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Intelligent designís long march to nowhere
Science & Theology News ^ | 05 December 2005 | Karl Giberson

Posted on 12/05/2005 4:06:56 AM PST by PatrickHenry

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To: donh
This guy is a working mechanical engineer

Really...you meant electrical engineer? Maybe his PhD in communications science escaped your vast knowledge? I see you ignore his message theory history. Let's face it, his mathematical credentials likely beat yours any day of the millenia...

he pretty much recapitulates Behe, and the rest of the current crop of darwinian naysayers,

I see you haven't read him, since you are 100% wrong as the book is a critical survey of the anti-creationists in the origins debate. Manifestly you aren't conversant with his treatise, let alone scientifically open-minded.

and his big falsifiable test for ID is to search for "Kilroy was here" encoded in some musty corner of the genome.

Read the book. Then you will stop mindlessly disparaging that which you should be studying...

A small quote from the preface should help you apprehend that your mistakes:

"The reader should not assume I align myself with the present body of creationist literature--on most occasions my disagreement with it is substantial. I have also been dismayed by evolutionists, who, for reasons of their own, felt unmoved to respond to the creatinists' legitimate arguments until prodded by multiple cases of serious legal action. This is a sorry but perhaps realistic view of how "science" often operates. I believe science can only benefit from the dialogue on origins. I disagree with those nay-sayers who declare the sky will fall if we lend an ear to the creationists. An an adversarial diaologue, responsibly undertaken, can only improve our science and understanding."

I should also mention that here in the Minnesota academic scene, that evolutionary pugilist PZ (little Paul) Meyers (from UofM Morris) FLEES at the approach of Remine, whom he cannot begin to refute effectively. Chicken. And he is your best. Has issues with his impoverished childhood in Washington state, hence he apparently blames the Universe or God for them, and thus tries to get back at God, by denying him. Pathetic.

701 posted on 12/06/2005 2:20:24 PM PST by Paul Ross (My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple...It is this, 'We win and they lose.')
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To: KamperKen
Actually, unlike virtually everyone else on this thread, I remain agnostic. Not enough information either way but I'm open-minded enough to entertain both sides of the argument.

Try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back. The question compulsively put before the house is whether or not ID is any kind of even marginally reputable science, and of course, it is not. This has little to do with whether or not it's true, and I expect opinions around here are pretty evenly scattered through quite a wide spectrum on the subject.

702 posted on 12/06/2005 2:21:50 PM PST by donh
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To: donh

"The question compulsively put before the house is whether or not ID is any kind of even marginally reputable science..."

Reputable scientists take facts as known and then posit ID theories based on them. Why is this intellectually invalid? Not testable or falsifiable, like Darwinism?


703 posted on 12/06/2005 2:26:05 PM PST by KamperKen
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To: dotnetfellow
I searched to find an explanation of what Gould meant and found this:
Although fossil species appear to persist unchanged through many strata, sequences of species clearly showing evolutionary trends abound, and records of one species transforming into another also exist (see below) although such are rare. And, of course fossil species are fully formed and functional! A partially formed and nonfunctional organism would die before or shortly after birth. Such species couldn't possibly exist to form fossils. Actually the phrase "fully formed" is used by Gould (1977) to describe the first appearance of a species in the fossil record. Gould simply meant that usually such species have all the features that characterize them throughout their subsequent period of stasis. He did not mean that higher categories (genera, families, orders, etc) appear fully formed in this sense (they don't) nor did he mean that transitional forms are not fully formed in the sense that they are incomplete and nonfunctional.
Unline you I will provide a link - I found this here.

So evidently I was wrong - even though he quoted it, it is Gould's term. I find that usage quite unobjectional, indeed how can one object to the idea that species have defining characteristics and that some earliest fossil will have them? I'm sure that's what you intended to convey in your post (yeah, right).

704 posted on 12/06/2005 2:26:34 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: Last Visible Dog
Maybe all there is in the universe is Materialism but I think science must use the scientific method rather than just assuming.

I agree. Now if you could just get the proponents of ID to agree to use the scientific method as well, none of us would have anything to argue about.

705 posted on 12/06/2005 2:29:36 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: donh
...his big falsifiable test for ID is to search for "Kilroy was here" encoded in some musty corner of the genome.

Well, not only is that not a prediction (because it is not derived from a logical argument) but it isn't testable because the notion is too ill defined. Is he being more specific than I infer from your comments?

706 posted on 12/06/2005 2:37:21 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: VadeRetro
"Author! Author!"

Gould. Sorry, I thought it was clear from the context.

707 posted on 12/06/2005 2:46:25 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Paul Ross
he pretty much recapitulates Behe, and the rest of the current crop of darwinian naysayers,

I see you haven't read him, since you are 100% wrong as the book is a critical survey of the anti-creationists in the origins debate. Manifestly you aren't conversant with his treatise, let alone scientifically open-minded.

and his big falsifiable test for ID is to search for "Kilroy was here" encoded in some musty corner of the genome.

Read the book. Then you will stop mindlessly disparaging that which you should be studying...

Let's examine a longer extract from your cite:

Half the book dismantles evolutionary illusions, such as:

* The carnival shell game maneuvering behind natural selection and the anthropic principle.
* The inability of evolutionary geneticists to make their models consistent with their claims and the data.
* The flexibility and untestability of evolutionary theory, it has no coherent structure. Many evolutionists are quoted to demonstrate the contradictions within evolutionary theory.
* The philosophical double-standards held by evolutionists, one standard for creation, and a lesser one for evolution.
* The misuse of terminology and classification methods to create evolutionary illusions.
* The fossil record systematically refutes the predictions of Darwinism. This is documented by quoting evolutionists themselves.
* Punctuationists (such as Stephen Gould) responded to their setbacks by constructing a theory that is compatible with a complete absence of evidence for evolution. Few students know that punctuated equilibria theory is specially constructed to destroy the appearance of lineages and identifiable ancestors.

The analysis of evolutionary theory receives praise from creationists and evolutionists alike.

The other half of the book is more controversial. The book doesn't just take shots at evolution, it actively proposes a scientifically testable creation theory to take its place. The new theory overturns Darwin's and Gould's arguments about "imperfect" designs, and most notably, the evolutionist's central argument — the nested pattern of life. The full range of biological issues are discussed, from vestigial organs, to embryology, to biomolecules, to biogeography, and more.

The central claims of the theory are simple and plausible: Life was reasonably designed for survival, and to convey a message that tells where life came from. The message can be described in two parts:

1. Life was designed to look like the product of a single designer.
2. Life was designed to resist all other explanations.

In other words, evolutionary theory helped shape the pattern of life — with a reverse impact. Life was intricately designed to resist all evolutionary explanations, not just Darwin's or Lamarck's.

As anyone who takes the trouble to look can see, I have accurately characterized the book, if the publishers have.

And that's regardless of my credentials in mathematics.

What is "message theory" anyway? And what does a phud in "communications theory" mean that you know? Transmission entropy a' la Shannon? How to find the ring line in a phone cable? Chomsky? Kauffman? Alfred Adler?

708 posted on 12/06/2005 2:48:21 PM PST by donh
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To: Paul Ross
A poster named medved used to thump Remine's Haldane Dilemma pitch all the time. It's just bogus.
709 posted on 12/06/2005 2:51:02 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Diamond
If it possible to show that no Darwinian pathway could reasonably lead to an irreducibly complex biological structure, that, at least in my mind constitutes refutability.

A reasonable evolutionary pathway for the bacterial flagellum has been uncovered. I suppose "reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder. However, if you find flaws with the research content of the following, please post them:

Evolution in Brownian Space

710 posted on 12/06/2005 2:51:54 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: RogueIsland
Gould. Sorry, I thought it was clear from the context.

You're right. I never went back to the dialogue before the long quote until it was too late.

711 posted on 12/06/2005 2:59:38 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: dotnetfellow
Right, he says it, then he tries to take it back. Sorry, no take backs.

What is this, freakin' first grade? I posted Gould's full writing from the quote onward to provide context regarding Gould's outlook on gradualism, which is what he is criticising. No surprise there, he's the guru of PE. He is NOT saying Evolution is wrong. He is critiquing a particular school of thought within in it. And not everyone agrees with his analyisis of things. He has also, as here, been guilty of sometimes writing in a manner easily open to multiple interpretations. It's his fault. No doubt about that. He's a brilliant guy, but sometimes his communications skills seem a bit muddled.

712 posted on 12/06/2005 3:02:53 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: edsheppa
...his big falsifiable test for ID is to search for "Kilroy was here" encoded in some musty corner of the genome.

Well, not only is that not a prediction

It sounds like a prediction to me: if we look hard enough, we will find an unmistakable message encoded in DNA that intends to tell us that only God can make a tree.

(because it is not derived from a logical argument)

I don't think Virtually anything of any great general interest, that I am aware of in science, is derived from logical argument.

but it isn't testable because the notion is too ill defined. Is he being more specific than I infer from your comments?

You could read for yourself the publishers (I presume) comments just above. I'm undecided, but this is probably just a sort of inverted variation on Behe's defense: just because you can't find this message from God in the DNA, will never prove it ain't there.

When Isaac Asimov used to get cornered at booksignings by creationists, he would begin to feverishly pitch the theory that animals spoke the King's English 10,000 years ago. Being Isaac Asimov, he could, of course, present reams of evidence in support of this theory, which he insistently presented, until his protagonists retreated. Who knows, perhaps animals did speak the king's english in 8000BC. After all, evidence is evidence, right?

713 posted on 12/06/2005 3:05:03 PM PST by donh
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To: donh
I am assuming you did not understand what I just said.

You do seem to assume a lot.

Science does not make a base assumption that there can only be material explanations.

Funny, that is not what you said earlier: donh(672): Science concerns itself with material explanations of material phenomenon, because that's the function of science.

Just for review:

Materialism is the philosophical view that the only thing that can truly be said to 'exist' is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of 'material' and all phenomena are the result of material interactions.

Your first definition of the function of science is the textbook definition of materialism.

Science merely makes a base assumption that material explanations are science's only realm of competence.

The Dogma of Materialism states science's only realm of competence is material explanations - this is not an immutable fact (it is materialistic dogma). Like I said - some base their thinking on the assumption of materialism. Science is only supposed to go where the data leads - you are adding dogma.

Speaking of not understanding - donh, how do you reconcile these two statement you just made in #699:

donh(699): Science does not make a base assumption that there can only be material explanations.

donh(699): Science merely makes a base assumption that material explanations are science's only realm of competence.

In the first statement you say science does not make base assumptions that can only be material explanations and in the second statement you say science makes base assumptions that science can only find material explanations.

Science can find anything. Science can find evidence of a deity - or something we currently feel is supernatural. Science can go wherever the data leads unless it is shackled by dogma such as the dogma of materialism where it is assumed every explanation must be material. This is not to say I am certain there are explanations outside the realm of the material - just that it is possible and science is no longer science when it starts with base assumptions that are based on dogma.

This is an epistimological claim...

Of course it is - it is the dogma of the philosophy of Materialism. What do you think the term "epistemological dogma" means? Try this example:

The impressive successes of technology not only continuously strengthened this aspect [rationality] of reality but they finally also caused the rise of the epistemological dogma that science and technology offer the only access to reality.
-Kurt Hübner, Philosophy of Modern Art and the Philosophy of Technology (an interesting read on a different subject: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v4n1/HUBNER.html)

and so it is not, as you persist in claiming, dogma

Poppycock. It is philosophical dogma - the dogma of Materialism. Your denial is not very convincing.

and it is not, as you persist in claiming, at odds with supernatural explanations commonly held by most Judeo-christians.

I never made any such claim.

714 posted on 12/06/2005 3:06:46 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: RogueIsland
I agree. Now if you could just get the proponents of ID to agree to use the scientific method as well, none of us would have anything to argue about.

ID uses the scientific method to the exact same extent as those that claim to refute it.

715 posted on 12/06/2005 3:11:03 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Diamond
Isn't morality also part of what is? If so, then it must have evolved, but if that's the case why then wouldn't evolutionary theory have anything to say about it?

Let's say there were two primitive, hunter-gatherer societies. One of them had a culture that encouraged cooperation, including things like "don't murder each other", "don't take other peoples' things", "tell the truth", etc. The other society had a culture that encouraged short-term gain at the expense of other members.

Which one do you think would be more likely to grow? Why? Which one would be more likely to perform collective actions in an emergency? Or rescue someone else's children from a sabretooth?

We're all cultural descendents of the successful cultures. A non-genetic Darwinian mechanism has removed the others.

Consider that the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, etc etc *all* have laws againsts murder, theft, adultery (not always defined exactly the way we do), and so forth. None of them received the Decalogue.

716 posted on 12/06/2005 3:14:35 PM PST by Virginia-American
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To: Last Visible Dog
Speaking of not understanding - donh, how do you reconcile these two statement you just made in #699:

donh(699): Science does not make a base assumption that there can only be material explanations.

donh(699): Science merely makes a base assumption that material explanations are science's only realm of competence.

Perhaps if you stopped foaming at the mouth, and cut down your freighted verbiage count substantially, your brain could relax enough to examine what is in front of your eyes. I do not need to reconcile these statements because they are not in conflict. I'll not be answering the rest of your post because I don't understand it, and your demeanor is too abrasive to motivate me to try to untangle this vague philosophical ramble.

717 posted on 12/06/2005 3:21:03 PM PST by donh
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To: Last Visible Dog
In the first statement you say science does not make base assumptions that can only be material explanations and in the second statement you say science makes base assumptions that science can only find material explanations.

Oh, I guess maybe I can make sense of what's going on here after all.

Science looks only at detectable stuff, and tries to explain what it sees in terms of detectable stuff. Explanations in terms of as yet indetectable stuff, such as God, or ID or string theory or continental drift, or a relative universe, have to eventually put up or shut up in terms of detectability.

The only claim science makes about indectable causes, such as God or ID, is that it doesn't know squat.

since it seems to bear repeating in formal philosophical vocabulary: philosophical materialism holds that material is all there is. Neither science nor I advance this claim, no matter how hard you squint in order to see the use of the word "material" as a claim to formal philosophical materialism.

718 posted on 12/06/2005 3:39:42 PM PST by donh
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To: donh

I might not have been clear. I was saying that it isn't a *scientific* prediction because it doesn't follow from any theory (or at least I doubt he has so derived it). Obviously there is more to science than predictions, things like facts, theories, laws, experiments.


719 posted on 12/06/2005 3:40:42 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: Right Wing Professor
I have all the relevant posts stored on disk, so history is not going to be erased, either.

I'm sure you do, Madame Defarge.

720 posted on 12/06/2005 3:48:24 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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