Skip to comments.Charles Krauthammer's Ignorant Essay on Design
Posted on 11/22/2005 7:58:24 PM PST by truthfinder9
Charles Krauthammer's syndicated essay against intelligent design ran opposite mine in today's Seattle Times. The piece is full of problems, which Tom Gilson and Lawrence Seldon explore in loving detail here and here.
Now I would have framed a couple of points in their otherwise fine analysis a little differently. In one place, Gilson describes agnostic David Berlinski as an ID proponent. It would be more precise to call Berlinski a Darwin skeptic and friendly critic of design theory. Also, Seldon writes that Krauthammer "rants about Dover and Kansas ... writing out of ignorance and knocking down a straw man." To be generous, I would have said that Krauthammer "writes calmly and authoritatively out of ignorance, knocking down a straw man."
I'm rooting for Krauthammer to do his homework and, like British philosopher Antony Flew, change his mind.
"Charles Krauthammer's Ignorant Essay on Design"
This isn't the article's title. Why did you change it?
It was the basic argument of Raymond Sebond's Natural Theology, published in the 1420's, the only difference being that he wasn't ashamed to name the Intelligent Designer as being the Christian God.
Wow. I stand corrected, sir. Indeed, they were more honest then.
Well, we should recalculate the numbers, then. How many citations has ID received in just under 600 years???
But I wonder, how many citations will horse feces have over that time span????
From an ID website:
See the website for the long answer. Ridiculing your debate opponents by calling them a comic group of fakes reduces your credibility, and the overall churlish tone also reduces your credibility. Too bad because you do make some good arguments.
The Short Answer:
Point A. Science is not done by committee. It does not matter that intelligent design is rarely found in the journals because as free-thinking responsible scientists, we must test a theory ourselves and see if it holds up and not judge a theory based upon its apparent lack of presence in mainstream journals, or even by the "popular opinion" of the scientific community.
Point B. ID proponents have published articles in peer reviewed science journals advocating their pro-design positions. Admittedly, these articles are rare. However, even if it does matter that intelligent design is scarcely found in mainstream peer reviewed journals, the counterpoint is that design is not excluded from the journals on the basis of its merits, but rather because of "new paradigm opposition." History of science has taught us that journals tend to exclude ideas which are radically opposed to current paradigms. Intelligent design is at odds with both the prevailing paradigm of biology today, evolution, as well as the prevailing mechanistic philosophy of science dominating origins science. Thus, exclusion of intelligent design is only to be expected, even if intelligent design is supported by evidence.
Point C. Though "opposition to new paradigms" plays a major role in the exclusion of design from journals, the exclusion is also the byproduct of a political controversy, which serves to instill misunderstandings about intelligent design theory in the minds of many scientists, who are misled to believe that intelligent design is an untestable religious theory that has no place competing with true empirically based scientific theories in the journals. Misunderstandings about the theory itself--and not opposition to its evidential merits--play a very large role in its exclusion.
Point D. Actually, upon closer inspection, once one understands the predictions of intelligent design theory, it becomes clear that there is much data published in the journals already supporting intelligent design theory; researchers simply have not been inferring design because the implications of their results have not been made clear to them.
Both sides of this debate are right in my view ... right in pointing out how bogus some proponents on the other side are.
Being fond of tin foil, the only explanation I've heard that made sense to me about this controversy is that ID is a plot by some smart alecks on the left to sucker some traditional Christians on the right into an indefensible position.
Dang ... getting low on Reynolds Wrap again. Gotta go now, off to the store.
[...Evolution may be process God used to create life...]
I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did [them] SUDDENLY, and they came to pass. (Isaiah 48:3)
IMO this is the argument against a long creation day. The Hebrew calendar says the creation days were 24 hours long. No longer. This verse says God spoke and SUDDENLY it (creation) came to pass.
I only read this thread as far as the headline. Calling Krauthammer ignorant is like calling Bill Clinton honest. You're credibility already has too many strikes against it to take anything else you say seriously.
Both sides also have some that find the extreme in the other position and categorize ALL others holding a similar position in the same mold. You'd think there was no middle ground.
The essential point it makes is that the organized complexity we find in life's forms is almost certainly not due to simple random permutions and consequence selection.
From that I do not conclude that there is a God. I only conclude that we don't yet understand very well how these layers of complexity evolved.
Granted, I'm a god damned atheist, so I didn't expect to find a God, nor do I expect anyone reading this on FR will agree with me, or even understand me. Such is life.
When I visit some small out of the way gift shop that has been carefully put together over decades, by the same person as who now sits behind the counter, greeting my entrance, with a ready story for each piece in his store, I find a place that was very much created by a single being.
When I visit downtown Manhattan, with its unfathomably rich structure in so many ways, from the small details on the Rolex watches to the pipe fittings to the street layout to the workers, cabbies and cops, to the grand skyscrapers and finance centers, I do not find a place created by a single being. Literally millions of people, some far away and long ago, have had a hand in what is now a wonderfully complex place.
Life and the Universe, like Manhattan, is teaming with rich complexity and layered dependencies. We are still understanding the rules and metarules by which it is ordered and changes and grows.
See the website for the long answer.
The Short Answer:
OK, I went to the website and read it. Your short answers were a direct quote, so let me take them one at a time.
Point A: Yes, science is not done by committee, but it is done by publishing and by peer reviewing. And, the peer review process is necessary to keep out the crazy stuff. I have been a peer reviewer. It is a tough process. Moreover, it is much tougher to reject a paper than to accept it. I actually discussed this at length on an earlier post.. Moreover, the process of publishing scientific results is a central aspect of science, because it allows the broad scientific community to retest and confirm your results. Most scientific fraud has been discovered using this very mechanism. The DI notion that it is not necessary to publish in peer reviewed journals is a weak excuse at best. This notion of "we must test the theory ourselves" but not publish and therefore not allow anyone else to test it is ridiculous.
Point B: This is essentially a rehash of point A. It is basically an excuse that they cannot get their papers published. But again, real science does publish. Real science can get past the peer reviewers, who are more likely to accept than reject (it is easier). And the best science engaged in the controversy and ultimately was published. I know of no real science that has not been published. Controversy is part of the process, and indeed, Physicist posted today that even Einstein had trouble publishing in the Physical Review. Can you cite any real science (other than ID), that has not been published??????
Point C: This is another excuse of why they cannot be published. It's another rehash. They cannot be published and it is everyone else's fault. It is not the fact they do bad work. It is the fault of the entire remainder of the scientific community that is against them and "doesn't understand" them. Please, enough whining. Moreover, it can easily be disproven. It turns out that there have been Creationist papers that have been published. In an earlier debate with LiteKeeper, when I challenged him about publications, to his credit, he provided several Creationist citations, maybe a couple of dozen or so. Nothing on ID, though. So it is not impossible to get these things published. And indeed, from a conventional scientific perspective, Creationism is more controversial than ID.
Point D. This point is ridiculous at its face. The idea is that there are many publications that imply intelligent design. OK, Discovery Institute, which ones??? How about some citations coupled with a direct analysis. How about some proof of this. It is a bald assertion with no substantiation. In the same vein, I could equally assert that there are scientific publications that imply the existance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
My fundamental problem with ID is that every time I ask for a proof of the assertion, I get silence. I have asked for publications. Answer: nothing. One poster stated that ID was correct because "I can do the math." So, naturally, I asked him to post the math. Answer: nothing. And on and on.
So, we have another assertion: "Lots of scientific papers imply Intelligent Design. Do the authors of these papers know this??? Which papers??? Explain the direct connection. How many papers???
"One vehicle" would be impossible because it is the view of the Darwinian Evolutionists that Evolution is the exclusive vehicle. Both IDers and Creatiionists believe that "some evolution" has taken place. The idea of evolution as "one vehicle among others is not acceptable among Darwinians. For them, it is all or nothing. They are the absolutists.
Maybe you're not really an Evolutionist.
Krauthammer is a Catholic bashing, pro-choice, socialist. But, because he loves war, Fox News and knee-jerk FReepers give him a pass as a "conservative".
"Well, at least the "darwin fundies" tend to have science and data behind them."
And the best they can do is say that the fossil record supports the ToE. We've been told time and again that you can't "prove" anything in science, (see I've been listening) so they can't really tell us it's a fact or that Creation didn't happen because they don't KNOW that God DIDN'T create the universe and use evolution.
Your full question should be spelled out. What you are asking is "how many scientific papers have been published in journals which have policies against publishing ID articles?"
Analogy: "Buddhists obviously can't sing because there aren't any Buddhists in the Baptist choir."
Unless you know that accepting it will cause you to lose friends, lose grants and lose your honored standing. Then rejection becomes the easy course.
Please, when are you guys going to stop whining about how everyone is against you. Now, all of the scientific journals have policies against you. For crissakes, even the Creationists can get something published. He**, Cold Fusion was published all over the place. It just can't be all that hard.
But the total publications from ID: ZERO
However the argument that "We don't know how it happened, so someone must have designed it" answers nothing for me. It just regresses the magic.
I'm just still trying to understand.