Skip to comments.Pro-Darwin Biology Professor...Supports Teaching Intelligent Design
Posted on 06/23/2007 12:21:46 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
Pro-Darwin Biology Professor Laments Academia's "Intolerance" and Supports Teaching Intelligent Design
Charles Darwin famously said, "A fair result can be obtained only by fully balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question." According to a recent article by J. Scott Turner, a pro-Darwin biology professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, modern Neo-Darwinists are failing to heed Darwin's advice. (We blogged about a similar article by Turner in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January, 2007.) Turner is up front with his skepticism of intelligent design (ID), which will hopefully allow his criticisms to strike a chord with other Darwinists.
Turner starts by observing that the real threat to education today is not ID itself, but the attitude of scientists towards ID: "Unlike most of my colleagues, however, I don't see ID as a threat to biology, public education or the ideals of the republic. To the contrary, what worries me more is the way that many of my colleagues have responded to the challenge." He describes the "modern academy" as "a tedious intellectual monoculture where conformity and not contention is the norm." Turner explains that the "[r]eflexive hostility to ID is largely cut from that cloth: some ID critics are not so much worried about a hurtful climate as they are about a climate in which people are free to disagree with them." He then recounts and laments the hostility faced by Richard Sternberg at the Smithsonian:
It would be comforting if one could dismiss such incidents as the actions of a misguided few. But the intolerance that gave rise to the Sternberg debacle is all too common: you can see it in its unfiltered glory by taking a look at Web sites like pandasthumb.org or recursed.blogspot.com [Jeffry Shallit's blog] and following a few of the threads on ID. The attitudes on display there, which at the extreme verge on antireligious hysteria, can hardly be squared with the relatively innocuous (even if wrong-headed) ideas that sit at ID's core.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
Turner on the Kitzmiller v. Dover Case
Turner sees the Kitzmiller v. Dover case as the dangerous real-world expression of the intolerance common in the academy: "My blood chills ... when these essentially harmless hypocrisies are joined with the all-American tradition of litigiousness, for it is in the hand of courts and lawyers that real damage to cherished academic ideas is likely to be done." He laments the fact that "courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue and predicts, I believe we will ultimately come to regret this."
Turner justifies his reasonable foresight by explaining that Kitzmiller only provided a pyrrhic victory for the pro-Darwin lobby:
Although there was general jubilation at the ruling, I think the joy will be short-lived, for we have affirmed the principle that a federal judge, not scientists or teachers, can dictate what is and what is not science, and what may or may not be taught in the classroom. Forgive me if I do not feel more free.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
Turner on Education
Turner explains, quite accurately, that ID remains popular not because of some vast conspiracy or religious fanaticism, but because it deals with an evidentiary fact that resonates with many people, and Darwinian scientists do not respond to ID's arguments effectively:
[I]ntelligent design is one of multiple emerging critiques of materialism in science and evolution. Unfortunately, many scientists fail to see this, preferring the gross caricature that ID is simply "stealth creationism." But this strategy fails to meet the challenge. Rather than simply lament that so many people take ID seriously, scientists would do better to ask why so many take it seriously. The answer would be hard for us to bear: ID is not popular because the stupid or ignorant like it, but because neo-Darwinism's principled banishment of purpose seems less defensible each passing day.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
Turner asks, What, then, is the harm in allowing teachers to deal with the subject as each sees fit? ID can't be taught, he explains, because most scientists believe that "normal standards of tolerance and academic freedom should not apply in the case of ID." He says that the mere suggestion that ID could be taught brings out "all manner of evasions and prevarications that are quite out of character for otherwise balanced, intelligent and reasonable people."
As we noted earlier, hopefully Turners criticisms will strike a chord with Darwinists who might otherwise close their ears to the argument for academic freedom for ID-proponents. Given the intolerance towards ID-sympathy that Turner describes, let us also hope that the chord is heard but the strummer is not harmed.
You can bet the politically correct types will come down on him for this. He seems like one of the older liberals, in which tolerance includes tolerance for conservatives and people of faith. There doesn’t seem to be very many of those around now.
Perhaps there are a lot more who are afraid to speak up because of the consequences for doing so. That’s why it is incumbent upon all those who cherish freedom to break the Darwinian stranglehold on the ideology of science. Once the spell is broken, and the threat of force is removed, I have a feeling that many more like Dr. Turner will come out of the shadows.
This whole “creation Vs. evolution” debate would make our spiritual fathers quite upset, I would guess.
In fact, I would guess that an exegesis of the Bible would support a guided *evolution* way more than an instant Creation.
MAIN POINT: Check out Lecture 1 here
No where in the entire Old Testament do they talk about God making a material universe. The Hebrew word for Create found in Genesis is bara. To *that* culture, bara meant assign functionNOT make out of nothing. Material structure is our concern; the ancients didnt care about it, they cared about function/purpose.
Macro -evolutionary biology is still one of the few sciences that want us to believe that it is a fact even though it does not stand up to the scientific process.
==Macro -evolutionary biology is still one of the few sciences that want us to believe that it is a fact even though it does not stand up to the scientific process.
Don’t forget about human-caused Global Warming!
And he is spot on. But here are the Predicted responses: He's not a "real" scientist (whatever that means); his school sucks so he doesn't count; he hasn't published enough papers; and a couple screens of cut-n-pastes.
I don’t know what the Hebrew words are in Genesis, but however the process (or time period) He did it, God creating the Universe out of nothing, and He being distinct from that creation, is an essential to a Christian world view—just as essential as God being a trinity. (Also, if love is an essential part of God, then there has to be a plurality in God..that plurality being the trinity—along with an essential unity, God being one.)
Ex nihlo creation (not necessarily what we understand as “creationism”) is a philosophical essential. Evolution (as distinct from naturalist evolutionism...a philosophy) and ex nihlo creation don’t seem to have any necessary essential conflict, in my opinion.
Sadly, I think your fear is exaggerated. Fact is the EVILution Conspiracy has gone totally soft. Our death squads stand idle almost a third of the time, and our concentration camps in the Galapagos hardly contain enough prisoners any more (barely 250,000!!!) to keep the fossil factories running.
The key Geological projects of the EVILution Conspiracy are on the verge of collapse. Soon we will no longer be able to keep moving billions of barrels of oil into the reservoirs were old-earth geology "predicts" it should be found. When that happens the jig is up! And then the collapse of the real conspiracy -- the one for which the whole EVILution conspiracy, vast as it is, is only a cover -- will follow as night follows day.
==Sadly, I think your fear is exaggerated.
Don’t think the following EXAMPLES of ENFORCEMENT are lost on those who might otherwise consider speaking out:
Chemistry professor Nancy Bryson was released from Mississippi University for Women after she delivered a lecture to a group of honors students on scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory.
Days before his dissertation defense, Ohio State University graduate student Bryan Leonard was accused by Darwinist professors of “unethical human-subject experimentation” because he lectured students on scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory.
Biologist Carolyn Crocker was banned from teaching evolution at George Mason University in Virginia simply because she mentioned Intelligent Design. The university later refused to renew her contract.
Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of The Privileged Planet and an advocate of the scientific theory of intelligent design, lost his appeal to overturn the decision to deny him tenure at Iowa State University (ISU).
19 June 2007
How many honorary doctorates does Judge Jones have now? William Dembski
Here is Judge John E. Jones III receiving an honorary doctorate just six months after rendering his decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover (check out Dickinson Colleges reasons for conferring the degree). How many honorary doctorates has the Judge racked up since then? (Im told four, but I have yet to confirm that.) Not bad for someone who went from head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to towering intellect of American jurisprudence....
But now the powers that be think they can get by with having a handful of low level academics and hangers-on fired. FOOLS! You can't maintain a conspiracy of this magnitude without spilling barrels of blood. In the good old days we were even willing to kill Darwin himself to hide the truth! And the old codger still almost gave the whole thing away on his deathbed. That should be a lesson to the leaders of the conspiracy today, but unfortunately they have gone soft.
So what? What has the bible got to do with science?
Honorary Doctorates? Bah! Halfway measures. Again nothing like the old days. A generation ago, even less, a Judge Jones would have had a Galapagos Mansions staffed with 5,000 slaves (not including the Harem).
If we're down to counting on denying tenure and issuing honorary doctorates then this conspiracy is doomed to imminent dissolution. In but a few years the truth about the Hollow Ear... er, I mean Creation, yeah, Creation, will be revealed.
==Why have EVILutionists allowed these dissenters to live?
You are right. If we use history as our guide, in all countries where EVILutionists do manage to completely take over...reeducattion camps, gulags and mass murder do indeed follow.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s quite inevitable.
==So what? What has the bible got to do with science?
If we are IN FACT created beings, then the Bible could very well have a lot to say about the scientific study of origins.
You don't even begin to grasp the depth and extent of the EVILution Conspiracy (until it went soft anyway). If you know about it, it wasn't us! Granted that some of our most bitter enemies, like Stalin, copied some of our methods, in far more crude and less subtle fashion of course, but we defeated him in the end.
See, you didn't even know the Cold War was fought over EVILution, did you? Even if you did, you would have had the sides backward. Granted the Soviet Lysenkoists that Stalin championed hadn't stumbled onto the real refutation of Darwinism, but again that's just my point. In the old days the EVILution Conspiracy went after any threat, and shook the foundations of global civilization to do so. Today this conspiracy is a pathetic shadow of its former self.
People used to assume it said everything there was to say about origins. Science has discredited those interpretations and shown much of the early part of it was borrowed and shaped from other cultural myths in the region. What else could be in there in terms of scientific knowledge, apart from trying to match certain biblical stories to historical events e.g. the flight from Egypt and the explosion of Santorini?
Stalin is EVILution’s bitter enemy because he deviated from Marx and Lenin.
==Granted the Soviet Lysenkoists that Stalin championed hadn’t stumbled onto the real refutation of Darwinism
Again, the Lysenkoists are hated because they deviated from the arch-Darwinist founders of modern Communusm, ie Marx and Lenin. Once the Cult of Stalin was put to rest, the Communists REINSTATED Darwin to his rightful place. Had Stalin been predisposed to elevate Darwin, he would have killed off the Lysenkoists. Indeed, this is so elementary even low-level Darwinists such as yourself should be able to understand it.
When you have mastered the basics, drop me a line.
Ex nihilo creation does not appear unambiguously in Gen. That is usually not argued.
“”Unlike most of my colleagues, however, I don’t see ID as a threat to biology, public education or the ideals of the republic.”
Teaching ID as science requires one to completely separate oneself from the basic priciples of scientific research and methodology.
Not at all. Even high priests from the Church of Darwin, such as Richard Dawkins, admit that IDers are asking eminently scientific questions...he just happens to side with the Church of Darwin.
From the intro to your link.
This website is a rough draft collection of my own notes and thoughts as well as the thoughts of many others
Ha Ha Ha!
Like I said, it’s a primer. I wanted to get you used to the shallow water before introducing concepts that might be out of your depth.
I think that cloud I see out my window was intelligently designed. I mean, how can that moisture segregate itself with defined edges of such beauty unless it was designed? How could a cloud form “by accident”?
Spare me the condescension. Pitman doesn’t have anything new to say there anyway. We’ve been hearing for decades about the conspiracy of silence, intimidation and suppression of doubt about evolution in the scientific field. 911 conspiracists and holocaust deniers/skeptics make the same kind of claims all the time. And what has all of that got to do with the bible? Lets assume for a moment that someone like Behe was correct, and it could be proved that the prokaryotic or even eukaryotic cell were actually designed and created somewhere along the line - that doesn’t prove anything whatsoever in relation to the christian god or the bible or any other religious claim.
==I think that cloud I see out my window was intelligently designed. I mean, how can that moisture segregate itself with defined edges of such beauty unless it was designed? How could a cloud form by accident?
I suggest you brush up on ID before making reading “design” into cloud patterns. You might want to start with Dembski’s Explanatory Filter.
Don't worry, that's being taken care up by scientists like this.
It's too bad there are no scientists who have been able to generate positive evidence for God in subjects such as ID and the eternal struggle against evolution.
How about the fact that there's no scientific evidence in favor of ID, and the subject being taught is science? If there were such evidence, then that would translate into positive scientific evidence for the existence of God, and that doesn't exist. Just like there's no scientific evidence of the existence of Allah, or Zeus, or Thor, or ghosts. Sure, Jesus existed, but so did Mohamed. That a person existed doesn't validate all the stories told about them. There are lots of whoppers told about people who existed in History.
PS When you say that “Pitman doesnt have anything new to say there anyway,” should I take that to mean you have read the entire contents of his website?
How does labeling evolution a faith make ID true? Assuming that evolution is a faith, that's one faith against another, how would that fact help your case?
The cloud looks designed, so it must be. After all, doesn't God have His hand in everything?
==It’s too bad there are no scientists who have been able to generate positive evidence for God in subjects such as ID and the eternal struggle against evolution.
ID does not seek positive evidence for God. It limits itself to detecting design. And besides, you fogot about ICON-RIDS: An International Coalition of Non-Religious ID Scientists & Scholars.
==that’s one faith against another, how would that fact help your case?
As far as Creation Science is concerned, it helps in that it properly defines BOTH camps.
Yes, that was a shrewd move by the Creation Scientists, to re-label their faith to include little green men from Mars as possible "designers", they were able to avoid the pesky problem that there is no positive evidence for God's existence.
So, when did these little green men stop their work?
you fogot about ICON-RIDS: An International Coalition of Non-Religious ID Scientists & Scholars.
Since the Discovery Institute guys can only come up with 500 or so "scientists" (if you accept their generous definition of that career), then the sub-set of atheists in that group must be very small.
Or else many of them are liars.
I'm pretty confident I know which of those options is true.
You are the one linking what the bible may have to say about science to ID. Again, if design was to provide the most robust theory of origin for something like a cell, how does that prove anything about the bible or the biblical god?
The fossil record, on its own, would not prove anything about evolution. It would suggest it as a possibility, certainly, but until Darwin and Wallace came up with a mechanism, the idea of evolution wasn’t taken seriously. Similarly, Alfred Wegener based his theory of continental drift on evidence from the shape of the continents, the distribution of fossils and mountain ranges and so on, but his ideas were not accepted because there was no plausible mechanism that would cause continents to move. Not until the discovery of seafloor spreading fifty years later was the idea of plate tectonics fleshed out and very quickly accepted.
As to Pitman’s site, I read the page you suggested, so my comment is restricted to the content you linked as relevant. Is there new important stuff on other parts of the site?
Does that mean the cloud is not the product of design. No. But because the cloud can be explained by chance and regularity, it is excluded by definition.
==Is there new important stuff on other parts of the site?
That all depends on what you already know. I would start with his article on the geologic column and go from there.
Apparently not in you life, but I suspect you haven't asked Him for any help.
ID is chipping away at Darwinism, while at the same time showing evidence of design (especially at the cellular and molecular level). When you combine what they are doing with the evidence of the fossil record, the geologic column, etc...the Biblical account of creation is increasingly vindicated by science (even if I do disagree with many IDers re: the age of the earth, common descent, etc).
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