Skip to comments.Intelligent designís long march to nowhere
Posted on 12/05/2005 4:06:56 AM PST by PatrickHenry
The leaders of the intelligent design movement are once again holding court in America, defending themselves against charges that ID is not science. One of the expert witnesses is Michael Behe, author of the ID movements seminal volume Darwins Black Box. Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, testified about the scientific character of ID in Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, the court case of eight families suing the school district and the school board in Dover, Pa., for mandating the teaching of intelligent design.
Under cross-examination, Behe made many interesting comparisons between ID and the big-bang theory both concepts carry lots of ideological freight. When the big-bang theory was first proposed in the 1920s, many people made hostile objections to its apparent supernatural character. The moment of the big bang looked a lot like the Judeo-Christian creation story, and scientists from Quaker Sir Arthur Eddington to gung-ho atheist Fred Hoyle resisted accepting it.
In his testimony, Behe stated correctly that at the current moment, we have no explanation for the big bang. And, ultimately it may prove to be beyond scientific explanation, he said. The analogy is obvious: I put intelligent design in the same category, he argued.
This comparison is quite interesting. Both ID and the big-bang theory point beyond themselves to something that may very well lie outside of the natural sciences, as they are understood today. Certainly nobody has produced a simple model for the bigbang theory that fits comfortably within the natural sciences, and there are reasons to suppose we never will.
In the same way, ID points to something that lies beyond the natural sciences an intelligent designer capable of orchestrating the appearance of complex structures that cannot have evolved from simpler ones. Does this claim not resemble those made by the proponents of the big bang? Behe asked.
However, this analogy breaks down when you look at the historical period between George Lemaitres first proposal of the big-bang theory in 1927 and the scientific communitys widespread acceptance of the theory in 1965, when scientists empirically confirmed one of the big bangs predictions.
If we continue with Behes analogy, we might expect that the decades before 1965 would have seen big-bang proponents scolding their critics for ideological blindness, of having narrow, limited and inadequate concepts of science. Popular books would have appeared announcing the big-bang theory as a new paradigm, and efforts would have been made to get it into high school astronomy textbooks.
However, none of these things happened. In the decades before the big-bang theory achieved its widespread acceptance in the scientific community its proponents were not campaigning for public acceptance of the theory. They were developing the scientific foundations of theory, and many of them were quite tentative about their endorsements of the theory, awaiting confirmation.
Physicist George Gamow worked out a remarkable empirical prediction for the theory: If the big bang is true, he calculated, the universe should be bathed in a certain type of radiation, which might possibly be detectable. Another physicist, Robert Dicke, started working on a detector at Princeton University to measure this radiation. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson ended up discovering the radiation by accident at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., in 1965, after which just about everyone accepted the big bang as the correct theory.
Unfortunately, the proponents of ID arent operating this way. Instead of doing science, they are writing popular books and op-eds. As a result, ID remains theoretically in the same scientific place it was when Phillip Johnson wrote Darwin on Trial little more than a roster of evolutionary theorys weakest links.
|When Behe was asked to explicate the science of ID, he simply listed a number of things that were complex and not adequately explained by evolution. These structures, he said, were intelligently designed. Then, under cross-examination, he said that the explanation for these structures was intelligent activity. He added that ID explains things that appear to be intelligently designed as having resulted from intelligent activity.|
Behe denied that this reasoning was tautological and compared the discernment of intelligently designed structures to observing the Sphinx in Egypt and concluding that it could not have been produced by non-intelligent causes. This is a winsome analogy with a lot of intuitive resonance, but it is hardly comparable to Gamows carefully derived prediction that the big bang would have bathed the universe in microwave radiation with a temperature signature of 3 degrees Kelvin.
After more than a decade of listening to ID proponents claim that ID is good science, dont we deserve better than this?
But, you see, I wasn't talking about abiogenesis, nor was the posts to which I was referring. You brought that into the discussion later. I refuse to be sidetracked.
Where is the evidence that a cell climbed out of a primordial ooze some million/billion years ago?
"Define *clean line*."
Clean line is defined in the museum displays as they show a monkey walking into an ape walking into a human (with time-line)...A clean, straight line succession. Is there evidence for this or just a common ancestor between these?
Everybody can read. How many times do we have to catch you?
Not if science considers the current universe to be the result of countless potential combinations of matter forming by way of unguided, unintelligent, forces. It is the naturalistic viewpoint of all viewpoints that condones virtually any potential combination of matter, or random occurence, and so a virgin birth, water into wine, etc. are viable possibilities scientifically speaking. They must be, because matter is capable of behaving any way imaginable. It operates sans design and sans intelligence. Hence we may very well see a virgin birth simply by virtue of mutation and natural selection. Again, with virutally any scenario possible (since probabilities are scientifically non-explanatory), a virgin birth is a simple matter. Sure, it doesn't happen very often, and no one has witnessed it personally of late, but they didn't see the first life forms either.
You can cry "crackpot" and "but it looks like feathers" all you want...but that won't change the actual study results.
I'm sorry...I know it hurts to be defrauded in such a way, again.
This is just your common tactic...slander.
Everyone can see the link for themselves and read the words "support" and "funding" as it relates to ID and the ID debate.
They can also read Templeton's quotes from the Foundation website referring to "strong hints" for design and purpose.
Maybe some honest Darwin Central devotee will step in and settle this between us?
Why was I pinged on the Templeton Foundation quotes? I have never mentioned them. You have the wrong guy.
" You can cry "crackpot" and "but it looks like feathers" all you want...but that won't change the actual study results."
What study finds? Links please.
The study results can also be found at the UNC website along with a transcript of the related press conference.
I provided the info. in a previous thread some time ago.
The Discovery website and several other websites had articles about it recently as well.
Oh, my! Another empty victory dance. Maybe Running Wolf will come by and give you a cyber high-five for nothing; he's easy.
Here's your problem. Feduccia is hammering, hammering, hammering on Sinosauropteryx. The feathers look like scales (version one) or some kind of vague integuments (version two). So what? Here's the mainstream science progression for dinos to birds. (A cladogram.)
Sinosauropteryx is allowed to have primitive-looking proto-feathers. It's just insulation. The feathers get truer as you go out the branch. That's just what happens in the fossil record.
Feduccia is just pounding the table. That's why the museums are ignoring him. EVERYBODY's ignoring him.
They looked at it and found it lacking in rigor and intellectual seriousness. Now stop brazening your dishonesty.
Check out the October Issue of The Journal of Morphology or UNC's website (Dr. Alan Feduccia).
You seem reasonable.
You could have originally been mistaken in your reading. However, an honest person would have owned up at once when presented with the evidence.
From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people dont come out very well in our world of scientific review.Charles L. Harper, Jr., senior Vice President of the John Templeton Fund