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.
It is a bit surprising, I agree. I wonder if Krauthammer confuses Intelligent Design theory with Creationism? He shows no signs of having actually read any of the major ID texts.
Also, he's wrong about Newton. Newton may have been a Christian, but as far as religion went he was also a spiritualist and something of a fruitcake. Which, I suppose, just goes to show that you actually can be a religious nut (from a traditional point of view) and a great scientist at the same time.
I am not terribly familiar with the theory of Intelligent Design , however, I do believe that it is possible that Evolution may well have been the process God used to create life on this planet. The Bible doesn't really say how, specifically, it happened. Regardless, knowing how it happened is not going to get me into Heaven. Knowing that He is life's author, will.
"writing out of ignorance and knocking down a straw man."
Ya know, I am really gettin sick of this straw man dude appearing everywhere to screw up logic, reason, and worthwhile debate....I hate the bastard...where's my lighter?
If he only had a brain...
I love Krauthammer. Only people who are so smart that they think they know how God created life have to tout this Intelligent Design stuff. the rest of concede that just maybe, evolution is one possible vehicle God used. Go ahead and flame me. My faith does not depend on someone's definition of how God created us. Evolution is just fine with me...and yes, I do appreciate the scientific theories that we call "medicine"...no need to throw that out too.
But it's ok for the Darwin Fundies to claim they know how God did it. Great double standard.
"I do believe that it is possible that Evolution may well have been the process God used to create life on this planet."
But not by chance natural selection. And even more importantly, the first living organisms would not have occurred by chance in this scenario. It would have to be an evolution guided by Intelligence in a particular direction i.e. to create Man.
P.S. Good essay. The immediately operative question in the school trial that has gotten the Darwinists so riled up is not whether ID should REPLACE Darwin in the schools, but whether science teachers will be allowed to mention that there's this book in the library that questions Darwin, if they have enough curiosity to consult it in their spare time.
The Darwinists won't even allow that to happen, without bringing the full majesty of the law to bear to shut all opposition up.
"Only people who are so smart that they think they know how God created life have to tout this Intelligent Design stuff"
Intelligent Design is proposed as a theory as is Darwinism. The ID theory is based on the same evidence as is available to all scientists, ID'rs just interpret it differently. They are not claiming to be any smarter than anyone, they are only proposing an alternate theory that they believe is justified by the evidence.
Does it really matter what Darwinists think? Like I posted earlier, while it would be interesting to know how the creation of the world happened, the important information here for believing Christians is that He did the creating. That Darwinists find this concept to be "unscientific" is their problem, not mine.
1) There's no such thing as a "Darwinist."
2) Evolution has nothing to do with either the creation of the world, or the creation of life.
I agree. Although I have been flamed for this, I don't really think that it matters how it happened because it doesn't affect my day to day living and my ability to use science as a tool to gain knowledge and make discoveries. (Although some seem to think that it does) Even if evolutionists could really "prove" (inasmuch as you can prove anything in science) evolution, then what? Their point is....?
You and me both.
Interesting thread. Thanks for providing all the links, too.
LOL. Well, I read all 4 essays, by Krauthammer, Gilson, Seldon, and Witt.
By far, Krauthammer's was the most intelligent and logical. However, that is my opinion, just as the converse might be yours. However, one passage from Gilson's essay is very significant:
ID is not about theology. It is a scientific proposition, whose proponents are putting it forth to be tested in the realm of science (see here under Origins). It is not fraudulent, because to be a fraud it would have to have a hidden agenda. In fact it is out there for anyone to see. Is it good science? Let time tell.
Just love it. Let time tell. OK, now I get a twofer, because I posted on this earlier.
ID has been around for 10 years now. In that time, how many scientific papers have been published on ID?? OK, Gilson, let time tell. 10 years, we should see something. How many references: ZERO.
Use Google to find Entrez PubMed, which will take you to a database of 15 million peer-reviewed publications in the primary scientific literature. The site, maintained by the National Library of Medicine, allows users to enter a search term and retrieve references to relevant publications.
For instance, enter natural selection in the search box and click go; about 14,000 references will be found. Mutation gets 40,000. Speciation gets 5,000. Human origins gets 22,000. Behe intelligent design gets zero.
Some of my favorites:
Horse feces: 929 citations.
VooDoo: 78 citations.
Diaper RAsh: 475 citations. I really bust a gut with that one... LOL.
And intelligent design: ZERO
My point to Gilson and his comic group of fakes, whose credentials are the Discovery Institute (snicker) is that time has already told, sport. Game over.
"But it's ok for the Darwin Fundies to claim they know how God did it. Great double standard."
Well, at least the "darwin fundies" tend to have science and data behind them.
"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.
The identity of the peer reviewer is kept confidential.
Clearly, you have no experience with this.
Please post the actual calculations. I would like to test them. Thank you so much in advance. Oh, the odds of mixing together the various chemicals..... are infinitesmally small. How much is "infinitesmally small"?? What is that calculation??? What is the number??? Is it 1 in a million?? One in 1 billion??? The number, please?
Thank you so much in advance.
evolution / life on earth and the creation of the universe are two different things.
trying to bundle them into one argument would be a mistake.
The Earth is Flat bump.
The Evolution v Creation argument may be the undoing of civilization.
If we deny that we are created beings (a creation must have a Creator), we have no accountability and an excuse to behave badly. If kin to apes, our primal desires to murder and breed are then instinctual. We are without guilt and free to roam and do as we please.
Promiscuous sex, unwanted pregnancy, abortion (murder). The decline of the family... the decline of civilization.
Clearly, you have no experience with this.
Bingo. But tell me, kept confidential from whom? If the reviewer really "screws it up", is there no mechanism for disciplining that particular reviewer? If, in the opinion of the editors, you really botch these reviews, do you mean to tell me it does not affect your career?
I think the fall-back position would be a utilitarianism, on which it might be possible to build a certain ethic. But history is not very supportive of such a possibility. Atheist socities have one thing in common: they have all been blood-soaked failures. Whenever I hear folks railing about how "religion causes wars" I like to remind them that Secularist societies have killed for people than all the religious societies put together, and that the most influential atheist in human history was Joseph Stalin, followed closely by Mao Tse-Tung.
Nope, it does not affect your career.
disciplining that particular reviewer. I mean no disrespect, sir, but this one is funny. The answer is yes, they can "discipline" you. They can cease asking you to review papers!! LOL. Peer review is considered a painful task that is undertaken as part of scientific responsibility. No one likes it, but it is like jury duty, you do it as part of a civic obligation.
I have gotten in trouble for negatively reviewing only one paper. And the reason was that my laboratory (not the journal editor) made the review public. They did that only with my permission, because it involved a program review of a program that was costing the DOE millions of dollars annually. So, they used my review to kill the program. The net effect, which I discussed in my earlier post, was that I earned enemies for life.
Otherwise, no one knows the peer reviewer. I have never found out who has reviewed any of my papers,.... ever.
DNA... the code.
My daughter is a genetic anomaly. She cannot procreate because the genetic code is mutated. She is a 45 XO or a Turner.
A mule is also sterile because the dna code is broken. Nature takes care of mutations. They stop at once. A cat makes another cat. Period. A bird cannot make a reptile. The deviancy in the genetic code won't allow it.
However that is what many are taught...In fact I do believe the book is called "Origin of Species" not Differencing of Species...
The first life would be the first "Species" therefore Origin of Species would imply Origin of life... evolution theory does not allow for any non-evolution creation of any Species/Life ...does it? ...because if it did then ID is back in the mix to create the very first life that is designed to survive and improve itself...I.E "evolution" is designed in to it's program