of scientific proof. Materialists and believers will therefore make such arguments as they may on the basis of the evidence. Many modern educated people are, frankly, scared of God. They can take comfort in bad rhetoric posing as "science." As far as what goes on in school, we all know that evolution is taught as a scientific fact, which it is not.

Of course, neither is ID. :-)
39 posted on 11/10/2005 6:00:57 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: doc30
"Sorry, what makes Genesis correct? There are hundreds of creation stories that claim equal validity. What you purport is not knowledge, but faith, because you have no proof."

Faith comes from things NOT seen. Genesis is the description of the formation of "flesh" man, which is not living without the breath of life which means "soul" that entity which is not seen by the naked flesh eye. Genesis lays the foundation upon which the rest of the book follows, and planted therein are the witnesses that gives Genesis its credibility.

Genesis does NOT tell us the age of this earth, nor the age of the souls of man, only the "FLESH". This earth provides the evidence that give Genesis and the rest of the word credibility of what is past, it is FAITH that one has to believe what is said to come will come.
40 posted on 11/10/2005 6:05:49 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: oblomov
Evolution isn't a theory, it's a fact based on the observed reality of the fossil record.

With all due respect, I disagree. I invite you to consider that there is a difference between facts and arguments from facts. Fossils (that are not frauds) are facts. Fossils can be "interrogated" like any other evidence in an effort to figure out what they can tell us, and you may well decide the argument based on their evidence favors evolution. And of course, as you state, even if you like evolution, natural selection is another matter.

Natural selection is not a particularly compelling theory to explain the evidence, in my opinion.
41 posted on 11/10/2005 6:09:53 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: SalukiLawyer
Thank you. Physics is science, mathematics is science, chemistry is science. They are uniform, consistent and predictable. They are subject to experimentation and reproducable demonstration.

Agreed that darwinistic evolution involves a good deal of faith, exactly what it charges its critics of using. It has become the religion of science, a scientific "shibboleth."
It was, as you allude to, also used by people like Marx and Hitler to support some of the most damaging and horrific social, and genetic, engineering ever inflicted on humankind.

If we are just a product of a mechanical biochemistry than whatever is, is... There is no right, no wrong. Not really a world even a materialist biochemist would really want to live in.
42 posted on 11/10/2005 6:23:58 AM PST by Pete from Shawnee Mission ("Ten philosophys will fill the universe..." G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
Is someone from "Shawnee Mission" a neighbor to someone called "SalukiLawyer?" :-) (posting from Deep in the Shawnee National Forest ... old FR allusion heh heh heh)
43 posted on 11/10/2005 6:32:43 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: doc30
As a Christian, I have an open mind. The Genesis stories were imported into Christianity carte blanc as part of the acceptance into the entire Bible of the cononized "Old Testament". Just as science is to be scrutenized for accuracy, so should be any scriptual writings of the past.

The decendants, from "Adam", just don't add up and stupidly indicate a "New Earth" and if we want to be critical of agnostic science, we should also be just as critical of what religious "truths" we accept as fact. Just because some past generation has "canonized" writings doesn't mean search for devine truth should be aborted.

Personally, I believe there is no conflict between true scientific discovery and creation. It is simply our very slow discovery of the original design.

44 posted on 11/10/2005 6:39:17 AM PST by glowworm ( Liberalism is truly a mental condition...)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
Ah Shawnee Mission, well you spend some time on the Darwin worshiping threads and you will find you live in one of the most reviled places upon this earth by the evolutionists.

There is a vast amount of evidence here on these threads exposing what is thought of "free thinkers". I live across the state line from you and try NOT to provoke their wrath toooo often.
45 posted on 11/10/2005 6:40:13 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Nicholas Conradin

"Is Evolution a flawed scientific theory that will never become an established LAW, or is neo-darwinism nothing more than wishful dogmatic socialistic ideology masquerading as science???????"


46 posted on 11/10/2005 6:40:45 AM PST by Doc Savage (...because they stand on a wall, and they say nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch!)
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To: Stark_GOP

LOL - my thoughts too - e.g. - "When did you stop beating your wife?"


47 posted on 11/10/2005 6:42:59 AM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: gobucks
ID is the only non religious body of thought I have ever seen which is been so vociferously attacked and being denied an audience.

In what way is it scientific to assume that an unsolved problem has no solution?

48 posted on 11/10/2005 6:43:32 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: oblomov
"Evolution isn't a theory, it's a fact based on the observed reality of the fossil record. There are theories about how it occurs. Natural selection is the most widely accepted theory of how evolution occurs.."

Unfortunately in modern education (and the mass media) evolution, natural selection, and abiogenesis are mixed together as a single concept. So Darwinian natural selection based evolution is seen as the explanation for the origin of life -- something even many evolutionary biologists would have a hard time supporting or justifying.

Natural selection clearly plays a major role in evolution, but it also isn't the only factor. The existence of domestic animals, like cows and dogs, certainly can't be explained by natural selection. Nor can the existence of modern commercial hybrid plant species. So clearly other factors are involved, at least since humans became active on the planet.

Interestingly, I know of no researchers today who can accurately define a test which can identify biological entities designed and created in labs by humans, which one would assume would be "intelligently" designed. If you can't identify a living genetically engineered and created organism how would you expect to know if other organisms were or were not "intelligently designed"?

There are also cases of simple organisms that modulate their development based on their environment - which is essentially Larmarckian evolution, although apparently the organisms retain the ability to grow into multiple forms. This ability, if widespread, adds quite a bit of complexity to the simple natural selection models.

And a theory which says "life must have begun as a result of a lot of random molecular interactions which ultimately ended up producing a living organism" isn't much of a theory. It really has no more basis than someone that says "life must have begun as a result of some space ship arriving on earth and leaving organisms here". Both rely on a long statistical chain of events. To really dig into the origin of life requires a very deep understanding of how molecular biology works, probably more than is now available.

Instead of schools wasting time fighting over what shallow "theory" or "fact" they teach, they should make an effort to teach the students about what the various theories really mean, and how one might go about testing, understanding or evaluating them. Hopefully those students will go on to advance our understanding of our world and how life began.

49 posted on 11/10/2005 6:43:34 AM PST by freeandfreezing
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To: glowworm
"As a Christian, I have an open mind. The Genesis stories were imported into Christianity carte blanc as part of the acceptance into the entire Bible of the cononized "Old Testament". Just as science is to be scrutenized for accuracy, so should be any scriptual writings of the past.

The decendants, from "Adam", just don't add up and stupidly indicate a "New Earth" and if we want to be critical of agnostic science, we should also be just as critical of what religious "truths" we accept as fact. Just because some past generation has "canonized" writings doesn't mean search for devine truth should be aborted. "

Christ was in the Beginning = Genesis, it is Christ that Christian are supposed to be following NOT what man traditions are.

Now man's tradition are that this earth is around 6,000 years old, yet NOWHERE is that Written in the Word from Genesis to Revelations, some flesh man conjured it up.

Now Christ was the only PERFECT human being ever born of flesh woman, and it is HE that provides the evidence that evolution is a LIE.
50 posted on 11/10/2005 6:46:52 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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