Skip to comments.Evolution vs. Intelligent Design : Chesterfield School Board takes up debate on theories of life.
Posted on 06/08/2007 10:45:45 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
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>>By the way, I just googled Fred Hoyle, and wikipedia says he was an atheist. If he was an athiest during his entire professional career, thats a bit of a surprise to me. In any case, I also found the following with regard to his views on chemical evolution. Assuming he *was* an athiest, this answer your question about whether an athiest can believe in ID.
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
... if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of...
Here is a larger excerpt:
Rejection of chemical evolution
In his later years, Hoyle became a staunch critic of theories of chemical evolution to explain the naturalistic origin of life. With Chandra Wickramasinghe, Hoyle promoted the theory that life evolved in space, spreading through the universe via panspermia, and that evolution on earth is driven by a steady influx of viruses arriving via comets. In 1982, Hoyle presented Evolution from Space for the Royal Institutions Omni Lecture. After considering the very remote probability of evolution he concluded: if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of... Published in his 1982/1984 books Evolution from Space (co-authored with Chandra Wickramasinghe), Hoyle calculated that the chance of obtaining the required set of enzymes for even the simplest living cell was one in 10^40,000. Since the number of atoms in the known universe is infinitesimally tiny by comparison (10^80), he argued that even a whole universe full of primordial soup wouldnt have a chance. He claimed:<<
Fred Hoyle and Panspermia are interesting to read up on. His math is suspect because he focuses so much on his belief that there should not be so much carbon on earth. But once you get past that, he has good writing on the possibilities and implications of life originating off-earth. He suggests that life continues to arrive here in the form of inter-stellar viruses.
One week after my class finished the evolution section of biology in ninth grade, I overhead some of my classmates saying, But, it all seems too perfect to have just evolved.
And, indeed, we can take a look at some marvelously well-adapted species, such as an Indonesian mantis that looks exactly like a flower. It blends in perfectly.
If the truly complex and extraordinary parts of life are best explained through intelligent intervention, what about the seemingly useless parts? It makes little sense that a powerful being capable of creating the right things would also create, well, wrong things.
Enter vestigial structures.
Why do we still have the appendix? It doesnt do much, and you only notice it if youre an unlucky fellow who gets appendicitis.
Why do we still have wisdom teeth? All they do is cause pain to the unlucky teenagers who have to get them removed.
Why do whales have leg bones?
Why are some fruit flies born with wings that are too small to aid in flight?
These can be summed into one question: Is the intelligent designer capable of making mistakes?
“These can be summed into one question: Is the intelligent designer capable of making mistakes?”
Perhaps. Men with prostate problems probably think so.
Another possibility is that the Designer deliberately made things imperfect in this world so that we can appreciate perfection in the next. After all, if all you ever know is perfection, you can’t appreciate it.
But that’s just speculation.
The important point is that, even if “mistakes” are made, the doesn’t negate ID. You wouldn’t say that cars or computers are not intelligently designed just because engineering mistakes were made in their design and production, would you? Of course not.
I surely would not. We're human. We're imperfect by definition.
But what about the intelligent designer?
If hes the Christian God, then according to the Bible, hes infallible. He shouldnt make any mistakes. Whales shouldnt have leg bones. Fruit flies shouldnt have miniature wings that serve no purpose.
If hes not the Christian God, then he doesnt have to be perfect. He can make mistakes like the rest of us.
Another possibility is that the Designer deliberately made things imperfect in this world so that we can appreciate perfection in the next. After all, if all you ever know is perfection, you cant appreciate it.
Interesting. But, can you reword this to be more neutral? I know that this is your belief and opinion, but Im curious as to whether or not you can rephrase such that the paragraph is completely free of any references to religious tenets. After all, intelligent design is trying to market itself as a scientific theory. It should have no ties whatsoever to any religious belief.
I'm not an Engineer, but I think they would agree with the statement that perfection is the fulfillment of the designer's intent. The problem is, we don't know what that intent was, or is, so we have no standard with which to contradict. That's first and foremost.
Second, even if we did have knowledge of such a standard, science would need to be complete in it's knowledge of the given thing in order to make such a contradiction, and evolutionary theory, along with it's related sciences and disciplines, isn't even close to accomplishing such a thing.
Your argument may sound reasonable on the surface, but upon scrutiny, it actually demonstrates what you don't know, rather than what you do.....
If God designed us to be perfect, we would live forever and probably never annoy or anger each other. That would be heaven on earth. According to the Bible, things were supposed to be that way, but they got derailed by original sin. Whether you believe that or not, at least the Bible has an explanation for it.
But that’s all in the realm of theology and religion, not science. As far as science is concerned, imperfection in the design of life is certainly not an argument against intelligent design. As I noted before, man-made designs are imperfect too, but that certainly does not mean they were not designed by ostensibly intelligent engineers.
Please keep in mind what pure naturalists are claiming. They are claiming that no intelligence whatsoever was involved in the origin and evolution of life. Not “a little bit.” Not even one tiny bit. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Do you know what zero means? It doesn’t mean 10^(-1000). It means none whatsoever.
The thesis of ID is that some nonzero “amount” of intelligence was involved in the origin and evolution of life. And given the staggering complexity of the “simplest” living cell and our utter inability to even begin to explain its formation in purely naturalistic terms, I consider that a virtual certainty.
To my way of thinking, the anti-ID crowd is making a much more extreme claim than the ID crowd. After all, the IDers are merely claiming that the the amount of intelligent design behind life is nonzero, whereas the anti-IDers are claiming that it is precisely and exactly zero. If the “amount” is anything other than zero, then the IDers are right.
No. If there is something we see as useless, it is only because our perception is too limited to understand God's overall plan. No matter how stupid, worthless, or downright evil, it's all part of that grand plan.
So shut your mouth and quit questioning the dogma, blasphemer.
The founders of the modern ID movement's stated goal of advancing the word of God is not convincing? There is probably no point in debating someone with such blinders on.
Yes I see the similarity.
Similarity? It is flat-out a Creation book edited to be the primary Intelligent Design book for the classroom. What gave me that hint? Maybe it was earlier titles like Biology and Creation and Creation Biology.
Where did you get THAT definition of Intelligent Design ?
The book Of Pandas and People. It was a central factor in ID losing the Dover court case. It is published by the Christian group, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, an associate organization of the Discovery Institute.
As I said, when you postulate INTELLIGENCE, there IS BOUND to be similarities with what Creationists see as God
Maybe you're a new convert to the religion, but similarity is simply not the case. There is a definite history from Creation, to Creation Science to Intelligent Design. Meyer himself started on the ID road after listening to creationists.
Really ? You've read it huh ? OK, tell me where the book mentioned the days of creation, The God of the Bible, The Flood, etc. and then maybe you're right to use the term CREATIONIST but not until.
How do I know it's creationist? Because it currently doesn't say anything about creation? Did you actually read the before and after text? It is a creation book, with "ID" as a synonym for "Creation."
As I said before, if you read the Discovery Institute, they do not even recommend teaching ID in the classroom ( that's right I said it and it isn't a typo ).
How does the saying go, "I can't hear what you're saying because your actions are too loud." No, the DI didn't consult with a schoolboard before they tried to introduce a creationist/ID book in the curriculum.
The fact that they are presenting a theory that has better explanatory power
This is one of their goals, to change the definition of science so that anything can be considered a theory. Thus, established theories that have undergone decades of rigorous scientific scrutiny are suddenly brought down to a level where a tribal creation myth can be called a theory. As soon as you let "God did it" be evidence, it's just turtles, all the way down.
You have an agenda for society as well I. My agenda for instance is to see America become Less liberal and more conservative. But that has LITTLE TO DO with the truth or falsity of Darwinism or Intelligent Design.
Maybe we should just listen to the father of the Intelligent Design movement, Phillip E. Johnson:
* "We are taking an intuition most people have (the belief in God) and making it a scientific and academic enterprise. We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator."Do you still deny the origins and motives of the modern Intelligent Design movement? When you read the DI site, know that they are deceiving. Their past words and current actions prove it. Their target audience is religious dissenters (sure, they caught a few others on the way, but that's not the goal). Now, how should we trust any paper that is put out under them? Johnson, above, has been cited for countless instances of intellectual dishonesty in his "research."
"Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools."
"This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy."
"So the question is: "How to win?" Thats when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing" the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do."
The objective [of the Wedge Strategy] is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to 'the truth' of the Bible and then 'the question of sin' and finally 'introduced to Jesus.'
In a nutshell: ID is not about better science, but about Christian evangelism. The evidence absolutely proves it.
You are so lost, I’m not sure where to begin.
First of all, Phillip Johnson and other at the Discovery Institute really believe that ID is a reality. They are not making it up to “further their agenda.” If they were trying to “sell” ID without really believing it themselves, then they would be dishonest, but they are not.
Secondly, many great scientists also believed in ID — even before science had a clue about the amazing complexity of the “simplest” living cell. Louis Pasteur, the father of modern biology wrote, “The more I study nature, the more I am amazed at the work of the Creator.” Now, call me naive, but if Pasteur did not believe in ID, would he find “the work of the Creator” by studying nature?
Thirdly, the “agenda” of the Discovery Institute is completely independent of the reality of the existence or non-existence of ID. You don’t seem to understand that point, because you keep going back to their “agenda” instead of addressing ID itself. And when you do address ID, you simply make assertions and invoke arrogant appeals to authority.
A few posts back I quoted from astronomer Fred Hoyle, who according to Wikipedia was an atheist, explaining why ID is undeniable. Let me give a fuller version of this quote from a lecture he gave in 1982:
“So if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of in pondering this issue over quite a long time seems to me to have anything like as high a possibility of being true. ... The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.”
—Sir Fred Hoyle, British astonomer, 1982
The difference between you and Hoyle is that Hoyle has thought about the problem, whereas you apparently have not. As a result, your posts constitute “nonsense of a high order.”
How can you possibly say that? I've posted their own statements, their own documents, that conclusively show their agenda is not science, but to bring more people to Christianity.
Secondly, many great scientists also believed
There's your problem, "believe." As I showed, Darwin believed too, but he did not try to put forth is belief as science.
Thirdly, the agenda of the Discovery Institute is completely independent of the reality of the existence or non-existence of ID.
They founded the modern ID movement. They and their members publish almost all ID books and papers. ID is defined by them.
The difference between you and Hoyle is that Hoyle has thought about the problem
Hoyle thought life came from outer space. Where did that outer space life come from? He just moves the problem of origins one step back.
I defend this assertion by saying that the universe is too complex to simply be by itself. It needs support, and that support can be found on the back of a turtle.
Using Dr. Behe's definition, is this a scientific theory?
Should this be taught in the public science classroom alongside the Big Bang?
“What if I said that the universe is held on the back of a turtle, who is on the back of another turtle, and so forth?”
Then I’d ask you what your evidence is for that claim.
As for Behe’s definition of a scientific theory, I think SirLinksalot addressed that earlier in this thread, but I’ll touch on it again. I suggest you read the transcripts of Behe’s testimony in the Dover case (or whatever it was called).
I read most of Behe’s testimony, and I was very impressed by it. Evolutionists talk a lot about “quote mining” and taking things out of context, but that is precisely what they did to Behe here. Apparently evolutionists couldn’t address Behe’s main points directly, so instead they distorted his testimony and diverted attention to secondary points such as who reviewed his book.
What Behe said is that the word “theory” can have different shades of meaning in everyday life depending on the context. That is absolutely true. People who use that word do not always have the rigorous scientific definition in mind.
As for astrology being a “scientific theory,” evolutionists have really distorted that one. What Behe said, if I recall correctly, is that, in a loose sense of the word, astrology could have been considered a scientific theory in its time, and indeed it was. Behe certainly did not say that it was a *correct* theory or that he thought it had any merit. You see, a “theory” can be dead wrong and still be a “theory.”
That’s a point that evolutionists don’t seem to understand. They seem to think that because evolution is called a “theory” it can’t be wrong.
“Hoyle thought life came from outer space. Where did that outer space life come from? He just moves the problem of origins one step back.”
I agree with you there, but the point is that he looked to space for the origin of life because he realized that it couldn’t have happened by random chance on earth.
If I am not mistaken, Frances Crick (or was it Watson), the co-discoverer of DNA, also seriously entertained the concept of panspermia for the same reason.
What you need to realize about Hoyle, however, is even though he thought life originated in space, he still insisted that it couldn’t have come about by random chance. In other words, he didn’t think that pushing the origin of life into space would “improve the odds” of a random origin enough to make it even remotely likely. He believed — and demonstrated through basic mathematical reasoning — that the origin of life required ID.
As for the Discovery Institute, if they believe that life was intelligently designed, it is perfectly legitimate for them to promote that view regardless of what their ultimate agenda might be.
Suppose I was a doctor who believed that smoking causes lung and heart disease. If my ultimate “agenda” is to stop people from smoking, does that agenda taint my “theory” about the effects of smoking? According to your “reasoning,” the tobacco companies could legitimately dismiss the “theory” about the harmful effects of smoking because the doctors who are promoting it have an “agenda.” Nonsense.
Oh wait, suppose some of those doctors who promote the idea that smoking is dangerous do not explicitly announce that they want people to quit smoking. Are they dishonestly “hiding” their agenda? Yeah, right.
By bringing the "designer's intent" into play, you are invoking the supernatural, which has no role in science.
You're the one that made an assertion about the "Christian God," and that is what I responded to. Again, some of you can't even follow your own reasoning and arguments....
Truly, this is frustrating beyond words....
I provided evidence in my post, where I stated that I defend this assertion by saying that the universe is too complex to simply be by itself. It needs support, and that support can be found on the back of a turtle.
Sound weak? It should be.
Yes, I have read the transcripts of Dr. Behes testimony. I have previously linked to them, most recently in my post 127.
Its informally called the Dover case. Ive consistently referred to it as Kitzmiller. But, these are minor points.
I read most of Behes testimony, and I was very impressed by it. Evolutionists talk a lot about quote mining and taking things out of context, but that is precisely what they did to Behe here. Apparently evolutionists couldnt address Behes main points directly, so instead they distorted his testimony and diverted attention to secondary points such as who reviewed his book.
A wonderful example of each to his own. I read Dr. Michael Behes testimony, and I was very impressed by the skillful questioning of Mr. Rothschild. (In fact, very as an adverb does not do justice to how impressed I was.)
Although you view it as a secondary point, the reviewing of Behes book, Darwins Black Box, sheds further light on how Behes understanding of scientific words and phrases differ markedly from the accepted definitions.
Behe claims that Darwins Black Box was rigorously peer-reviewed by five reviewers. Yet, one of those five, Dr. Michael Atchinson, stated that his review consisted of a ten-minute over-the-phone gloss of the books material. He never saw the text. That would not constitute a peer-review in a scholarly journal. Behe should not have included Atchinson as one of the five.
In addition, Judge Jones wrote in his opinion that We therefore find that Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. Behes major points were, in fact, addressed.
What Behe said is that the word theory can have different shades of meaning in everyday life depending on the context. That is absolutely true. People who use that word do not always have the rigorous scientific definition in mind.
He is absolutely correct. Everything you have said is correct. I ask only that you remember the ruling, namely, defense experts concede that ID is not a theory as that term is defined by the NAS and admit that ID is at best fringe science which has achieved no acceptance in the scientific community.
As for astrology being a scientific theory, evolutionists have really distorted that one. What Behe said, if I recall correctly, is that, in a loose sense of the word, astrology could have been considered a scientific theory in its time, and indeed it was. Behe certainly did not say that it was a *correct* theory or that he thought it had any merit. You see, a theory can be dead wrong and still be a theory.
Youve mostly remembered correctly, but you have made one minor but very important mistake. It was not a loose sense of the word. It was Behes own definition.
Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. Theres no question that it happens. The question is, How does it happen? A theory attempts to answer that question.
In post 144, I wrote that If hes [the intelligent designer] the Christian God, then according to the Bible, hes infallible. He shouldnt make any mistakes. Whales shouldnt have leg bones. Fruit flies shouldnt have miniature wings that serve no purpose.
You responded with The problem is, we don't know what that intent was, or is, so we have no standard with which to contradict. That's first and foremost.
Your answer violates one of the principles of scientific inquiry natural explanations to natural phenomena. As I wrote, By bringing the "designer's intent" into play, you are invoking the supernatural, which has no role in science.
Its not sciences business to determine what the designers intent was. It is, however, very much sciences business to figure out what things are used for. The leg bones of whales thus far have not been shown to have any function. Likewise, the miniature wings of fruit flies that are too weak to aid in flight also have not been shown to have any function.
That is what science does. It seeks natural explanations. The designers intent cannot be part of any natural explanation.
We share the same frustrations. It's just that you seem to believe in intelligent design, and I don't.
I believe in God, and if you don’t understand that you were making a philosophical argument, which apparently you don’t, then I’m just wasting my time as per usual...