Skip to comments.Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?
Posted on 11/10/2005 4:43:24 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin
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Was I wrong to say that it was Galileo who measured the acceleration of gravity by direct observation of falling objects?
Was I wrong to say that Newton asserted his equations applied to all objects in the universe -- something he could not possibly know from observation?
Was I wrong to say that Newton's equations were generally regarded as receiving their first great confirmation with the reappearance of Halley's comet?
On which statement was I wrong?
Opponents dismiss ID's scientific credentials, claiming that the theory is too implausible to qualify as scientific.Hardly. The principal objection is what he says later, that ID fails to conform to what we mean by "scientific theory." Obviously Kriegel does not follow the issue very closely.
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.Talk about getting it wrong! Kriegel is confusing the predicted discoveries of Neptune (Bouvard/Herschel/...) and Pluto (Tombaugh) based on observed discrepancies in the orbits of other planets with GR's prediction about the precession of Mercury's orbit.
I'm not sure someone so ignorant can add much to the debate.
"Under that definition, we would have to carve up dogs into several different species, as many breeds of dog cannot naturally mate with other breeds (Great Danes and chihuahuas)."
Not only that, but what about two breeds of dog that can only produce fertile offspring 50% of the time? 90%? 10%?
We all already know the answer to that one.
Why is this so hard for anti-Es to understand. There is no philosophical demand of truth, only of utility. It is very clearly useful that a scientific theory make testable predictions. While there are many aims of science, the major one is to control future outcomes. A "theory" that permits no deductions is useless for that.
You make a lot of other errors too. For example, ID doesn't "search" for causes and that Marx's and Freud's "theories" are rejected because of testing.
Aha! I've got it now. Piltdown man WASN'T FAKE AT ALL!!!! Those evil liars of evolutionary biologists realised that this great BRITISH discovery undermined the SATANIC theory of evolution. So they not ONLY capitalised random words AND lEttERs, but they tampered with that BEAUTIFUL FOSSIL that falsified evolution to make it SEEM like a fake. Oh the DEVILISH CUNNING of those Darwin Central Black-ops OPERATIVES. [/raving tinfoil hat paranoid creationist mode]
Your ignorance is astonishing. Many, and perhaps most, of those on the "Darwinism side" are religious. Here, let's try a prediction based on your theory: if you poll the "Darwinist" posters here at FR, then, if you are right, none of them should be religious. Try it and let us know the results.
The black and white areas are easy- housecats and tigers are clearly different species. The gray areas are a bit tougher- lions and tigers can interbreed to create fertile offspring. Perhaps with several more million years of speciation, lions and tigers will lose this ability to interbreed.
Species aren't distinct pigeonholes, but rather a continuum with limitless gradations along the way.
It is the way old gobucks tells them. Has me in stitches every time.
Cheap shots? Rational and logic from the demented one defending known liars? LMAO!!
Man you are funny! Glad your here though.
I think you got your answer.
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
So does ID -- and it's getting laughed off the stage, and rightly so.
Funny ... ID is the only non religious body of thought I have ever seen
ROFL!! Yeah, pull the other leg now, liar:
And if you were honest, you'd admit that what really honks you off is that your *religion* is not being allowed to be taught as science. Come on now, you believe the "designer" is the God of the Bible, right? Just like 99+% of all the other "IDers". "ID" is just creationism dressed up in a Trojan Horse with a sign on the side that says "science".
which is been so vociferously attacked
It has been "so viciferously attacked" because it is grossly dishonest and fatally flawed, and because it has viciously attacked science with lies and propaganda. It deserves as much abuse as Michael Moore gets, and for exactly the same reasons.
and being denied an audience.
Horse manure. Please stop posting lies. It gets to much of an audience that it's being overwhelmed by the volume of the critical response it has earned. The only thing it is being "denied", and rightly so, is being treated as a science, when it's not. It's being rejected from science journals, and rightly so, and it's being rejected from science classes in schools, and rightly so.
The same goes for astrology, too, but you don't hear them whining about it all the time.
You're dead wrong. Its analysis of "ID" is right on the money.
The *majority* of Americans who accept evolution are Christians. Sorry if that shatters your simpleminded presumption.
Very elegantly put.
...for good reason. If evolution is true, then populations of organisms should often "fuzz" into each other, making for no clear line of separation between them. And that *is* exactly what we find in nature. Thanks for confirming evolution for us, we appreciate your assistance.
Getting a clue yet? Nah, probably not. Ok, then try reading this and see if the little light comes on:
The same issue arises at higher taxonomic levels as well. For example, from a creationist standpoint, where do "apes" end and "humans" begin? From an evolutionary standpoint, one would *expect* there to be "gray area" cases where one form "fuzzes" into the other, and a simple "either or" determination is difficult to make in an objective manner. And that's exactly what we do find. What's really hilarious is when the creationists try to force-fit these specimens into their preconceived (but false) "either or" categories -- the creationist notions crash into reality and go down in flames. For example:
Index to Creationist Claims: Claim CB801:Complaints about creationists not defining "kind" are unfair since evolutionists can't define "species" consistently.
- Species are expected often to have fuzzy and imprecise boundaries because evolution is ongoing. Some species are in the process of forming; others are recently formed and still difficult to interpret. The complexities of biology add further complications. Many pairs of species remain distinct despite a small amount of hybridization between them. Some groups are asexual or frequently produce asexual strains, so how many species to split them into becomes problematical.
Creation, defining things as kinds that were created once and for all, implies that all species should be clearly demarcated and that there should be a clear and universal definition of kind or species. Since there is not, creationism, not evolutionary theory, has something to explain.
- Different definitions of species serve different purposes. Species concepts are used both as taxonomic units, for identification and classification, and as theoretical concepts, for modeling and explaining. There is a great deal of overlap between the two purposes, but a definition that serves one is not necessarily the best for the other. Furthermore, there are practical considerations that call for different species criteria as well. Species definitions applied to fossils, for example, cannot be based on genetics or behavior because those traits do not fossilize.
Further Reading:Schilthuizen, Menno., 2001. Frogs, Flies, and Dandelions: the Making of Species, Oxford Univ. Press. See especially chap. 1.
Cracraft, Joel, 1987. Species concepts and the ontology of evolution. Biology and Philosophy 2: 329-346.
Cracraft, Joel, 2000. Species concepts in theoretical and applied biology: A systematic debate with consequences. In Species concepts and phylogenetic theory: A debate, edited by Q. D. Wheeler and R. Meier. New York: Columbia University Press, 3-14.
Hull, David L., 1997. The ideal species concept -- and why we can't get it. In: Species: The units of biodiversity, M. Claridge, H. Dawah and M. Wilson, eds., London: Chapman and Hall, 357-380.
Kottler, Malcolm J., 1978. Charles Darwin's biological species concept and theory of geographic speciation: the Transmutation Notebooks. Annals of Science 35: 275-297.
Mayden, R. L., 1997. A hierarchy of species concepts: the denoument in the saga of the species problem. In: Species: The units of biodiversity, M. F. Claridge, H. A. Dawah and M. R. Wilson eds., London: Chapman and Hall, 381-424.
Mayden, R. L., 1999. Consilience and a hierarchy of species concepts: advances toward closure on the species puzzle. Journal of Nematology 31(2): 95-116.
Wilkins, John S., 2003. How to be a chaste species pluralist-realist: The origins of species modes and the Synapomorphic Species Concept. Biology and Philosophy 18:621-638.
[From here:]Okay, *your* turn now. If as you say "biologists hava [sic] a CRAPPY definintion [sic]" of species, then give us *your* definition. Base it on the Bible to make it even more amusing, if you wish. Then I'll show you why your alternative definition falls flat when compared against reality (i.e. nature). Be sure your definition properly handles atypical cases such as ring species, asexually reproducing organisms, hybrids, and so on. We'll wait.
The following table summarizes the diversity of creationist opinions about some of the more prominent items in the human fossil record.
Creationist Classifications of Hominid Fossils Specimen Cuozzo
Ape Ape Ape Ape Ape Ape Java
Ape Ape Human Ape Ape Human Peking
Ape Ape Human Ape Human Human ER 1470
Ape Ape Ape Human Human Human ER 3733
Ape Human Human Human Human Human WT 15000
Ape Human Human Human Human Human
As this table shows, although creationists are adamant that none of these are transitional and all are either apes or humans, they are not able to tell which are which. In fact, there are a number of creationists who have changed their opinion on some fossils. They do not even appear to be converging towards a consistent opinion. Gish and Taylor both used to consider Peking Man an ape and 1470 a human, but now Gish says they are both apes, and Taylor says they were both humans. Interestingly, widely differing views are held by two of the most prominent creationist researchers on human origins, Gish and Lubenow. Bowden, who has also written a book on human evolution, agrees with neither of them, and Mehlert, who has written a number of articles on human evolution in creationist journals, has yet another opinion, as does Cuozzo in his 1998 book on Neandertals. Cuozzo has taken the most extreme stance yet for a young-earth creationist, saying that even H. erectus fossils (in which he includes the Turkana Boy) should not be considered human. (Old-earth creationist Hugh Ross takes an even more extreme stance, claiming that not even Neandertals should be classified as human.)
It could be pointed out that evolutionists also disagree on how fossils should be classified, which species they belong to, etc. True enough. But according to evolutionary thinking, these fossils come from a number of closely related species intermediate between apes and humans. If this is so, we would expect to find that some of them are hard to classify, and we do.
Creationists, on the other hand, assert that apes and humans are separated by a wide gap. If this is true, deciding on which side of that gap individual fossils lie should be trivially easy. Clearly, that is not the case.
ER 1813 (H. habilis?, 510 cc) is almost totally ignored by creationists, but it is safe to say that they would all classify it as an ape. Few mention ER 3733 (H. erectus, 850 cc) either, but those who do seem to consider it human (although it's hard to be sure in Bowden's case). As one would expect given its essentially human skeleton, virtually all creationists consider the Turkana Boy to be human, although Cuozzo has been a recent exception. (Cuozzo recognizes that it is different from any modern ape, of course; he believes that apes have degenerated from Homo erectus, just as he believes that modern humans have degenerated from Neandertals.)
It would be fascinating to know what creationists think about fossils such as OH 12 (H. erectus, 750 cc), Sangiran 2 (H. erectus, 815 cc), OH 7 (H. habilis, 680 cc), OH 13 (H. habilis, 650 cc), but unfortunately few creationists even mention these fossils, let alone discuss them in any depth. The recently-discovered Dmanisi skulls overlap the erectus/habilis boundary so perfectly that creationists have almost totally ignored it - and when they have mentioned it, they've carefully avoided making any judgement as to what those skulls might be.
Then the theory is elevated to a fact,
shutting down all rational discussion.
Horse manure. Have all the rational discussion you want. But when you or the other anti-evolutionists engage in *irrational* discussion, or make false slanderous attacks on science or scientists, then yeah, expect to be treated with all the scorn you've richly earned.
Hint: The first requisite to critiquing an issue -- especially a well-established field of science -- is knowing what in the hell you're talking about, and a having a firm knowledge of the field you're attempting to discuss. Unfortunately, anti-evolution creationists and IDers almost without exception are complete idiots on the subject they attempt to attack, and they end up making utter fools of themselves over and over again. It's pretty funny, actually, but it also gets annoying when they fail to learn anything from their failures and just keep coming back in endless hordes of arrogantly insulting but grossly ignorant naysayers. It's like arguing with know-nothing liberals. It gets old after a while, especially when they have absolutely no interest in actually learning, but an overwhelming desire to attack anyway.
Think I'm exaggerating? Just check out the hundreds of bogus claims and arguments they use on a regular basis.
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.
ROFL!!! Wow, speaking of ignorance... Here, let's see if you're capable of learning something for a change (those creationist pamphlets have filled your head with garbage):
Furthermore, outside of direct biological applications, evolutionary theory has proved *enormously* powerful when applied to "hard" problems which resist a good "design" solution (oh, the irony) -- see for example: Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Computation. Yes, that's right -- evolution is capable of achieving *better* solutions to problems than "design" is. Getting a clue yet?
Index to Creationist Claims: Claim CA215:The theory of evolution is useless, without practical application.
Source:Lindsey, George. 1985. Evolution -- Useful or useless? Impact 148 (Oct.). http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=252
Wieland, Carl. 1998. Evolution and practical science. Creation 20(4) (Sept.): 4. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i4/evolution.asp
- Evolutionary theory is the framework tying together all of biology. It explains similarities and differences between organisms, fossils, biogeography, drug resistance, extreme features such as the peacock's tail, relative virulence of parasites, and much more besides. Without the theory of evolution, it would still be possible to know much about biology, but not to understand it.
This explanatory framework is useful in a practical sense. First, a unified theory is easier to learn, because the facts connect together rather than being so many isolated bits of trivia. Second, having a theory makes it possible to see gaps in the theory, suggesting productive areas for new research.
- Evolutionary theory has been put to practical use in several areas (Futuyma 1995; Bull and Wichman 2001). For example:
- Bioinformatics, a multi-billion-dollar industry, consists largely of the comparison of genetic sequences. Descent with modification is one of its most basic assumptions.
- Diseases and pests evolve resistance to the drugs and pesticides we use against them. Evolutionary theory is used in the field of resistance management in both medicine and agriculture (Bull and Wichman 2001).
- Evolutionary theory is used to manage fisheries for greater yields (Conover and Munch 2002).
- Artificial selection has been used since prehistory, but it has become much more efficient with the addition of quantitative trait locus mapping.
- Knowledge of the evolution of parasite virulence in human populations can help guide public health policy (Galvani 2003).
- Sex allocation theory, based on evolution theory, was used to predict conditions under which the highly endangered kakapo bird would produce more female offspring, which retrieved it from the brink of extinction (Sutherland 2002).
Evolutionary theory is being applied to and has potential applications in may other areas, from evaluating the threats of genetically modified crops to human psychology. Additional applications are sure to come.
- Phylogenetic analysis, which uses the evolutionary principle of common descent, has proven its usefulness:
- Tracing genes of known function and comparing how they are related to unknown genes helps one to predict unknown gene function, which is foundational for drug discovery (Branca 2002; Eisen and Wu 2002; Searls 2003).
- Phylogenetic analysis is a standard part of epidemiology, since it allows the identification of disease reservoirs and sometimes the tracking of step-by-step transmission of disease. For example, phylogenetic analysis confirmed that a Florida dentist was infecting his patients with HIV, that HIV-1 and HIV-2 were transmitted to humans from chimpanzees and mangabey monkeys in the twentieth century, and, when polio was being eradicated from the Americas, that new cases were not coming from hidden reservoirs (Bull and Wichman 2001). It was used in 2002 to help convict a man of intentionally infecting someone with HIV (Vogel 1998). The same principle can be used to trace the source of bioweapons (Cummings and Relman 2002).
- Phylogenetic analysis to track the diversity of a pathogen can be used to select an appropriate vaccine for a particular region (Gaschen et al. 2002).
- Ribotyping is a technique for identifying an organism or at least finding its closest known relative by mapping its ribosomal RNA onto the tree of life. It can be used even when the organisms cannot be cultured or recognized by other methods. Ribotyping and other genotyping methods have been used to find previously unknown infectious agents of human disease (Bull and Wichman 2001; Relman 1999).
- Phylogenetic analysis helps in determining protein folds, since proteins diverging from a common ancestor tend to conserve their folds (Benner 2001).
- Directed evolution allows the "breeding" of molecules or molecular pathways to create or enhance products, including:
Directed evolution can also be used to study the folding and function of natural enzymes (Taylor et al. 2001).
- enzymes (Arnold 2001)
- pigments (Arnold 2001)
- bacterial strains to decompose hazardous materials.
- The evolutionary principles of natural selection, variation, and recombination are the basis for genetic algorithms, an engineering technique that has many practical applications, including aerospace engineering, architecture, astrophysics, data mining, drug discovery and design, electrical engineering, finance, geophysics, materials engineering, military strategy, pattern recognition, robotics, scheduling, and systems engineering (Marczyk 2004).
- Tools developed for evolutionary science have been put to other uses. For example:
- Many statistical techniques, including analysis of variance and linear regression, were developed by evolutionary biologists, especially Ronald Fisher and Karl Pearson. These statistical techniques have much wider application today.
- The same techniques of phylogenetic analysis developed for biology can also trace the history of multiple copies of a manuscript (Barbrook et al. 1998; Howe et al. 2001) and the history of languages (Dunn et al. 2005).
- Good science need not have any application beyond satisfying curiosity. Much of astronomy, geology, paleontology, natural history, and other sciences have no practical application. For many people, knowledge is a worthy end in itself.
- Science with little or no application now may find application in the future, especially as the field matures and our knowledge of it becomes more complete. Practical applications are often built upon ideas that did not look applicable originally. Furthermore, advances in one area of science can help illuminate other areas. Evolution provides a framework for biology, a framework which can support other useful biological advances.
- Anti-evolutionary ideas have been around for millennia and have not yet contributed anything with any practical application.
- Arnold, Frances H. 2001. Combinatorial and computational challenges for biocatalyst design. Nature 409: 253-257.
- Barbrook, Adrian C., Christopher J. Howe, Norman Blake, and Peter Robinson, 1998. The phylogeny of The Canterbury Tales. Nature 394: 839.
- Benner, Steven A. 2001. Natural progression. Nature 409: 459.
- Branca, Malorye. 2002. Sorting the microbes from the trees. Bio-IT Bulletin, Apr. 07. http://www.bio-itworld.com/news/040702_report186.html
- Bull, J. J. and H. A. Wichman. 2001. Applied evolution. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 32: 183-217.
- Cherry, J. R., and A. L. Fidantsef. 2003. Directed evolution of industrial enzymes: an update. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 14: 438-443.
- Conover, D. O. and S. B. Munch. 2002. Sustaining fisheries yields over evolutionary time scales. Science 297: 94-96. See also pp. 31-32.
- Cummings, C. A. and D. A. Relman. 2002. Microbial forensics-- "cross-examining pathogens". Science 296: 1976-1979.
- Dunn, M., A. Terrill, G. Reesink, R. A. Foley and S. C. Levinson. 2005. Structural phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancient language history. Science 309: 2072-2075. See also: Gray, Russell. 2005. Pushing the time barrier in the quest for language roots. Science 309: 2007-2008.
- Eisen, J. and M. Wu. 2002. Phylogenetic analysis and gene functional predictions: Phylogenomics in action. Theoretical Population Biology 61: 481-487.
- Futuyma, D. J. 1995. The uses of evolutionary biology. Science 267: 41-42.
- Galvani, Alison P. 2003. Epidemiology meets evolutionary ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(3): 132-139.
- Gaschen, B. et al.. 2002. Diversity considerations in HIV-1 vaccine selection. Science 296: 2354-2360.
- Howe, Christopher J. et al. 2001. Manuscript evolution. Trends in Genetics 17: 147-152.
- Marczyk, Adam. 2004. Genetic algorithms and evolutionary computation. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/genalg/genalg.html
- Nesse, Randolph M. and George C. Williams. 1994. Why We Get Sick. New York: Times Books.
- Relman, David A. 1999. The search for unrecognized pathogens. Science 284: 1308-1310.
- Searls, D., 2003. Pharmacophylogenomics: Genes, evolution and drug targets. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2: 613-623. http://www.nature.com/nature/view/030731.html
- Sutherland, William J., 2002. Science, sex and the kakapo. Nature 419: 265-266.
- Taylor, Sean V., Peter Kast, and Donald Hilvert. 2001. Investigating and engineering enzymes by genetic selection. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 40: 3310-3335.
- Vogel, Gretchen. 1998. HIV strain analysis debuts in murder trial. Science 282: 851-852.
Thanks for good post.
Thanks for [the] good post.
Sorry about that.
Ding ding ding.
Evilution Theology is not science.
Anyone who is at least a theist, let alone a Christian, or especially an elder, must by necessity believe in some form of intelligent design.
What part of "Maker of heaven and earth..." (from the Apostles Creed) do you not understand?
As to the tactics and push of the political movement named IE, that's a different matter.
What is evilution theology then. Is it an alternative name for ID?
Youre not an official crevolist Freeper until Dimensio calls you a liar.
You can make unwarranted, unevidenced assertions until you are blue in the muzzle. It was garbage the first time you said it, and it is still garbage no matter how many times you repeat it. See if you can find a practicing physicist who agrees with you on that particular point before repeating it. We'll wait.
Actually, the word "finch" appears only 3 times in "Origin of Species". That's hardly enough to get "bored" by the topic while reading Darwin's book.
The Galapagos finches were one of the clues which led Darwin to develop his theory, yes, but he subsequently actually used them very little as an example (instead, he mostly referred to examples with which his audience would already be personally familiar). Someone who hadn't read his book might *presume* that he would have written a lot about finches, however.
It thus appears to me that you are lying about actually having read the book. Please explain.
All mentions of finches in "Origin of Species":
"The short-faced tumbler has a beak in outline almost like that of a finch..."
"...when I first kept pigeons and watched the several kinds, knowing well how true they bred, I felt fully as much difficulty in believing that they could ever have descended from a common parent, as any naturalist could in coming to a similar conclusion in regard to the many species of finches, or other large groups of birds, in nature."
"...for instance, the canary-bird has been crossed with nine other finches, ..."
The astute reader will note that to Freeper anti-evolutionists, earning a reputation as a liar is something they're *proud* of.
Excuse me while I gag.
astute readers also recognize sarcasm...plus it is true..he calls everyone a liar.
come on ich, dont slip on me
No it doesn't. In fact ID positively and relentlessly REFUSES to search for causes, or even speculate about causes. It restricts itself to "inferring" only the (alleged) effect -- the presence of "design" -- but won't say a word about how (or when, where, etc) that design was caused or instantiated.
Are you saying that Running-Dog is a lying, clownish, worthless, cowardly troll who can't spell, think, or understand logic?
I've never called Alamo-Girl a liar. But then, unlike many of the creationists here on FR, she doesn't engage in clear and blatant dishonesty.
That I don't have much use for evolution in my field of specialization--physics--should not be taken to imply that I have any use for the supposed alternative idea.
ok, 1 Freeper....I'll give you 1
Yeah. We all know that evilutionists never read fiction or philosophy, recite a poem, play or listen to music, learn a recipe, love a woman, ride a horse, repair a car, or do anything at all requiring, involving or acknowledging knowledge or knowhow outside of the natural sciences. They are, to a man, unidimensional automatons of soulless science!
(Do I really need sarcasm tags?)
I have had to eat my words on these threads a couple of times, so I appreciate anyone who engages in an actual discussion.
Someone has pointed out to me that Galileo did not have the technology to make precise measurements of gravitational acceleration. There is no doubt that he made measurements.
Newton was one of the brightest men who ever lived, and his work is brilliant, but he built a cosmology out of a few data points. He no more observed the workings of the cosmos than Darwin witnessed dinosaurs mating.
Science is about building explanitory theories and looking for evidence to confirm or refute the expectations of theory.
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