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Academia's Assault on Intelligent Design
Townhall ^ | May 27,2007 | Ken Connor

Posted on 05/28/2007 5:44:20 PM PDT by SirLinksalot

There is evidence for intelligent design in the universe." This does not seem like an especially radical statement; many people believe that God has revealed himself through creation. Such beliefs, however, do not conform to politically correct notions in academia, as Professor Guillermo Gonzalez is learning the hard way. An astronomer at Iowa State University, Professor Gonzalez was recently denied tenure—despite his stellar academic record—and it is increasingly clear he was rejected for one reason: He wrote a book entitled The Privileged Planet which showed that there is evidence for design in the universe.& nbsp; Dr. Gonzalez's case has truly distressing implications for academic freedom in colleges and universities across the country, especially in science departments.

Dr. Gonzalez, who fled from Cuba to America as a child, earned his PhD in astronomy from the University of Washington. By academic standards, Dr. Gonzalez has had a remarkable career. Though still a young man, he has already authored sixty-eight peer-reviewed scientific papers. These papers have been featured in some of the world's most respected scientific journals, including Science and Nature. Dr. Gonzalez has also co-authored a college-level text book entitled Observational Astronomy, which was published by Cambridge Press.

According to the written requirements for tenure at the Iowa State University, a prospective candidate is required to have published at least fifteen peer-reviewed scientific papers. With sixty-eight papers to his name, Dr. Gonzalez has already exceeded that requirement by 350%. Ninety-one percent of professors who applied for tenure at Iowa State University this year were successful, implying that there has to be something seriously wrong with a candidate before they are rejected.

What's wrong with Dr. Gonzalez? So far as anyone can tell, this rejection had little to do with his scientific research, and everything to do with the fact that Dr. Gonzalez believes the scientific evidence points to the idea of an intelligent designer. In fact, as World Magazine has reported, at least two scientists in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the Iowa State University have admitted that intelligent design played a role in their decision. This despite the fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not teach intelligent design in any of his classes, and that none of his peer-reviewed papers deal with the subject. Nevertheless, simply because Gonzalez holds the view that there is intelligence behind the universe, and has written a book presenting scientific evidence for this fact, he is considered unsuitable at Iowa State.

What is the state of academic freedom when well qualified candidates are rejected simply because they see God's fingerprints on the cosmos? Isn't the Academy supposed to be a venue for diverse views? Aren't universities supposed to foster an atmosphere that allows for robust discussion and freedom of thought? Dr. Gonzalez's fate suggests that anyone who deigns to challenge conventional orthodoxy is not welcome in the club.

In the future, will scientists who are up for tenure be forced to deny that God could have played any role in the creation or design of the universe? Will Bible-believing astronomers be forced to repudiate Psalm 19, which begins, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands"? Will faithful Catholics be required to reject the teaching of Vatican I, which said that God "can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason..." Just where will this witch hunt lead?

The amazing fact is that, even as many science departments are working overtime to forbid professors from positing that there is evidence for intelligent design in the universe, more and more scientists are coming to this conclusion. The Discovery Institute has compiled a list of over seven-hundred scientists who signed the following statement: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." The list of scientists who find good reason to doubt the strictly materialistic Darwinism that is currently scientific orthodoxy is growing every day.

It seems that many scientists and academicians who hold views contrary to Dr. Gonzalez have concluded that the best way to avoid debate about the evidence for intelligent design is to simply deny jobs to those who will not affirm their atheistic worldview. The fact that these scientists, who are supposedly open to following the evidence wherever it leads, have resorted to blatant discrimination to avoid having this conversation speaks volumes about the weakness of their position. They realize their arguments are not sufficient to defeat the intelligent design movement and they must, therefore, shut their opponents out of the conversation. All the evidence suggests that it is unjust that Dr. Gonzalez was denied tenure and that this ruling should be overturned on appeal. Nevertheless, what happened to Dr. Gonzalez is a reflection of the growing strength of the intelligent design movement, not its weakness.

--------------------------------------------

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC and a nationally recognized trial lawyer who represented Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: aaup; academia; coyotecutnpaste; creationisminadress; fsmdidit; id; idisanembarrassment; idjunkscience; intelligentdesign; prejudice; tenure; thewedgedocument
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1 posted on 05/28/2007 5:44:22 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

“What’s wrong with Dr. Gonzalez? So far as anyone can tell, this rejection had little to do with his scientific research, and everything to do with the fact that Dr. Gonzalez believes the scientific evidence points to the idea of an intelligent designer.”

And it scares the heck out of the those that hope like heck there ain’t no God.


2 posted on 05/28/2007 5:46:07 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: SirLinksalot

For those who want to look at Prof. Guillermo Gonzalez’s Scientific qualifications, see here for his citation record among peer reviewed journals and other magazines :

http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200705/0761.html


3 posted on 05/28/2007 5:47:50 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: txzman
...the scientific evidence points to the idea of an intelligent designer.

That's the crux of the professor's problem: There isn't any scientific evidence supportive of ID.

4 posted on 05/28/2007 5:49:22 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: SirLinksalot

Never challenge a well-established orthodoxy that is not sure of its ground. If Galileo were alive he would be on the side of Dr. Gonzalez, because he shared his views.


5 posted on 05/28/2007 5:51:02 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Rudder

There could be more than one intelligent designer.


6 posted on 05/28/2007 5:53:22 PM PDT by pleikumud
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To: Rudder
Forget the Darwinian controversy. Gonzalez is an astronomer, and his sin is not accept the many-world theory, which is founded on no empirical data.
7 posted on 05/28/2007 5:54:24 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Rudder
“That’s the crux of the professor’s problem: There isn’t any scientific evidence supportive of ID.”

To state for the 98th time, Prof Gonzalez was not teaching ID in the classroom.
Not to be rude, but you may want to read on the facts of the case before commenting.
Gonzalez is being persecuted for his beliefs; mainly by a atheist “religious studies” studies professor named Hector Avalos.

8 posted on 05/28/2007 5:54:54 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: pleikumud

Occam’s razor. No.


9 posted on 05/28/2007 5:55:36 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: SirLinksalot

>>“What’s wrong with Dr. Gonzalez? So far as anyone can tell, this rejection had little to do with his scientific research, and everything to do with the fact that Dr. Gonzalez believes the scientific evidence points to the idea of an intelligent designer.”<<

I’ve read a lot about this and I don’t think that is true.

His beliefs and credentials don’t seem to be in question. It is his position as a senior fellow in a group that works against science education. No science based department is going to want that association.

Now, we can discuss whether science related activities outside the classroom should be considered for tenure but if such activities can be considered, his are really big red flag.


10 posted on 05/28/2007 5:58:06 PM PDT by gondramB (No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil)
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To: Rudder
That's the crux of the professor's problem: There isn't any scientific evidence supportive of ID.

What about the digital design of DNA? What about ORDER in general?

11 posted on 05/28/2007 5:58:27 PM PDT by sirchtruth (No one has the RIGHT not to be offended...)
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To: txzman

This is the problem I have with Intelligent Design as science.

I believe in God and that Jesus Christ is the son and the way to the father, however, any assertions that of a Supreme Being created the universe must backed up with scientific fact. It is not, it is religion not science.


12 posted on 05/28/2007 6:02:25 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: SirLinksalot
I read The Privileged Planet - a great work and backed up in every way possible.

I expect the Evolution Worshippers to show up on this thread anytime now.....

10

9

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7

6

...........

13 posted on 05/28/2007 6:02:27 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: RobbyS
If Galileo were alive he would be on the side of Dr. Gonzalez, because he shared his views.

Galileo would be denied tenure also.

14 posted on 05/28/2007 6:02:42 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rear view mirror.)
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To: BipolarBob

Well, in effect, he was.


15 posted on 05/28/2007 6:03:53 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: SirLinksalot

Well, let’s say for the sake of the argument that he is wrong.

A lot of scientists propose theories that turn out to be wrong. As long as they don’t fake or fudge their evidence, what’s so bad about that? If he can be proved wrong, then presumably it weakens the case for ID and indirectly helps to advance the science of astromy by eliminating one possible theory.

What is simply intolerable in this and similar cases is that he is being kicked out of his job like a criminal for proposing a politically incorrect thesis. That isn’t the way science is supposed to work. Various people propose various theories, and the better theories work their way to the top and the others are discarded. Or, alternatively, the book is simply ignored.

There is a kind of hysterical bigotry and intolerance on the part of the anti-ID people that is truly frightening, because it suggests that our scientific establishment has really gone onto ideological steroids and is unwilling to adhere to the normal rules of scientific discourse. Instead they turn to bullying, persecution, and activist judges to enforce their beliefs, and will tolerate no questions whatever of their views.


16 posted on 05/28/2007 6:04:25 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SirLinksalot
I’m guessing Iowa St. gets Fed funds.

is no tenure because of of beliefs a litmus tests ?

Could this go to the SCOTUS ?

17 posted on 05/28/2007 6:04:52 PM PDT by stylin19a (It's easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the yard)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
Gonzalez is being persecuted for his beliefs; mainly by a atheist “religious studies” studies professor named Hector Avalos.

< sarcasm > That cannot be true - people who claim to follow science are always totally objective and never let their personal fears or bias enter into the argument. < / sarcasm >

18 posted on 05/28/2007 6:05:23 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SirLinksalot

Long story short, Gonzales is just another target and victim of the Godless left. We will see much more of this as the left continues its war on the core substance and beliefs of America.


19 posted on 05/28/2007 6:06:28 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SkyPilot

Evolution worshipers? That’s projection. Believers in ID are the worshipers trying to insert religion into science.


20 posted on 05/28/2007 6:06:32 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions----and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: SkyPilot

So, who or what is the designer?

What is the difference between order and chaos?

What is number?


21 posted on 05/28/2007 6:07:08 PM PDT by JmyBryan
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To: SirLinksalot

the time is gonna come when lots of the ID folks are
gonna build their own university, and do their
own research with own suppositions......I mean 1,000 or so
Ph.D.’s would make a formidable faculty....
The state run colleges/universities can’t stop them
from doing that.....


22 posted on 05/28/2007 6:09:24 PM PDT by Getready (Truth and wisdom are more elusive, and valuable, than gold and diamonds)
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To: JmyBryan

What is the frequency, Kenneth?


23 posted on 05/28/2007 6:09:35 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rear view mirror.)
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To: Cicero
A lot of scientists propose theories that turn out to be wrong.

You do know the difference, in science, between a hunch, a guess, a hypothesis and a theory, don't you?

24 posted on 05/28/2007 6:09:36 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: pleikumud
There could be more than one intelligent designer.

Got any scientific data supporting your suggestion?

25 posted on 05/28/2007 6:10:54 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: saganite
Believers in ID are the worshipers trying to insert religion into science.

I have news for you pal. God created physics, fluid dynamics, statics, chemistry, biology, and anything else the little mind can try to comprehend.

We were created to worship God. If you don't worship God - you will attempt to replace Him with something else - like His creation.

Or yourself.

26 posted on 05/28/2007 6:12:03 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: sirchtruth

That’s not proof.


27 posted on 05/28/2007 6:12:17 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: HereInTheHeartland
He wrote a book entitled The Privileged Planet which "showed" that there is evidence for design in the universe.

Again, there are no scientific data supporting such a notion.

28 posted on 05/28/2007 6:12:58 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: JmyBryan
What is number?

1,686,098.0644

29 posted on 05/28/2007 6:13:09 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
The Privileged Planet bump!
30 posted on 05/28/2007 6:14:03 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: sirchtruth
What about the digital design of DNA? What about ORDER in general?

What about it? Even random events have statistical probabilities and their frequency distributions generate a standard normal curve--if that ain't order, I don't know what is.

"Digital design of DNA:" Talk about begging the question...

31 posted on 05/28/2007 6:17:47 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: gondramB
His beliefs and credentials don’t seem to be in question. It is his position as a senior fellow in a group that works against science education. No science based department is going to want that association.

He is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. That is the group famous for their Wedge Strategy, which was leaked and posted on the internet.

Now, one passage from the Wedge Strategy reads,

We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

What does "science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions" mean? It sounds like somebody wants to censor scientific research where it does not agree with a particular religious belief.

I don't think that type of "science" or that type of censorship are good things, and I can imagine that the scientific community feels the same way.

Anyone who is a Senior Fellow in an anti-science group holding such a stated goal can't legitimately complain when the scientific community does not accept him with open arms. (Duh!)

32 posted on 05/28/2007 6:18:34 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Rudder

Yes.


33 posted on 05/28/2007 6:20:29 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Rudder
"Again, there are no scientific data supporting such a notion."

Bingo! ID better belongs in social studies, religious studies or political sciences, not the hard sciences.

34 posted on 05/28/2007 6:22:08 PM PDT by elfman2 (An army of amateurs doing the media's job.)
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To: SkyPilot

I see you use the base 10, hindu-arabic system. Obviously, God loves you.

Of course, design is a difficult word/definition to pin down without an opposite - much like symbolic versus diabolic.


35 posted on 05/28/2007 6:23:43 PM PDT by JmyBryan
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To: SkyPilot

LOL! The argument to end all arguments eh? Shut up, I’m right and you’re going to hell.


36 posted on 05/28/2007 6:24:01 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions----and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: SirLinksalot

Intelligent design is repeatedly attempting to play chess using checkers rules. If you want to play chess, you play by the rules of chess, or you aren’t playing chess, no matter how much you want others to think you are playing chess.

Science is the same way. It has very exact rules, and if you perform scientific experiments by those rules, you have performed a scientific experiment. Nothing more. It is a closed system. The problem comes when you either interpolate or extrapolate something else from a scientific experiment that is outside of the parameters of the experiment.

The only distinction science has over other studies is that if you follow the recipe of an experiment, anyone should be able to duplicate that same result, anywhere, if they follow the recipe, exactly. Adding nothing extra and taking nothing away.

And that is science. It intentionally ignores variables that might incidentally change the outcome of the experiment. This is because the vast majority of times, that strange variable won’t happen, so is not part of the recipe. If it does happen, then it is ignored, and the experiment is tried again until it makes the same predicted result that it is supposed to.

So why try to subvert the rules of chess, or science, except that you resent the clarity that both have. If you are a novice, you cannot beat a chess master if you play by the rules, so you try to change the rules. You cannot defy a scientifically conducted experiment, unless you try and alter or interfere with the recipe.

And this is why that professor was denied tenure. Because he was hired to teach and practice the very exacting rules of science. By advocating intelligent design, he as much as said that he does not follow the rules, or believe that in following the rules a scientific result will follow from a scientific experiment.

In a way, that is like a master chess player who tries to play by different rules against other chess players, because he believes in other rules. How can that be seen as other than cheating? If he does it so much as once in a formal setting, I could imagine him being stripped of his title.

Even if he is a master, he is not playing chess.


37 posted on 05/28/2007 6:31:14 PM PDT by Popocatapetl
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To: SirLinksalot
Sue the University Dr. Gonzalas.

Another scholar, Dr. Michael S. Adams at UNCW, who was also denied tenor, is doing just that. PDF.file

38 posted on 05/28/2007 6:31:22 PM PDT by TOneocon (The reason there is so much poverty is because of the uneven distribution of capitalism...Rush)
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To: Cicero

For what you said-—”A lot of scientists propose theories that turn out to be wrong.”-—to be accurate, the professor would have to have abundant scientific data that have been repeatedly tested by himself and others before he could put forth a theory. And, as I said, there are no scientific data supportive of ID.


39 posted on 05/28/2007 6:34:15 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Rudder

Not true.


40 posted on 05/28/2007 6:36:29 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: gondramB
It is his position as a senior fellow in a group that works against science education.

Not true! Absolutely not true!

41 posted on 05/28/2007 6:37:17 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Rudder
You do know the difference, in science, between a hunch, a guess, a hypothesis and a theory, don't you?

Global Warming?????

42 posted on 05/28/2007 6:39:28 PM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: LiteKeeper

What’s not true?


43 posted on 05/28/2007 6:41:54 PM PDT by gondramB (No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil)
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To: gondramB

His group does not work against science education!


44 posted on 05/28/2007 6:43:01 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: SirLinksalot

i predict his detractors will end up in a large black hole that is very hot!


45 posted on 05/28/2007 6:43:40 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: LiteKeeper

>>His group does not work against science education!<<

I’ve read a great deal about the discovery Institute. They advocate teaching things in science class not based on science. That meets my definition of working against science education.


46 posted on 05/28/2007 6:48:40 PM PDT by gondramB (No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil)
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To: Rudder
Evidence for Intelligent Design from Biochemistry

Before you scoff at the author and setting, please explain why this is "not scientific." I admit this was offered in a religious forum, but the talk was limited to scientific arguments. Besides, most academic settings would censor the speaker.
47 posted on 05/28/2007 6:52:34 PM PDT by keats5 (tolerance of intolerant people is cultural suicide)
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To: saganite
"Believers in ID are the worshipers trying to insert religion into science."

Says you.

The new First Law of the Scientific Method seems to be "acceptance of authority."

You can submit unto your own counsel if you like.

I prefer to keep doing my homework before I'll consider taking the word of folks who seem to have at the top of their agenda, the undermining of alternative thinking, and the proselytizing of our youth.

48 posted on 05/28/2007 6:52:39 PM PDT by Radix ( Honey, I shrunk our Carbon Footprint.)
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To: Rudder

There isn’t ANY scientific evidence for design?

So Richard Dawkins is incorrect when he says nature gives the appearance of design?

The vast majority of cosmologists, whether working astronomy or other fields, are wrong when they study the anthropic coincidences— those coincidences are just in their head?

Remember, what you’re saying is that there is NO scientific evidence for design in nature. That’s the sort of needlessly strong statement that bespeaks of a level of certainty that is rather unscientific itself, unless one is talking only about mathematics.

The fact is, there are very few hypotheses as venerable as that of design in nature that have NO evidence for them. I realize hyperbole is inevitable in a forum devoted mostly to political issues, but such sweeping statements are generally out of place when talking about science-— see “the Black Swan” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.


49 posted on 05/28/2007 6:55:28 PM PDT by mjolnir ("All great change in America begins at the dinner table.")
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To: Cicero
You aren't making sense, which surprises me after reading may of your previous posts.

Scientists just don't put forth theories that have not been well-researched and documented and that have not withstood the test of time and replication. if you had used the words, "hunch" or "guess," your statement could be accurate.

I thought you understood the scientific method, but now you have violated it.

50 posted on 05/28/2007 6:57:31 PM PDT by Rudder
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