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?
'Hawks interception placepark
It would be an honor. Look forward to seeing the results. A true delight to get under your skin for a change. All this time I thought I was being ignored. Maybe you could place a fruitcake picture next to my words. Please please please?!!!
The rocket ship conjecture is a bit far out for my taste, but panspermia is alive and well as a hypothesis, but panspermia is alive and well.
A productive ide is one that generates research or which suggests research. After 203 years, we are still waiting for ID to generate research.
I've heard him talk; I would disagree. Shifty eyes, shuffling gait; never look at the audience; etc. Or maybe I read too much into his embarassing presentation.
The arrogant charlatans come from the militant evolutionist camp.
I find it disappointing that Dawkins wouldn't respond to my later e-mails
trying to get his response to Ms. Brown's claims and indeed his lack of
response says a lot to me about this incident. I also found it
disappointing that Dawkins wouldn't admit that that the incident had occurred.
I owe Ms. Brown an apology for my initial skepticism and I offer it here. I
was unequivocally wrong in my suspicion of her. While we have in general
been on civil terms, I do want her to know that not all evolutionists
disregard truth as many creationists believe. After listening to the audio
tape, her video, I firmly believe records an accurate account of the
I might add that I think Ms. Brown did Dawkins a favor. While Dawkins is
shown staring at the ceiling for 11 seconds on the video, the actual time
on the audio is 19 seconds. She spared Dawkins 8 seconds of embarrassment.
I am sending a copy of this to both Dawkins and to Ms. Brown.
BTW....................GOOGLE is your friend.
Krauthammer was part of the Carter administration. He was a speechwriter for Walter Mondale and worked on Walter Mondale's bid for the presidency. He worked for The New Republic.
A "premiere Conservative"???...yeah, whatever
Dr. Krauthammer wrote this: "This new attack claims that because there are gaps in evolution, they therefore must be filled by a divine intelligent designer." - Clearly Krauthammer knows next to nothing about intelligent design or his agenda is showing. In Krauthhammer's attacks on ID he makes no scientific challenges.
Here is another angle on Krauthammers positions on ID from William Dembski's blog:
"Krauthammer is living proof that otherwise smart people have fallen hard for the despicable Darwinist strategy of conflating ID and religion. Especially onerous is their unscientific ad hominem assaults based on guilt through association. The fact of the matter is that some 80% of the U.S. population are Christians and another 10% are Jewish and/or Muslim who believe in the God of the old testament but not the messiah of the new testament. When 9 of 10 randomly chosen people believe in the God of Abraham how can anyone find it unusual or suspect when the vast majority of ID proponents happen to be Christians? Thats what happens when the vast majority of potential proponents are Christians. Indeed, what would be unusual and suspect would be to find a vast majority of proponents of any particular science in the U.S. to NOT be mostly Christians. Consider the National Academy of Science where the membership is 71% positive atheists and 12% agnostics leaving only 7% who are deists and theists. Its highly suspect when that particular group denies any theory of origins involving intelligent agency. The Academys unscientific religious bias is glaring. If theres any smoking gun pointing to a religious agenda (or anti-religious agenda) its the anti-ID crowd thats guilty of it. I prefer to consider just the ideas regardless of the person who holds it - thats objectivity and its one of the most important things for any scientist to strive for in their professional life. Subjectivity causes nothing but problems in science and engineering."
BTW: Google is your friend.
University of Kansas religious studies professor Paul Mirecki told the Lawrence Journal-World that two men who beat him were making references to the class that was to be offered for the first time this spring. Originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies," the course was canceled last week at Mirecki's request.
The class was added after the Kansas Board of Education decided to include more criticism of evolution in science standards for elementary and secondary students.
"I didn't know them," Mirecki said of his assailants, "but I'm sure they knew me."
Messages left by the Associated Press on Mirecki's cell phone were not immediately returned Monday night.
One recent e-mail from Mirecki to members of a student organization referred to religious conservatives as "fundies," and said a course describing intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." Mirecki has apologized for those comments.
Lt. Kari Wempe, a spokeswoman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, said a deputy was dispatched to Lawrence Memorial Hospital after receiving a call around 7 a.m. regarding a battery.
She said Mirecki reported he was attacked around 6:40 a.m. in rural Douglas County south of Lawrence. Mirecki told the Journal-World he was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck.
"I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind," he said. "They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out."
He said the men beat him on the head, shoulders and back with their fists, and possibly a metal object.
Wempe said Mirecki drove himself to the hospital after the attack.
Mirecki told the student newspaper, The University Daily Kansan, that he spent between three and four hours at the hospital. He said his injuries included a broken tooth.
"I'm mostly shaken up, and I got some bruises and sore spots," he told the Journal-World.
Wempe said Mirecki described the suspects as two white men between 30 and 40 years of age. One of the men was described as wearing a red visor-like ball cap and wool gloves. Mirecki said the men left in a large pickup truck
Wempe said the department would investigate "every aspect," but couldn't discuss specifics.
Andrew Stangl, president of the Society for Open Minded Atheists and Agnostics at the university, described the attack as "bizarre and terrifying." He said Mirecki, who is the group's faculty adviser, was adamant that the beating was related to the recently canceled course.
"That absolutely shocked me," he said, "because people don't do that in a civilized society."
Which virgin birth?
Mithra (Dec 25) (Oct 31 for computer junkies)
Ever install an operationg system from sense switches?
I would like to know more, though. One is always a little skeptical. But if it's true, well, it shows how crazy it's gotten.
You post, I'll ping.
Wonder when a few creationists (I know that not all of them are that crass) will show up to try and justify the act of violence.
"Natural Theology" was written in 1802. What new concept has arisen in the ID movement since then?
Ah yes, Christian bashing, well now we see what the real motivations of the militant evolutionist are.
Unguided processes tend to be that way. Fortunately no intelligence or design was involved with this occurence.
Maybe wait until the morning newspapers? Let's give it 12 hours. While it's likely legit, it's serious enough I'd hate to be hoaxed.
Sounds like the BAV have moved to Kansas.
Information theory and computation.
It's in several places, and there was a news conference this afternoon, so I'm assuming it's a legitimate story. I can usually pick up Kansas TV here, so I'll see if I can get the 10 p.m. news. Be ready to ping early a.m.
And from this, your conclusion is . . . ?
...should we let those who are uneducated and unqualified dictate the course of science?
It doesnt seem that we ought. But, should we then demand that those without a voice in the matter nevertheless must share in paying the bill? (Lets see . . . what was that called back in 1774/75)
Scientific evidence that may demonstrate irreducible complexity - that is the new concept.
Natural theology is a concept of theology (thus the name). ID has nothing to do with theology. Natural theology goes back much further than 1802 and Paley's book - Thomas Aquinas was big into this concept 600 years earlier.
Natural theology are arguments based on a deity. There is no deity in ID - other groups with theology as their root embrace ID in their effort to support the concept of deity but ID does not contain a deity - just evidence of design rather than evolution. If someone claims the "designer" of the irreducible complexity is God - that is their trip, but it not part of ID.
What do you mean, "crazy?" Just a minor glitch in the heartless process of natural selection, etc. Just the "laws of nature" at work. Onward and upward, you know.
Karl Giberson also states that, "Behe is right, of course, that there are many such complex things in nature that evolution cannot presently explain."
I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. It's true on its face. Doesn't mean that we have to leap to supernatural conclusions.
The standard seems much higher when it is the other way around.
You might want to have that persecution complex checked out. Stop it before it spreads. ;-)
500 years from now when some hapless paleontologist unearths his bones the "scientific" conclusion will be this fellow dined on a few too many corn nuts.
You despicable excuse for a human being.
How many posts before some creationists defends these guys?
Fester's gloating already. DSC just a week ago advocated doing what these guys did.
Professor, who possesses a cell phone decides to pull over and park to let a tailgater by. Said tailgater parks behind said Professor. The wise professor instead of driving off and using cell phone to report tailgater decides for whatever reason to chat with the exhaust sniffing sportsman. I'd rather not believe it happened than to accept the the story and realize that this person teaches at a university level.
Hehe. You wouldn't happen to be wearing a red baseball cap and wool gloves, would you?
Over use of "s" in the present tense; one and only one should be used.
I live in rural Nebraska. If a couple of guys were tailigating me, I would probably pull over, and might well get out to ask them what was up. This is not the kind of place you expect to have stragners attack you.
I didn't read far enough. Not one creationist will criticize this either.
You might want to have that persecution complex checked out.
Like natural selection and random mutations, it can happen anywhere, anytime.
About as many creationists as criticized the repeated lies and perjury of the Dover school board, I'll wager.
We know from that they apparently don't consider lying to infidels to be a problem, how do they feel about advance their agenda through the use of fists?
No. I "blamed" him for being stupid if it is true. If the guys were in a police car with lights and that happened, he wouldn't have been stupid just beaten up. If it is true the guys need to be punished to the full extent of the law. It is just that Denmark comes to mind.
Well, thanks for the offer, Wolf, but I can take care of myself. I'm no liberal, and I'm a big fan of the second amendment.
I would advise against that even in Amish country. A tailgating buggy is up to no good.(or you are going d*mn slow)