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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: gondramB
First, The Discovery Institute does not advocate teaching Intelligent Design in the classroom. Mainly because they are aware that it would not be taught in a fair and balanced way. This whole idea of augmenting classroom instruction is a myth perpetrated by Evolutionists, opponents of ID...not by members of the ID Movement.

Second, and you won't like this, a fair reading of ID literature will reveal there is a lot of science in the movement. It is the bias and presuppositions of naturalism that have poisoned the well when considering the assertions of intelligent design advocates.

51 posted on 05/28/2007 6:59:42 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: mjolnir

If there’s evidence derived via the scientific method, it hasn’t been published.


52 posted on 05/28/2007 7:02:12 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: keats5

Sorry, but Behe’s ideas on ID have been shot down (Recall the court decision and his embarrassing testimony in the Pennsylvania school board case.) Besides, although he’s a biochemist, his notion of ID is not based upon empirical, objective, scientifically-derived data.


53 posted on 05/28/2007 7:06:51 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Rudder

“Digital design of DNA:” Talk about begging the question...

I’m impressed, Rudder. I think that’s the first correct usage of the phrase ‘begging the question’ I have ever seen on FR.


54 posted on 05/28/2007 7:07:54 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: sirchtruth
What about the digital design of DNA? What about ORDER in general?

But, don't you know that order and complexity are NOT indications of intelligence or design? *roll eyes*

55 posted on 05/28/2007 7:08:39 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: mjolnir

Data generated via the scientific method supporting ID do not exist.


56 posted on 05/28/2007 7:08:56 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: BipolarBob

IIRC, Newton believed that the universe was evidence of God’s hand. Better axe him, too. Along with Einstein.


57 posted on 05/28/2007 7:09:44 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Rudder
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...


Not sure you understand statistics.

A frequency distribution of a variable is not the same thing as properly or intelligently ordering discrete events or DNA elements. You can certainly take a statistical frequency distribution of a monkey hitting a typwriter keyboard, but I defy you to produce a monkey that can type something intelligent, like for example, a novel, a short story, a computer program or even the alphabet in proper order.
58 posted on 05/28/2007 7:10:01 PM PDT by LukeSW (The truth shall make you free!)
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To: LukeSW
A frequency distribution of a variable is not the same thing as properly or intelligently ordering discrete events or DNA elements.

Now who do you suppose "properly or intelligently" orders discrete events or DNA sequences?

My statement was that even random events have predictable distributions, and that is a form of order, and also the topic to which I was responding.

59 posted on 05/28/2007 7:17:29 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Rudder

Then you’re using the words “evidence” and “support” to mean something far different from, say Stephen Hawking, who will readily admit that the anthropic coincidences present evidence of fine-tuning-— it’s been his project to show that evidence is not strong enough to support the fine tuning hypothesis, but he would never say it isn’t there. Similarly, Lawrence Krauss thinks the evidence for fine tuning is also evidence for there being many universes, and he wants to show that the latter proposition is correct— but he would never dream of saying that evidence doesn’t exist.


60 posted on 05/28/2007 7:25:19 PM PDT by mjolnir ("All great change in America begins at the dinner table.")
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To: LukeSW

Once you understand that diesel engines are made from materials that occur naturally in the natural world, iron for example, and the other materials with which iron alloys to make steel which also exist in nature, when you understand that even petroleum from which diesel itself is derived, also exists in nature, you will understand that it would be unscientific to posit a “Detroit”.

Instead imagine how long it would take for these materials to combine themselves into a working machine, then from that you can back-calculate the approximate age of the machine.

Since some land-fills seem to have more of these than others, it may be that some areas simply were more conducive to the combination of events that produced them for reasons science has yet to fully explain.


61 posted on 05/28/2007 7:34:50 PM PDT by marron
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To: Rudder
“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.”

And Professor Gonzalez was not teaching this in his class.

Should a professor in economics, who believes that Jesus Christ was beaten and killed for the sins of mankind, and then arose in bodily form 3 days later, be denied tenure?

And that economics professor teaches economics in the classroom and not Christianity?

Since we don’t have absolute scientific proof (at the present time) that Christ was resurrected, then does the economic professors belief in the resurrection, make him unqualified for a economics tenured position?

62 posted on 05/28/2007 7:36:50 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: marron
Once you understand that diesel engines are made from materials that occur naturally in the natural world, iron for example, and the other materials with which iron alloys to make steel which also exist in nature, when you understand that even petroleum from which diesel itself is derived, also exists in nature, you will understand that it would be unscientific to posit a “Detroit”.

False analogy.

Diesel engines are not self-replicating. (Duh!)

63 posted on 05/28/2007 7:37:48 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

I don’t know, I’ve seen little ones buried in the land fill right next to a couple of big ones.


64 posted on 05/28/2007 7:40:26 PM PDT by marron
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To: gondramB; LiteKeeper; Cicero
They advocate teaching things in science class not based on science.

Let's see what the great Darwinian (and Darwin Medalist) J.B.S Haldane advocated:

…Marxism is the application of scientific method to the widest field so far achieved by man. If Marxism were taken for granted, or even if its general principles were widely understood in this country, such emphasis would be unnecessary.

Sixty years ago Karl Marx died in London. Every year since his death he has had a greater influence on world history above all since Lenin put his theories into practice in 1917. … [Marx] can justly be compared with contemporaries like Faraday, Darwin, and Pasteur, who are still influencing our lives and thoughts, because their ideas were important not only for their own time, but for many generations to come. These men applied scientific method to new fields. So did Marx.

Just as Darwin applied scientific method to the problem of man's ancestry, and Pasteur to that of his diseases, Marx applied it to history, politics, and economics.

We celebrate the anniversary of the great teacher who has shown us the way out of our present distresses, who has demonstrated that there are no limits to the application of science.

J.B.S Haldane, Science Advances, 1947

And of course the great Darwinian, Horatio Newman, advocated teaching eugenics in science class, but that's another story.
65 posted on 05/28/2007 7:40:52 PM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode
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To: marron
I don’t know, I’ve seen little ones buried in the land fill right next to a couple of big ones.

That's easy to understand. The little ones are Chevies.

66 posted on 05/28/2007 7:42:07 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
Diesel engines are not self-replicating.

Man is just the diesel engine's way of making another diesel engine.

67 posted on 05/28/2007 7:43:47 PM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode
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To: Coyoteman

Now, thats funny, I don’t care who y’are.


68 posted on 05/28/2007 7:43:55 PM PDT by marron
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To: Ethan Clive Osgoode

Just to be clear, are you suggesting we reject any theory or belief that has been misused by eugenicists?


69 posted on 05/28/2007 7:45:03 PM PDT by gondramB (No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil)
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To: txzman

The opposite of intelligent design is stupid design.


70 posted on 05/28/2007 7:45:42 PM PDT by reg45
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To: Ethan Clive Osgoode
[Marx] can justly be compared with contemporaries like Faraday, Darwin, and Pasteur, who are still influencing our lives and thoughts, because their ideas were important not only for their own time, but for many generations to come. These men applied scientific method to new fields. So did Marx -- J.B.S Haldane.

Let me get your argument straight. Because Darwin's ideas are still influencing our lives and thoughts, as are Faraday's, Pasters', and Marx's, that is proof that Darwin's theory of evolution, as modified by 150 years of scientific advances by tens of thousands of scientists, is hogwash.

Is that what you were trying to peddle?

71 posted on 05/28/2007 7:47:04 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: mjolnir
Scientists have the right, along with anyone else, to conjecture as long as it is clearly designated as such. But conjectures are not data, and there have been no data derived via the scientific method published that support ID.

In the "anthropic principle" it is proposed that the universe adapted to us, rather than the other way around. Abundant data exist which contradict such a notion.

Multiple universes have their foundation of support in string theory or the postulated existence of multiple time dimensions---but this does not support the existence of an anthropic universe.

To resolve this as it fits ID, someone (actually many scientists) will have to put forth a testable hypothesis, test it, replicate and do it again and again with the same theme but with variation as they suggest themselves by the data. That has not been done and that's why ID does not rise to the level of science.

72 posted on 05/28/2007 7:49:11 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: HereInTheHeartland
Gonzalez is being persecuted for his beliefs; mainly by a atheist “religious studies” studies professor named Hector Avalos.

And thereby hangs a tale...

We don't know what's going on behind the scene. These two could be bitter enemies, going back decades, in re: to something that had nothing whatsoever to do with ID or evolution or even anything related to academia. When it comes to pettiness, vindictiveness, jealously, spit, envy, holding grudge those types are no different than we are -- in fact, maybe even more so.

73 posted on 05/28/2007 7:53:11 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: HereInTheHeartland
I just lifted that quote from the article. I neglected to mention that his membership in the Discovery Institute, an organization devoted to replacing science with religion (that's their claim, not mine) didn't help his cause one bit.

If the econ. prof. tried to make the case that the "laws" of economics were the result of Jesus' crucifiction and assent to Heaven, he too would have problems.

74 posted on 05/28/2007 8:02:20 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Rudder

Well, no.

The evidence for fine tuning, and the evidence for many universes, happens to be the same evidence-— the anthropic coincidences themselves.

That’s why the physicist Lawrence Krauss feels that if his many worlds version of string theory doesn’t work, the alternative is design.

Suppose someone saw a video of me taking a shot at a basketball hoop from 70 feet, and making the shot.

The hypotheses I’m lucky, that I’m good, or that I simply took many shots and the video shown happens to be of me making it, all rely on the same piece of data-— the video of me making the shot.

Of course, this is beside the point when it comes to Gonzalez, whose credentials are unassailable and has presented evidence supporting his “Rare Earth” hypothesis in Nature, among other peer-reviewed journals.


75 posted on 05/28/2007 8:04:54 PM PDT by mjolnir ("All great change in America begins at the dinner table.")
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To: Ethan Clive Osgoode; Coyoteman
Man is just the diesel engine's way of making another diesel engine.

And, actually, you just put your finger on it.

Just to push my little (imperfect) analogy a little further, it takes two things to turn iron ore into a functioning machine, it takes information and work, or to put it another way, it takes intelligently guided work. An engine is a repository of information, there is a huge accumulation of information and knowledge embedded in the design of that rather simple engine. Study the development (dare we say the evolution) of the design of diesel engines and you can see that the accumulation of knowledge comes slowly, at great cost in time and brainpower.

In software engineering the holy grail, so to speak, is software that can modify itself, that can adapt to changing circumstance without additional intervention from the programmer. If we manage this, it isn't evidence that programmers aren't necessary, it reflects rather an enormous accumulation of programming knowledge.

As for programs that replicate themselves, we already have those, unfortunately most of them are "malware" and we don't want them...

The machine analogy is pretty imperfect I realize, but when I look at a photograph of a living cell, I see what looks to me like a little micro-machine, complete with moving parts, with a little control system at the heart of it controlling the sequences, with information and commands being transmitted, ok not with wiring, but with some kind of electrochemical signals. Its pretty fascinating.

I try to imagine what it would take for me to design something like that, I almost think I could do it, I almost think I could design a cat for example, and mine would be less annoying than the original. Its just a matter of design and intelligently guided work in my (admittedly weird) little shop in the basement. I think I could do it. But the replication-thing would be a tough nut to crack, I admit. Oh, that and fitting the 286 in his head, I think I'd have to settle for a wireless router, and the processor would be in the attic. That will keep him close to home, at least.

76 posted on 05/28/2007 8:15:44 PM PDT by marron
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To: mjolnir

I just can’t see how the evidence for the anthropic principle exists anywhere except for pure conjecture. If Krauss can’t get his view of string theory to work, maybe it’s because it doesn’t. I don’t see how it follows that if a theory doesn’t work then the alternative must be the anthropic principle-—now that’s a leap of faith. It could also be that string theory and other, related theories are not my bailiwick. But, as a life scientist of 47 years’ practice, I see strong (a gross understatement) evidence that life forms adapt to the universe, or die, and that the universe did not or does not adapt to us.


77 posted on 05/28/2007 8:21:04 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: SirLinksalot

“This most elegant system of the sun, planets, and comets could not have arisen without the design and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.” —Sir Isaac Newton, The Principia

These fools would deny tenure to Isaac Newton.

And Newton came to his conclusion without any knowledge of the incredible complexity of the simplest living cell. If he knew what we know now, he would have infinitely *more* reason to recognize ID.


78 posted on 05/28/2007 8:49:57 PM PDT by RussP
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To: SirLinksalot

Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us ... the atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words. —Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)

And they’d deny Kelvin tenure too. Amazing what we have come to in this age of political correctness.


79 posted on 05/28/2007 8:52:56 PM PDT by RussP
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To: SirLinksalot

The more I study nature, the more I am amazed at the work of the Creator. —Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

Pasteur too. Oh, well, he wasn’t much of a scientist anyway, was he. I guess he didn’t understand the “scientific method.”


80 posted on 05/28/2007 8:55:01 PM PDT by RussP
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To: SkyPilot

Can you worship God, and believe that the theory of evolution is still plausible?


81 posted on 05/28/2007 9:03:42 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: Rudder
But, as a life scientist of 47 years’ practice, I see strong (a gross understatement) evidence that life forms adapt to the universe, or die, and that the universe did not or does not adapt to us.

A Man Said to the Universe

A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

-- Stephen Crane

82 posted on 05/28/2007 9:08:38 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Rudder
In the "anthropic principle" it is proposed that the universe adapted to us, rather than the other way around.

Uh, no.

"The [anthropic principle] can be used to explain why the conditions happen to be just right for the existence of (intelligent) life on the earth at the present time. For if they were not just right, then we should not have found ourselves to be here now, but somewhere else, at some other appropriate time."
83 posted on 05/28/2007 9:28:04 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: Coyoteman
"However," replied the universe, "The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation."

And our sense of purpose confers some advantage over the indifferent universe.

84 posted on 05/28/2007 9:51:22 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: gcruse

The anthropic (by its very name) principle presumes that the universe was designed just for us.


85 posted on 05/28/2007 9:55:26 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: gcruse

Noticeably absent from the Wikipedia article you cited is the notion that life forms adapt (i.e., change). The citation almost presumes that life is static and thus, it is incumbent upon the universe to be “just right” so that life can be accommodated. Well, life is not static but rather characterized by its ability to adapt to an ever-changing universe. When Earth was very young it did not support life-—must be the designer was asleep at the wheel. Thus, early in its development the universe did not follow the anthropic principle. But, according to this anthropic notion, the universe changed to follow the anthropic principle. Thus, this principle has the universe adapting to us.


86 posted on 05/28/2007 10:13:27 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: SirLinksalot

Once again, there’s no evidence to support the claim that Gonzales was denied tenure because of anything related to ID.

And once again, the biggest problem with all this is with the tenure system itself. The tenure system should be outlawed.


87 posted on 05/28/2007 10:35:46 PM PDT by yahoo (There IS a solution to illegal immigration. It's called the Mexipult.)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

Wow! I have not seen a strawman argument that lame in a long time.


88 posted on 05/28/2007 10:37:35 PM PDT by yahoo (There IS a solution to illegal immigration. It's called the Mexipult.)
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To: Rudder
"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.

That's because "design" is a concept ruled out, a priori by the "scientific" community. It's beyond the very narrow scope of what has become known as "science."

There is no scientific evidence that Michael Jordan was a very good basketball player, but that doesn't mean it isn't a serious and accurate statement.

What is the scientific data supporting the notion that your mother loved you? Nothing that would pass peer review in a scientific journal.

89 posted on 05/28/2007 11:00:55 PM 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: mjolnir
"There isn’t ANY scientific evidence for design?

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

Bingo!

"That which is observed, when in conflict with established doctrine, shall not be considered as "evidence."
-----Dawkin's New Church Dogmatics

90 posted on 05/28/2007 11:08:37 PM 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: cookcounty
Nothing that would pass peer review in a scientific journal.

While there is an admission by scientists that there are many questions which are not suitable subject matter for science, e.g., supernatural phenomena, all ID has to do is generate hypotheses, test them and replicate. ID has failed to do so. If it is to be included in science, ID must follow the rules of science. So far it hasn't. Until then, there is nothing for the peers to review.

91 posted on 05/28/2007 11:09:39 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Rudder

Please see my posts #78-80, and quit making such a fool of yourself.


92 posted on 05/28/2007 11:16:37 PM PDT by RussP
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To: SirLinksalot; Cicero; EagleUSA; Rudder; Perdogg; gondramB; Getready; Coyoteman; elfman2; ...
"There is evidence for intelligent design in the universe."

Gosh, I love it when trial lawyers pretend to they can play scientist. He makes a claim about existence of evidence, and then fails to produce any. He'd better argue the law on this one, since he doesn't have any facts on his side.

Galileo, alive today, would recognize the "ID" con artists as of the same ilk that harassed him mercilessly.

"Instead they turn to bullying, persecution, and activist judges to enforce their beliefs, and will tolerate no questions whatever of their views.

That's a better description of the "ID" people than it is of the scientists. "ID" is a fraud invented to try to get around the Supreme Court rulings that prevent Creationism (religion) from being taught in public school biology classes, nothing more. The "ID'ers" are the first to use bullying and legal means to try to force their weird ideas on everyone else. You'll notice that this pro-ID piece at Townhall was written by ... a lawyer. A trial lawyer. For further explanation of the "ID" movement, see books including Monkey Girl by Edward Humes, or Forty Days and Forty Nights by Matthew Chapman.

It has nothing to do with any "Godless left." It has everything to do with his affiliation with the crackpot "Discovery Institute" which recently lost their "ID" case in Pennsylvania, and in the trial was exposed as just a bunch of Creationists.

"...time is gonna come when lots of the ID folks are gonna build their own university..."

Now that I'll agree with. There's huge money in the Creationism / "ID" racket, as Discovery Institute and Thomas More Law Center (funded by the guy who founded Domino's Pizza, very deep pockets and eager to throw away mountains of cash) have shown. They could build 20 universities if they ran their fundraising right.

Hats off to Popocatapetl who I think said it best at 37.
93 posted on 05/28/2007 11:21:52 PM PDT by omnivore
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To: omnivore

I’ll say the same thing to you that I said to someone else a couple of posts ago.

Please see my posts #78-80, and quit making such a fool of yourself.

Isaac Newton, Lord Kelvin, and Loius Pasteur, among many other truly *great* scientists believed in intelligent design and announced it proudly. For you to come along and call ID a fraud is the epitome of ignorance and foolishness. You should be embarrassed.


94 posted on 05/28/2007 11:25:30 PM PDT by RussP
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To: RussP
Faith alone does not a scientist make. You're out of your league in a discussion about science. You're invoking for authority the statements of personal faith held by esteemed scientists, statements which are not the conclusions of science but of private faith. If your interpretation of the meaning of these statements were correct and honest, then all of these scientists would just have hung it since they all arrived at the answer to all the mysteries in the universe: "The creator did it."

You're guilty of shabby intellectualism.

95 posted on 05/28/2007 11:33:01 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Radix; saganite
"...First Law of the Scientific Method seems to be 'acceptance of authority.'"

No, actually it's "have some physical evidence." Something the trial lawyer author of the piece doesn't seem to understand.

"..proselytizing of our youth..."

That's all the "ID" movement is for, is proselytizing kids by trying to force Creationism (under a clever, new and improved brand name) into high school biology classes.

"There isn’t ANY scientific evidence for design?"

There is a distinction between lower case "design" as a generic term meaning the geometric form of something in a visually descriptive sense, and "Intelligent Design" (R) (TM), a false front tacked onto Creationism, which pretends to offer a limited acceptance of the reality of evolution, while insisting that supernatural influences by the hand of some ill-defined "Designer" are essential for all the crucial bits.
96 posted on 05/28/2007 11:36:29 PM PDT by omnivore
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To: pleikumud
There could be more than one intelligent designer.

Very doubtful.

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.

Q.v., Mere Christianity, somewhere around chapter three, IIRC. Pity I waited twenty years to get around to reading it.

SAURON

97 posted on 05/28/2007 11:37:32 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
"Should a professor in economics, who believes that Jesus Christ was beaten and killed for the sins of mankind, and then arose in bodily form 3 days later, be denied tenure?"

Well, I know that a guy who insists he's an atheist will never become Pope. If you don't buy into the group's beliefs, don't expect the group to give you a lifetime guarantee of employment, is all I'm saying.
98 posted on 05/28/2007 11:44:43 PM PDT by omnivore
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To: marron
Regards your post at 76, people already are working on "designer organisms" just as you suggest, with humans as the designers. There's kind of a race, at MIT and other places, to be the first to build a fully functioning but entirely artificial life bacteria.

But saying something like that could be so designed, is not the same as having any physical evidence that points to that being the way the life in the natural world we find around us actually got here.
99 posted on 05/28/2007 11:53:24 PM PDT by omnivore
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To: Ethan Clive Osgoode
I think you nailed it in your post--though you didn't quite state it.

Science, without a Judeo-Christian underpinning forming an ethical foundation, quickly degenerates into studies in eugenics, euthanasia, and the like.

History, without a Judeo-Christian underpinning, quickly degenerated into Nitsche, which led directly, though in bifurcated fashion, to Marxism and German National Socialism.

Nitsche leaned heavily on Darwin, and once God was taken out of the equation of life, there seemed to be no sense to it all, so Freddy Nitsche claimed it was about survival of the fittest (shades of Darwin?) and Hitler killed off the cripples and weak in society (shades of Darwin?). National Socialism was simply applied Darwinism, and by its moral yardstick, killing off the weak is NOT morally wrong--by its standard. But by a Judeo-Christian one, it IS.

Just a thought. Interesting how Darwin --> Nitsche --> Marx --> Hitler! A continuous line of applied thought.

Moral of the story: Keep God in politics, history, national holidays, tradition, or you move into either a Soviet- or Hitlerian-godless society, with all the consequences.

...and no one wants to live like that. Look where it led.

Judge an ideology by its own fruits.

SAURON

100 posted on 05/28/2007 11:58:26 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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