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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

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To: Rudder

Newton’s statement about intelligent design was written in The Principia, perhaps the single most important scientific treatise of all time. It was a simple unequivocal statement of fact as Newton saw it, and your attempt to twist it is pathetic.

By the way, the “God did it” explanation is really not much less “scientific” than “evolution did it.” Read what a Nobel-laureate physicist says about it:

Much of present-day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends antitheories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause! —Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel-laureate physicist


101 posted on 05/29/2007 12:00:03 AM PDT by RussP
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To: miliantnutcase
"Can you worship God, and believe that the theory of evolution is still plausible?"

I have heard many people assert that it is possible to simultaneously believe in God and in "the theory of evolution." But this is mere assertion. Usually it is accompanied by an argument that "so-snd-so" has no problem with it. But that is not even a feeble attempt at explanation.

Can anyone here give a meaningful explanation of how this conundrum is resolved? How can nature be inintended if by "God" we mean an intending being who is the source of all things?

102 posted on 05/29/2007 12:01:45 AM PDT by cookcounty (No journalist ever won a prize for reporting the facts. --Telling big stories? Now that's a hit.)
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To: sauron
C.S. Lewis put a lot of thought into the Eastern concept of duality, of a dual-natured god, or two opposing gods (good/evil), and ultimately concluded that it was inherently unstable, that one must prevail. I'm terribly oversimplifying it.

Well, not a bad effort at all.

Koestler's The Lotus and the Robot offers some interesting insights, and there's this especially interesting treatment of the topic titled Netti Netti (trans. Neither this nor that.), which argues that there is a middle between two apparently opposing concepts (e.g., faith vs science) which is actually neither one. Obviously, the book is a bit weird. If you can visualize infinity you may be able follow every word and concept---I struggled. Then there was the improbable Time magazine's cover article (may be in the late ?60's) which showed a graphic of a mountain with the pinnacle labelled something like "Understanding the Universe," or the "Meaning of it All." On one slope was scientist crawling to the top, on the other the mountaineer was a theologian. The article inside argued, effectively, that despite epistemological differences both were asking similar questions and were reaching the same, ultimate conclusions. And, lastly, don't forget Descartes.

Multiple intelligent designers? As a scientist I must ask, where's the data that there's even one?

103 posted on 05/29/2007 12:02:38 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: cookcounty
"Can anyone here give a meaningful explanation of how this conundrum is resolved? How can nature be inintended if by "God" we mean an intending being who is the source of all things?

Sorry, I intended "how can nature be unintended," obviously (there's a stupid joke lurking in there somewhere).

104 posted on 05/29/2007 12:08:26 AM PDT by cookcounty (No journalist ever won a prize for reporting the facts. --Telling big stories? Now that's a hit.)
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To: sauron
National Socialism was simply applied Darwinism, and by its moral yardstick, killing off the weak is NOT morally wrong--by its standard.

Yeah, it's a jungle out there, that's for sure.

But don't blame a perversion of a concept upon the original version. You'll get yourself into an untenable Oedipal conflict, i.e., since the father had sex with mom, so will the son. "Applied Darwinism," has nothing to do with Darwinism, except as practiced by those who perverted the original example.

105 posted on 05/29/2007 12:14:30 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: RussP
Darwin was trained for the clergy too, why not throw him in? None of the scientists you quote, despite their religiousity, ever managed to elucidate a direct link between the supernatural and the natural world either. So turn the point around. If neither Newton, nor Thompson (Lord Kelvin), nor Pasteur, nor Darwin (nor Einstein, for that matter), could ever figure out how to jam God's Active Hand into their equations, I'm really doubting anybody at the Discovery Institute is going to do it either.

Of course the universe is awesome and inspires awe. Who could disagree with that. And I have no problem attributing the awesomeness and beauty of the world around me to God.

But "ID," the "Intelligent Design" theory pushed by Discovery Institute, is indeed a fraud. It went to court. It lost. Read about it in Monkey Girl or Forty Days and Forty Nights. To defend such a fraud is what is foolishness.
106 posted on 05/29/2007 12:22:22 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: RussP
Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel-laureate physicist

Every one I know is still researching evolution, except for my deceased physicist-friend, Nobel Laureate Owen Chamberlain, who gave the topic little thought. But, I digress...we're not here to defend evolution. And no one I know thinks they have the answers on that topic. Such is the nature of science---ever-correcting.

Still, no scientific data exist that support ID.

107 posted on 05/29/2007 12:23:42 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: Rudder

“Still, no scientific data exist that support ID.” —Rudder

“Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us ...” —Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)

Well, folks, we have a dispute here between Kelvin and Rudder. What’s amazing is that we know so much more now about the amazing complexity of life and nature than was known in Kelvin’s time, yet Rudder can still make such truly asinine statements.

I think I’ll go with Kelvin on this one, even though he apparently did not understand “scientific principles.”

You anti-ID dogmatists are foolish beyond words.


108 posted on 05/29/2007 12:32:16 AM PDT by RussP
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To: sauron
National Socialism was simply applied Darwinism,

While you're playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with Darwin, have you got any quotes from Mein Kampf that indicate Hitler had the slightest inkling who Darwin even was?
109 posted on 05/29/2007 12:32:48 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: RussP
“Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us ...” —Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)

Ah, yes. That statement, in and of itself, is "proof" of ID.

I admit my ignorance on data which prompted Kelvin to make such a statement as a scientific statement.

Kindly tell me what were the data.

110 posted on 05/29/2007 12:38:59 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: RussP
...The Principia, perhaps the single most important scientific treatise ...

And nowhere in it, not in any geometric diagram, not in any equation, not in any explanation of his proofs, does Newton ever show how the active Hand of God actually influenced anything. Certainly he believed it did, Newton attributed a great deal to God. But he could never show exactly where or how this supernatural influence was actually manifested in the natural world.

Newton also put a lot of stock in alchemy. Maybe that'll be next on Discovery Institute's agenda for dragging America's schoolchildren back into the dark ages.
111 posted on 05/29/2007 12:40:46 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: RussP
It's a fair question any scientist would first ask: "What are the data?"

Please post Kelvin's data which justified his statement quoted by you.

Thanks a bunch.

112 posted on 05/29/2007 12:41:28 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: cookcounty
""Can you worship God, and believe that the theory of evolution is still plausible?""

The majority of biologists I've known have been religious. A few atheists. I can't imagine how or why the question comes up. Evolution is just a mechanism for how species change into other species. I don't understand what it is about the theory of evolution, versus say quantum theory, that sparks such holy wars and inquisitional questions about people's belief in God. It's just another G--d-mn branch of science.

My only guess, about your conundrum is that the concept of God, all our individual experiences of God in our minds, are so vastly different from each other's, that our casual use of the word "God" is a source of great confusion. My own experience of God's love may be so different from another person's, that while I have no expectaion of an active and "intelligently" directed interaction between God and the physical universe, or rather I have an expectation of no such interaction, having never perceived such an interaction myself, other people in their own minds might have very different perceptions, and therefore expectations.

But I have to say that's very vague blather. I tend to avoid thinking in vague blather. I think in terms of the physical and the measureable. And I can't imagine how one would measure, in the physical world, an influence of God's hand. It's one thing to marvel at a pretty lilac bush, like I'm doing now, still sitting out in my yard in the warm spring night, and think, wow, God is great. God gave me a beautiful universe, God loves me. But that's just vague words, and useless for describing, analyzing, and understanding the universe. I get the God thing, I really do. I just don't think it's possible to measure or quantify or nail down in any rational way, any specific trace of God's hand in the physical day to day world. An idea that explains all explains nothing. The hard work is in the details, not just looking slackjawed at something pretty and saying "God did it."

And the "ID" people, that's just a cammo paintjob on Creationism, forget it.
113 posted on 05/29/2007 1:05:03 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: omnivore
Bravo!

Jeez, I'm up too late. Time flies, etc.,...

114 posted on 05/29/2007 1:12:56 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: RussP
" ... proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us ...” —Lord Kelvin "

Lord Kelvin was not pimping for the Discovery Institute's "Intelligent Design" (R) (TM) re-packaging of Creationism. Trolling for quotes that happen to include the words "design" and "intelligent" from a scientist who died in 1907, in an attempt to defend an outfit that launched the re-branded Creationism-Lite known as "ID" after the Supreme Court shot down Creationism in 1987, is hardly intellectually defensible. It's a deliberate conflation of two different things for the purpose of sowing confusion.
115 posted on 05/29/2007 1:20:57 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: Rudder

“I admit my ignorance on data which prompted Kelvin to make such a statement as a scientific statement.”

Well, that’s a step in the right direction.

“Kindly tell me what were the data.”

Kelvin discovered the atomic structure of matter if I am not mistaken. He also obviously made major contributions to thermodynamics. Try looking there, and quit making a fool of yourself.

I get the impression that your mind is about the size of a thimble.


116 posted on 05/29/2007 1:25:01 AM PDT by RussP
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To: Rudder

Great points yourself. I’m frazzled, going to bed.


117 posted on 05/29/2007 1:26:26 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: omnivore

We’re talking about intelligent design. We’re not talking about the straw man that you have constructed of the “Discovery Institute. The Discovery Institute addresses intelligent design, and so did many great scientists, including Newton and Kelvin. The fact that you are clueless about the history of science does not give you exclusive rights to the term “intelligent design.” Oh, by the way, I realize this is against the rules, but I have a very hard time hiding my contempt for fools like you.


118 posted on 05/29/2007 1:30:51 AM PDT by RussP
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To: RussP
You'll have to be more vague on Thompson's data, that was way to specific to look up.

quit making a fool of yourself.
I get the impression that your mind is about the size of a thimble.


Okay, I think that crosses the line into ad hominem personal attack, and is obviously without merit.
119 posted on 05/29/2007 1:30:51 AM PDT by omnivore
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To: omnivore

“Okay, I think that crosses the line into ad hominem personal attack, and is obviously without merit.”

As is your asinine assertion about the lack of evidence for ID. You’ve swallowed the PC party line — hook, line, and sinker. Ever heard the expression “The emperor has no clothes.” Well, your emperor is naked as a jay bird, and I just hope people like you wake up to that fact someday.


120 posted on 05/29/2007 1:36:37 AM PDT by RussP
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